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Canadian Law & Legislation

This library guide will provide you with information to complete your Canadian criminal law research.

The SIFT method of evaluating information

The SIFT method was created by Mike Caulfield. All SIFT information on this page is adapted from his materials with a CC BY 4.0 license.

STOP. Ask yourself whether you are familiar with the source of the information and the claim. If you are unfamiliar with the reputation of either the claim or the source (or both), use the other moves to get a better sense of what you’re looking at.

INVESTIGATE. Knowing the expertise and agenda of the source is crucial to your interpretation of what they say. Take sixty seconds to figure out where a source is from before reading to help you decide if it is worth your time and understand its significance and trustworthiness.

FIND BETTER COVERAGE. Go out and find the best source you can on the topic, or scan multiple sources and see what the expert consensus seems to be. Find other coverage that best suits your needs — more trusted, more in-depth, or maybe just more varied. 

TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES AND MEDIA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT. Find the cited source(s), so you can see if the original context was accurately represented in the source you found. If not, then maybe rely instead on the sources you found using the previous move!

Scholarly, Popular or Trade

Many research papers require scholarly journal articles as sources. Do you know what they are and how to differentiate them from popular and trade magazine articles? Check out the comparison table below to learn more about the differences between scholarly, popular and trade publications.



Source: NSCU LibrariesSt. Cloud State University 


Scholarly vs Popular Sources by McMaster Libraries 

Peer Review in 3 Minutes by NCSU Libraries 

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