When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it... but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need. Score each category on a scale of 1-10 (1=unreliable, 10=excellent), and then add up your total.
46 - 50 = Excellent
41 - 46 = Good
36 - 40 = Average
31 - 35 = Borderline Acceptable
30 and below = Unacceptable
The SIFT method consists of the following four moves:
When you first see a source of information, stop and ask yourself whether the source is reputable. If you don’t know, use the other moves to find out. Don’t share this information until you know.
Who is the author? Do they have the expertise? What is their agenda? Do they have vested interests? Are they possibly biased?
This doesn’t mean the experts are always right or that no one with vested interests can’t be trusted, but knowing the expertise and agenda of the source is crucial.
Find multiple sources about the same topic. See if they agree or disagree with your original source. Get a sense of what the expert consensus seems to be.
Do you have to agree with the consensus once you find it? Absolutely not. But understanding the context and history of a claim will help you better evaluate it and form a starting point for future investigation.
Much of what we find on the internet has been stripped of context. It's important to trace your information back to the original source so you can see it in its original context and get a sense if the version you saw was accurately presented.