.com – Commercial websites
.edu – Educational websites
.gov – Government websites
.org – Organization website
Quick Tip: If you are searching Google for a website with a specific domain, such as a .gov or .edu, when you type in your search add "site:" and the domain type at the end of your search term. For example, if you wanted to find government websites on gun control, type in "gun control site:.gov". Or if you wanted to specifically search for non-profit websites that had information on wildlife, type in "wildlife site:.org".
SIFT is an easy-to-use four-step method of fact-checking information you find anywhere. Digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield has created a few short videos to explain how to best use SIFT.
Before you use a source. ask yourself:
Who's responsible for the information?
Who created and disseminated it? And do you recognize the source?
If so, do you trust it? If the answer is no or you're unsure, consider some of the following:
What do others have to say about the source? (Hint: Try scanning the Wikipedia article on the source, if there is one) Look for surprises, particularly those that deviate from your initial impression! Take a look at the video (2:45) that covers how to fact-check efficiently and effectively by "reading vertically"
If you're unsure about a source especially if it is making a claim that you want to use or share, investigate if other sources that you trust more are also making the claim. The following video (4:10) covers strategies for finding better coverage of a claim:
Context is critical when it comes to information claims. And information changes as it gets passed along and shared, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes deliberately. So, consider tracing the claim back to its original source and context. Take a look at the following video (1:33) that covers tips for "going upstream" and finding the original context: