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Evaluating Resources: ACT UP Model

ACT UP Model

  • We all have a responsibility to fact-check sources before we retweet or repost so that those who follow us are reading accurate and reliable information.
  • By definition, ACT UP means to act in a way that is different from normal or what is generally accepted.
  • To ACT UP, means to actively engage in dismantling oppressions and acting upwards to create a more socially just system.
  • Use the acronym below to evaluate your sources answering as many of these questions as you can. 


  • Who wrote the resource? Who are they? Background information matters. Google the heck out of them.
  • If  you are looking at a website, is there an “About Us” section of the website? Google the website’s title/domain name/authors to see if any of them have been reported as a source of fake news.
  • Is there any information about the credentials and backgrounds of affiliated writers, editors, publishers, or domain owners ( etc.). Is there a “Legal” or “Disclaimer” section?
  • Pay attention to the domain name. (.edu, .gov, and .org) as opposed to (.com and .net).


  • When was this resource written?
  • When was it published? If you are on a website, can you find when the site was last updated?
  • Does this resource fit into the currency of your topic? Do you need up-to-date, current information?


  • How accurate/true is this information?
  • Can you verify any of the claims in other sources? Do the rule of three. Is this verifiable in three other sources?
  • Does the language of the source contain words to evoke an emotional response?
  • Are there typos and spelling mistakes?


  • Is the information presented in a way to sway the reader to a particular point of view?
  • Is there a conflict of interest? See if you can find out who funded the research. The funders might have a vested interest in the outcome of the research. Remember, research is expensive so follow the money.
  • Are the authors affiliated with any organizations or associations that would cause a conflict of interest?
  • Remember, bias is not always a bad thing as long as the source is explicit about their bias and agenda.


  • There is privilege in publishing whereby mostly white scholars/researchers have the opportunity to publish their research.
  • Ask yourself, are they the only folks that might write or publish on this topic?
  • Who is missing in this conversation?
  • Take time to search for sources/authors who are not represented in the databases so that your research is well-rounded and inclusive.