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SHB Information Literacy Guide: Types of Sources

Types of Sources Video

Be aware that some campuses or institutions may refer to "General Interest" sources as "Trade/Professional Journals."

The Information Cycle

Thank you to the University Libraries, University of Washington for permission to use this video in our guide.  We truly appreciate it.  The original video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jALv7nVEwQM.

 

Sources of Information

Type

Information

Use

Examples

Website

Website

One of the main features of the Web is the ability to quickly link to other related information. The Web contains information beyond plain text, including sounds, images, and video.

The important thing to do when using information on the Internet is to know how to evaluate it!

  • to find current information
  • to find information about companies
  • to find information from all levels of government - federal to local
  • to find both expert and popular opinions
  • lcweb.loc.gov (The Library of Congress)
  • wikipedia.org (a wiki)
  • www.uwfox.uwc.edu (UW-Fox Valley)

Newspapers

newspapers

A newspaper is a collection of articles about current events usually published daily. It is a great source for local information.

  • to find current information about international, national and local events
  • to find editorials, commentaries, expert or popular opinions
  • Appleton Post Crescent
  • New York Times
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Magazine

Magazine

A magazine is a collection of articles and images about diverse topics of popular interest and current events. Usually these articles are written by journalists or scholars and are geared toward the average adult.

  • to find information or opinions about popular culture
  • to find up-to-date information about current events
  • to find articles for the general public
  • National Geographic
  • Ebony
  • Sports Illustrated
  • People

Professional/Trade Journal

Trade Journal

A trade journal is a publication written for people within a particular career/industry. It contains short articles related to current trends in the profession.

  • find out current trends in a particular industry
  • stay up to date in your career
  • Library Journal
  • RN

Scholary/Peer Reviewed Journal

Scholarly Journal

A scholarly/peer reivewed journal is a collection of articles usually written by scholars in an academic or professional field. An editorial board reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted. Articles in journals can cover very specific topics or narrow fields of research.

  • when doing scholarly research
  • to find out what has been studied on your topic
  • to find bibliographies that point to other relevant research
  • Journal of Communication
  • The Historian
  • Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Child Development

Database

Database

A database contains citations of articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers. Some databases contain abstracts or brief summaries of the articles, while other databases contain complete, full-text articles.

  • when you want to find articles on your topic in magazines, journals or newspapers
  • Academic Search Complete (a general database)
  • SocIndex (a sociology database)
  • ABI/Inform (a business database)

Books

Books

Books cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction. For research purposes, you will probably be looking for books that synthesize all the information on one topic to support a particular argument or thesis.

  • when looking for lots of information on a topic
  • to put your topic in context with other important issues
  • to find historical information
  • to find summaries of research to support an argument
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Through the Lifespan (RC558 .A88 T368 2013)
  • Bon Jovi: America's Ultimate Band (ML421 .B68 O47 2013)

Media

You Tube

This could be a variety of things from YouTube clips to art to music to documentaries to a movie. Media give a different perspective on a topic.
  • alternative views
  • images
  • video clips
  • You Tube
  • Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
  • A Civil War documentary