Evaluating Online Resources

Strategies to Spot Fake News

The C.R.A.A.P. Method:

This acronym stands for: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose. The online guide shows you how to evaluate sources using this method. Includes evaluation exercises and criteria for evaluating resources.

IMVAIN Method:

Presented by Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy. The acronym stands for: Independent, Multiple, Verified, Authoritative/Informed, Named. Includes an example of evaluating a news broadcast using this method.

News Literacy Project:

Dedicated to giving students and adults the tools, tips, and resources they need to learn to tell fact from fiction.


Check Your Facts, Bias, and Sources

This list is not meant to be comprehensive. There are many places to check an article or outlet’s bias, facts, or sources, these are just a few of our favorites. Skeptical of fact checkers? A good bias rater or fact checking website will be transparent about their methodology and funding. If you’d like to dig a little deeper, try looking for the “About” “Methodology” “Mission” or “FAQ” sections of their website!

All Sides:

Focusing primarily on political news, All Sides seeks to reflect the news as it is covered from a breadth of perspectives. That includes different perspectives on the same story as well as different opinions on what the day’s top stories are. All Sides also seeks to provide context, revealing debate on the underlying issues and other helpful background. Includes information about how they determine bias, their editorial philosophy, and resources for checking your own biases.


A nonpartisan, nonprofit, “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics by monitoring the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.


The goal of the Hoax-Slayer Website is to help make the Internet a safer, more pleasant and more productive environment by: debunking email and internet hoaxes; thwarting Internet scammers; educating web users about email and internet security issues; and combating spam.

Media Bias/Fact Check:

With more than 2200 media sources listed in their database media bias/fact check is one of the largest media bias resources on the internet. Search for news sources by name or web address (URL).

Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network:

The International Fact-Checking Network is a unit of the Poynter Institute dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide. The IFCN was launched in September 2015 to support a booming crop of fact-checking initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field, including a Code of Principles and a list of fact checking institutions. They also have a Teen Fact Checking Network.


Fact-checking journalism is the heart of PolitiFact. Their core principles are independence, transparency, fairness, thorough reporting and clear writing.


ProCon.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, public charity, providing professionally-researched pro, con, and related information on more than 50 controversial issues from gun control and death penalty to illegal immigration and alternative energy. Their official mission statement is: “Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, and primarily pro-con format.”


One of the oldest and largest fact checking websites, Snopes is also one of the most popular sources for fact checking. Snopes offers a wide scope of research, from urban legends to fake news.

Other Resources and Articles

Featured Online Resources

Global Issues in Context

Integrates news, global viewpoints, reference materials, country information, primary source documents, videos, statistics, and more in a single search with a global perspective.

InfoTrac Newsstand

Full-text newspaper article search by title, headline, date, author, newspaper section, or other fields, to more than 2,300 major U.S. regional, national, and local newspapers, as well as leading titles from around the world

InfoTrac Student Edition

Periodicals database is designed for high-school students with access to a variety of indexed and full-text magazines, newspapers and reference books.

Opposing Viewpoints (Gale In Context)

Provides coverage of topics in today’s news from multiple points of view, to help researchers evaluate topics from different angles. Find information in reference articles, infographics, news, images, video, audio, and more.


Fake News Examples:

Example 1: Library Drone Delivery Service

On April 1st, 2018, the Chelmsford Public Library created a fake news post on Facebook to promote this resource page! Here is what it looked like:

Note that the post was set to stop distributing after only 24 hours, but still managed to reach 4,541 people! Real fake news can spread even faster and reach many more people. Fortunately, this post was linked back to this very resource page, which had this helpful message at the top:

Would you like your books delivered direct to your door by a flying drone? How about DVDs, music CDs, and other library items? Would you like to see what technology can do for you to enhance your library experience? Unfortunately…

We’re not really starting a drone delivery service…

(Sorry if you were excited,
just having a bit of fun on April 1st!)

But we are launching this helpful information page about fake news and evaluating online resources so you can avoid being April Fooled all year round!


We will be adding real world examples and expanding our resource page over time, so keep checking back!