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Team Internship Program - Boeing

This guide is to support the 2023 Internship Program collaborating with Boeing.

Credibility Factors for Information Sources


  • Who is the author of the article or book?
  • What are the credentials or qualifications of the author of the book or article?
  • Is the author associated with a university at the time the material was printed?  If it is an organization, are they well known as a scholarly authority on the topic?
  • Is the author educated in the subject they are writing about? For example, Dr. Stefan Bradley wrote an article called For the Greater Glory of Whom?: A Perspective on OccupySLU about student activists. He is a professor of African-American History at Loyola Marymount University when the article was published.
  • Is there contact information for the author(s)?
  • Are you able to tell how the author gets their research funding?

Purpose & Bias

  • Who is the audience?  What can the audience tell you about the bias or point of view?
  • Who is the publisher of the book or article?  Does the publisher have a bias or agenda that they are trying to convey?
  • Does the source use emotional language to make you feel something as you read? (For example, Children are dying because we don't have healthcare!)
  • Are they trying to sell you something?  
  • Are there advertisements in the publication?  If so, are they for products discussed in the article?

Accuracy & Evidence

  • Do the conclusions of the article or book match with the conclusions of other research you have been reading?
  • Does the author effectively use citations and other sources to support their conclusions or findings?
  • Where does the information come from?
  • Has the information been peer-reviewed or refereed?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors


  • Are the information in the source current enough depending on the topic we are exploring?
  • Are the information within the date range relevant to our research topic?
  • Is the source being updated?

Use SIFT to Verify News and Online Media

Lateral reading is the act of verifying what you’re reading as you’re reading it. Lateral reading helps you determine an author’s credibility, intent, and biases by searching for articles on the same topic by other writers (to see how they are covering it) and for other articles by the author you’re checking on. That’s what professional fact-checkers do. For more on the definition and lateral reading, you can take a look at the News Literacy Project.

Learn how to SIFT sources using Lateral Reading via these helpful videos:

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