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EARTH 107: Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society

Dr. Guertin

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." - ACRL, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

The Information Cycle

The information cycle is the progression of media coverage of a newsworthy event. Understanding the information cycle can help you determine what kind of information you are likely to find about your topic. This video from UNLV's Lied Library shows how an event can unfold in the information cycle. 

 

IF I APPLY

IF I

Identifying emotions:

  • What are your honest opinions regarding the topic?
  • Have you addressed your internal biases?
  • Make an all-inclusive list of counter-opinions or counter-arguments.

Finding unbiased resources:

  • Conduct a general knowledge overview.
  • Search for information in : encyclopedias, wikis, dictionaries, etc.

Intellectual courage:

  • Identify credible materials for all of the viewpoints - yours and the additional you identified
  • Reject unsound arguments - have the courage to accept that not all viewpoints are valid


‚ÄčAPPLY

Authority

  • Who is the author (may be individual or organization) and/or publisher?
  • What are the credentials and affiliation or sponsorship of any named individuals or organizations?
  • How objective, reliable, and authoritative are they?
  • Have they written other articles or books?
  • Is/Are the author(s) listed with contact information (street address, e-mail)?
  • Do they specialize in publishing certain topics or fields?

Purpose/Point of view of source 

  • Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?
  • Are any conclusions offered? If so, based on what evidence and supported by what primary and secondary documentation?
  • What is implied by the content?
  • Are diverse perspectives represented?
  • Is the content relevant to your information needs?
  • Why was the information provided by the source published?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is anything being sold?
Publisher
  • Does the publisher have an agenda?
  • When was the information published?
  • Is the information provided by the source in its original form or has it been revised to reflect changes in knowledge?
  • Has the publisher published other works?
  • Is this information timely and is it updated regularly?
  • Is the publisher scholarly (university press, scholarly associations)? Commercial? Government agency? Self (“vanity”) press?
List of resources
  • Where else can the information provided by the source be found?
  • Is this information authentic?
  • Is this information unique or has it been copied?
Year of publication
  • Is this information current? Can you find more current or relevant information?
  • Is the cited information current? Make sure work is not based on outdated research, statistics, data, etc.
  • Is the information routinely updated?