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Information Literacy. What is information literacy?. In a nutshell, information literacy is "the process of: accessing, evaluating, and using information to make decisions, solve problems, and/or acquire knowledge."

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what is information literacy
What is information literacy?
  • In a nutshell, information literacy is "the process of: accessing, evaluating, and using information to make decisions, solve problems, and/or acquire knowledge."
    • Source: Young, R. M., & Harmony, S. (1999). Working with faculty to design undergraduate information literacy programs: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York: Neal-Schulman.
  • In simpler terms, information literacy means finding, evaluating, and using information in an appropriate way. And in the world today, there is a LOT of information!
what is information literacy1
What is information literacy?
  • According to a 2003 study by the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley, "almost 800 MB of recorded information is produced per person each year." That is about 30 feet of books per person for 6.3 billion people!
    • Source: Lyman, P., & Varian, H.R. (2003). How much information? Retrieved April 22, 2004, from http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/how-much-info-2003
  • There is no way that anyone could store that much information in their head! So, you must be able to apply resources, technology, and your own knowledge in order to locate necessary information.
what is information literacy2
What is information literacy?
  • There is more involved with information literacy than being able to find information.
  • Just locating a piece of information does not mean it is useful.
  • You must be able to recognize what information is needed, evaluate the information, and apply it to your needs.
why you need to be information literate
Why you need to be information literate
  • For which of the following items would the application of information literacy be important?
    • Buying a used car
    • Researching a paper on the influence of the media on violence in America
    • Determining what treatment to undergo for a cancer diagnosis
    • Choosing a college to attend
    • Applying for a job
  • If you answered "all of the above", you are right!
types of periodicals
Types of periodicals
  • There are numerous magazines and other periodicals available in the University Library collection. Many more titles can be found in full-text through our electronic databases.
  • What exactly is a periodical?
  • A periodical is a publication that comes out at regular intervals. For example, many popular magazines are regularly published monthly and many newspapers are regularly published daily.
types of periodicals1
Types of periodicals

There are several types of periodicals that you will be dealing with. These include:

  • Popular Magazines
  • Scholarly Journals (often known as "peer-reviewed" journals)
  • Trade Publications
  • Newspapers
popular magazines
Popular magazines

Popular magazines are the type of periodicals with which you are probably the most familiar.

Magazines such as People, Sports Illustrated, Business Week and Forbes, are all popular magazines.

popular magazines1
Popular magazines

Popular magazines:

  • are intended for the general public;
  • tend to feature lots of color advertising and photographs;
  • can usually be purchased on newsstands;
  • include content written by staff or freelance writers. (These writers may be very knowledgeable, but they may not be experts in the field);
  • are published frequently (monthly or weekly);
  • tend to have short articles on broad topics.
scholarly journals
Scholarly journals

Scholarly journals, as the name suggests, are more scholarly or academic in nature than popular magazines.

  • Journals like American Economic Review, Harvard Business Review, and Journal of Management are all scholarly journals.
scholarly journals1
Scholarly journals

Scholarly journals:

  • are intended for students, academics, or specialists in a particular field of study;
  • feature little or no advertising;
  • can be found more often in libraries than in bookstores or newsstands;
  • are written by professionals (experts) in the specialty or field (not staff writers);
  • are often edited by a panel of experts (i.e., professors or others) known as peer-reviewers;
  • present an academic approach to a subject;
  • often contain long, comprehensive articles on research or case studies with bibliographies and/or references;
  • published less frequently than popular or trade publications (e.g., bimonthly or quarterly).
scholarly journals2
Scholarly journals
  • For example, while articles in Forbes are written by professional writers, articles in The Journal of Accountancy are written by professors or experts in accounting.
scholarly journals important
Scholarly journals – Important!
  • Articles in popular magazines are edited by an editor, whereas articles in scholarly journals are edited by a panel of experts in the field (for example, several accounting professors at various universities will review articles on accounting prior to the article being published).
  • These professors are the peers or professional equals in rank of those who submit articles. Thus, the process is known as peer-reviewing.
  • These peer reviewers may suggest changes or point out problems in the original author\'s research.
trade publications
Trade publications
  • Trade publications are another major type of periodical you will encounter.
trade publications1
Trade publications

Trade publications:

  • are written for practitioners in a field of study (i.e. culinary, paralegals, etc.);
  • tend to cover a mix of the types of topics found in popular magazines (but with a slant towards the information needed by a professional in the field) and topics found in scholarly journals (but, once again, with a slant towards practitioners, instead of academics);
  • often include photographs and advertisements;
  • cover current events, trends, and practices within the field;
  • often use "jargon" related to the field;
  • are usually published frequently (i.e., weekly or monthly).
trade publications2
Trade publications
  • For more in-depth information on the different types of publications, check out this page from the Karl E. Mundt Library at Dakota State University: http://www.departments.dsu.edu/library/courses/scholpop.htm
newspapers
Newspapers

Newspapers are a familiar periodical.

Newspapers:

  • Provide current news and information on a daily or weekly basis;
  • Often contain editorials or commentary;
  • Usually have a geographical focus (i.e., a city or regional newspaper)
to review
To review:
  • There are several different types of periodicals. Periodicals include: popular magazines, scholarly journals, and trade publications, as well as newspapers.
how much do you really know about periodicals
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Now that you have learned about periodicals...use this short assessment to check your knowledge.
    • For each of the following, determine what type of periodical (trade publication, scholarly journal, or popular magazine) is best described.
    • To check yourself, click the mouse or press the enter key for the answer.
how much do you really know about periodicals1
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Question 1:
    • What kinds of periodicals contain photographs and advertisements?
  • Answer:
    • A popular magazine or trade publication
how much do you really know about periodicals2
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Question 2:
    • What kind of periodical has both formal and informal terminology related to a particular trade or profession?
  • Answer:
    • This best describes a trade publication. Trade publications tend to have a mix of both academic and popular topics.
how much do you really know about periodicals3
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Question 3:
    • What kind of periodical contains case studies, research reviews, and bibliographies?
  • Answer:
    • This best describes a scholarly journal.
how much do you really know about periodicals4
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Question 4:
    • What kind of periodical contains articles geared towards a general audience?
  • Answer:
    • This best describes a popular magazine.
how much do you really know about periodicals5
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Question 5:
    • In what kind of periodical may articles be peer-reviewed (i.e. critiqued by professionals in the field prior to publication?
  • Answer:
    • This best describes a scholarly journal. 
how much do you really know about periodicals6
How much do you really know about periodicals?
  • Question 6:
    • What kind of periodical is often published on a weekly or monthly basis?
  • Answer:
    • This best describes a popular magazine or trade publication. Popular magazines and trade publications are published at a faster rate than scholarly journals.
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