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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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1.4 Where information sources are located

So far in this section you have looked at different types of information. If you go on to study at university, in your first year you will generally be provided with the required books and articles and other resources. Later on, you may be required to search for more information or you may simply be interested in finding out more about a specific topic.

To be able to do this, you need to know where to find sources that are relevant to you. In the next activity, you are shown different types of information source and asked to decide where they are most likely to be found.

Activity 4

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes

Some examples of information sources are books, journal articles, references to chapters in books or journals, and daily news. Where would you be most likely to find these items? Choose between:

  • libraries
  • databases
  • internet
  • booksellers
  • the media.

Note down your thoughts (either in the table below or on paper) about where you think each item can be found, before looking at the answers and comment below. In many cases it may not be a simple 'yes' or 'no', and the items could be found in numerous places.

Table 1
LibrariesDatabasesInternetBooksellersThe media
Books
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Journal articles
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References to chapters in books or journals
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Daily news
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Answer

Table 1
LibrariesDatabasesInternetBooksellersThe media
BooksYes, and also in booksellers and maybe on the internetNoPossibly but usually not.Yes, and also in libraries and possibly on the internetNot usually
Journal articlesYes, particularly university and college librariesYes, journal articles make up most database contentYes, sometimes, but check if the journal articles are refereed or notNot usuallyPossibly, but the journal articles may not be refereed
References to chapters in books or journalsYes, in indexesYesPossiblyNoNo
Daily newsYes, libraries usually have daily news itemsNoYes, lots of news sites and e-newspapersNot likely unless the bookseller sells newspapers tooYes, also electronic news sites on the internet

Comment

As you can see from this activity, depending on their type, these sources can normally be accessed online, through a library or from a newsagent. Some of these are freely available, but unless you are enrolled in a university degree, you will have to pay or purchase a subscription to view the full version of most specialised books, newspapers, magazines and online journals. These sources are readily available to current students through their university library.