Once you've started to find some research sources, you'll want to choose the information that best fits your needs! Keep in mind that you want the information to be relevant to your topic, but also to be credible so your audience will find the information convincing and worth their time.
STOP reminds you of two things:
First, when you first hit a page or post and start to read it — STOP.
Second, after you begin to fact-check, it can be easy to want to "keep going" or get lost clicking on result after result. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, STOP and take a second to remember your goal.
The idea here is that you want to know what you’re reading before you read it.
Now, you don’t have to do a Pulitzer prize-winning investigation into a source before you use it. But if you’re reading an article on economics by a Nobel prize-winning economist, you should know that. On the other side, if you’re watching a video on the benefits of milk that was created by the dairy industry, you want to know that as well.
Knowing the expertise and likely bias of the source is crucial to your interpretation of what they say.
When you don't care about a source -- or already suspect bias -- your best bet is to go out and find the best source you can on the topic, or look for consensus, to check the claims the original source is making.
Much of what we find on the internet has been stripped of context, and we're not sure if we're receiving all the details. In these cases, you can trace the claim, quote, or media back to the source, so you can see it in it’s original context and get a sense if the version you saw was accurately presented.
Adapted from "SIFT (The Four Moves)" by Mike Caulfield, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Maybe it was easy to find, but is it good?
Assess: Does this information belong in my academic project or is it .... CRAP?
Authority / Accuracy