Part 3: Valuing Sources
A note on Wikipedia
The more you use these strategies, the easier it will be for you to incorporate SIFT into your information habits quickly. However, I always have to reassure students that yes, I am recommending you use Wikipedia in your evaluation methods.
Wikipedia is broadly misunderstood by faculty and students alike. While Wikipedia must be approached with caution, especially with articles that are covering contentious subjects or evolving events, it is often the best source to get a consensus viewpoint on a subject. Because the Wikipedia community has strict rules about sourcing facts to reliable sources, and because authors must adopt a neutral point of view, its articles are often the best available introduction to a subject on the web.
The focus on sourcing all claims has another beneficial effect. If you can find a claim expressed in a Wikipedia article, you can almost always follow the footnote on the claim to a reliable source. Scholars, reporters, and students can all benefit from using Wikipedia to quickly find authoritative sources for claims.
Additional Fact-Checking Sites
As mentioned in one of the videos you watched in the previous chapter, outside of Wikipedia professional fact-checkers have curated trusted sites so that they have a head start when evaluating information. To help you start developing your own collection, the following organizations are generally regarded as reputable fact-checking organizations focused on U.S. national news:
|Politifact||Factcheck.org||Washington Post Fact Checker||Snopes|
|Truth be Told||NPR Fact-Check||Lie Detector (Spanish language)||Hoax Slayer|
There are respected specialty sites cover niche areas such as climate or celebrities. Here are a few examples:
|Climate Feedback||SciCheck||Quote Investigator|