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Information Literacy: Information creation as a process

Provides resoures on information literacy standards, handouts, and research guidance to support students' needs at various points through the program.


The information literate students is able to:

  • articulate the capabilities and constraints of information developed through various creation processes;
  • assess the fit between and information product's creation process and a particular information need;
  • articulate the traditional and emerging processes of information creation and dissemination in a particular discipline;
  • recognize that information may be perceived differently based on the format in which it is packaged;
  • recognize the implications of information formats that contain static or dynamic information;
  • monitor the value that is placed upon different types of information products in varying contexts;
  • transfer knowledge of capabilities and constraints to new types of information products;
  • develop, in their own creation processes, an understanding that their choices impact the purposes for which the information product will be used and the message it conveys.

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

Articles published in magazines and newspapers are generally considered popular sources, in contrast to the scholarly sources published in academic, peer-reviewed journals.  While assignments may require that you cite scholarly resources, popular sources can also play a role in your quest for information.  Popular sources may be a good choice in the following situations:

  • You need to understand a complex topic.  Popular articles are generally written for a non-specialized audience and will explain a topic using easy-to-understand, jargon-free language.
  • You need information on current research.  Articles in scholarly journals go through a lengthy review and editing process before publication, so it can take awhile for current research to make its way to the scholarly literature.  That's why popular sources are a good way of staying abreast of current research and developments in your field of study.
  • You want to read opinions on an issue.  Reading various viewpoints on a topic can provide insight into how people perceive and interpret an issue.


Information literate learners:

  • are inclined to seek out characteristics of information products that indicate the underlying creation process;
  • value the process of matching an information need with an appropriate product;
  • accept that the creation of information may begin initially through communicating in a range of formats or modes;
  • resist the tendency to equate format with the underlying creation process;
  • understand that different methods of information dissemination with different purposes are available for their use.