OSU Navigation Bar

The Ohio State University

OSU Libraries

net.TUTOR: Selecting Good Information

Previous | Tutorial Home | Next

7. Selecting Good Information: Actually Choosing

When you are in the process of selecting information, you are generally scanning lists, looking at results, considering an answer provided to you because of a search you have done. How do you make sense of all that to determine just what it is you have found and which will be good resources for you?

There are two levels of selection you must go through in picking good information.

  1. Skimming lists
  2. a. Start your first pass at gathering information by looking for your key ideas to be present in the lists you scan. Are the key words used in the right context and for the meaning you intended?

    b. Do you have the proper information formats for your needs? If the key ideas are present, is it the right publication format for your need? In other words, from your list, can you tell if the information source is a book? A magazine article? A conference paper? A podcast? Is it scholarly or popular? Is it tertiary?

    To know, you must be able to recognize what different information types look like in different kinds of lists.

    Become familiar with citation styles. Here is a video guide to help you with this.
    Learn how to interpret what you find through a Google search. The Understanding Google Search Results video can help.
    Learn the difference between a web page and an article.
    Know that a book can be electronic or paper .
    Know that an article can be electronic or paper.
    Know that a web page is always part of a larger web site and an article is always part of a larger magazine or journal. This gives each some context.

    Here are examples of what different information types might look like in different contexts:

    Reference to an article
    Article
    Web page
    Web site
    Blog post
    Reference to a book

  3. Evaluating sources
If the right ideas are present in the source you've selected and it is the proper publication type for your needs, you must finally read the resource carefully and further evaluate it for the sorts of qualities explained more deeply in the Evaluating Web Sites tutorial.


Final Note on selection:

All these information types mix and match in the world in a whole variety of ways.

Articles can be popular, scholarly or professional. They come in print and online.
Scholarly information can be objective or subjective, as can popular information.
Be more wary of popular information that is subjective as it may or may not be based on solid thinking.
A book can be electronic or print, scholarly or popular.
A blog post can be personal, professional or scholarly.

 

Activity

 

Practice identifying information types. Identify  the correct information type for each image (see answers below).

A
B
C
D
E

Our Answer:


Previous | Tutorial Home | Next