Library Research Skills
Sources of Information
Select: to choose in preference because of special quality or value.
While studying you will need to be able to research information for your essays and other assignments. Once you graduate you will most likely continue to research to make informed decisions in your job and your community. The skills you have and continue to develop will make the process of finding information for your assignments, your work and your life much easier.
The combined resources of your public library and the Internet create an almost endless amount of information available to you. With all of these choices, where do you find the answers?
This Unit will focus on the different sources of information, where to find these sources, and how to choose the best ones for your research.
After completing this Unit, you should be able to:
- identify a variety of information sources
- recognize that appropriate sources of information will change depending on your needs
- identify characteristics of information on the Web
- identify characteristics of library resources
- understand, in general terms, what sorts of information can and cannot be found via the computer (e.g. based on date, format, accessibility, subject matter, and level of content)
- recognize that library collections are located in buildings and on the Web
- distinguish between popular and scholarly periodicals
- distinguish between primary and secondary sources of information
- Identify sources of public and government information
Information can come from virtually anywhere - personal experiences, books, articles, expert opinions, encyclopaedias, the Web - and the type of information you need, will change depending on the question you are trying to answer. Look at the following sources of information. Notice the similarities between them.
Keep in mind the following three questions:
- Which sources can you find online?
- Which sources guide you to other information on your topic?
- Which sources would you use when writing a research paper, report or essay?