The evaluation method introduced here can be used with all types of resources, but was designed with the digital environment in mind. You constantly need to be asking yourself questions in the evaluation process, regardless of the format of the material. We do put more emphasis on evaluating web sources, but each source you are going to use in your work should be evaluated with a critical eye with an emphasis on the source (author/publisher).
This is true for resources you find through the library. Most of us do not know specific authors or journals -- the SIFT method asks us to do some investigating to see what we can learn about the authors and journal/publication rather than just assuming "it must be good because it's published."
This is a short video series by Mike Caulfield that explores and demonstrates how he utilizes the SIFT method for source checking.
Andrews, C. R. (2012). Libraries and general education: New strategies to enhance freshman orientation, faculty collaboration, and curriculum development. International Journal of Learning, 18(5), 109-131. https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v18i05/47609
The author of this article is Carl R. Andrews. In the article, he describes himself as an Assistant Professor and Librarian at Medgars Evers College, a part of the College of New York (CUNY) system. When I clicked on his name in the Education Research Complete database, it showed that he had another article published on a similar topic in the journal Community & Junior College Libraries in 2017. A Google search of his name brought up the same article along with another one on a different topic, but within his field of study (embedded librarianship). From the Google search and the 2nd article, I can see that Andrews now works at the Bronx Community College. A search of the college website shows he is an Assistant Librarian there. I am comfortable with his experience and expertise to write on this topic.
A Wikipedia search for the journal (International Journal of Learning) shows it is a peer-reviewed, online-only journal published quarterly since 2009 by MIT. I recognize MIT as a reputable academic publisher.
The SIFT method focuses on moves -- or things to do -- that ideally are built into habits, and then habits of mind.
Investigate the source
Find trusted coverage
Trace to the original
When investigating the source, you want to learn about the expertise and agenda of your source. You can do this by
taking note of the author affiliation (if listed in the database)
determining if he/she has written other articles on the topic - you could do this by searching for the author in the database and/or in a web search
conducting web searches to learn more about your source such as