Using the SIFT strategy to enhance the Lateral Reading skills of undergraduate students for detecting digital misinformation.

Document Type : Original Article


library and information science department, Faculty of art, Alexandria university, Alexandria, Egypt


It is constantly believed that the status of information constitutes an increasing burden on society, as a main contributor to controversial current events. Therefore, misinformation cannot be thought of as merely leading to wrong decisions, as it has a continuous effect on society's thinking as well, even after it has been corrected; that this phenomenon is known as "continued influence". In the emerging field of "infodemiology", librarians are crucial to develop new strategies for digital information evaluation. This study aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the SIFT model as a lateral reading strategy for misinformation detection. The experimental study was conducted on 390 freshmen students from seven faculties of Alamein International University during the Search Skills and Analysis course. The study concluded that algorithms and strict laws will not be enough to face this phenomenon; therefore, enhancing information literacy should be used as well to alert society to its dangers and how to deal with them. The study has demonstrated that the SIFT model offers an additional edge to information literacy enhancement and improves students' absorption of digital misinformation detection methods and strategies. The study sample showed statistically significant improvement at α level of 0.05 after the educational intervention, where the paired t statistic value is 11.548 at 389 degrees of freedom, p-value <0.001. The study recommends that relying on traditional evaluation methods like CRAAP without adapting them to the new web environment is counterproductive, as it may aggravate rather than alleviate the problem of misleading digital information.