4. Where to find information?

There are lots of different information sources. After defining your topic you can decide which kind of sources would give valuable information for your purposes and where you could access these resources:

Encyclopaedias
Books
Articles
Internet pages
Radio and TV
Interviewing people
Observing a phenomena or making experiments
Etc.

If you want to know more about finding information look at:

 

What kinds of information sources?

Encyclopaedias give crystallised facts about certain topics. Normally books are reliable and carefully written compared with Internet resources. The information cannot be updated so that you might find old information. From articles in magazines you can find information in a compact form about very specific topics. From the Internet you can find lots of information with one query - but you might not find reliable and relevant information! No one is in charge of the Internet information quality. You could use interviews in different ways: to find an expert opinion, to get latest knowledge, to find out public opinions etc. Radio and TV present news, current affairs programmes and documentaries about a wide variety of topics. Making experiments and observing phenomena might also give you valuable information.

You have to decide what kind of information sources could be useful to find answers to the questions you have in mind.

Example
 

In what kind of sources could you find information on your chosen subject and the questions? Where could you find information?
Our primary source of information will absolutely be the Internet, since all the group members have access to a computer and the Internet at home. The rest of the material will be collected from books and journals relating to this topic.

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Where to access information?

One of the best places to find information is of course the library. Libraries offer also online services like Verity so that you do not have to go to the nearest library yourself. If you have defined your task you already know what it is that you want information about. Otherwise you visit to the virtual or real library might turn out to be unsuccessful.

Example
 

How are you planning to find information in the library? What do you plan to ask there? What kind of key words could you use? Do you know how to find information in the library?
We will use the computer terminals in the library to look for information for our paper. Key words used in the search are nuclear energy, nuclear power, the use of energy, sources of energy, nuclear waste. After this we will either order the books from another library or go to get them ourselves. We will also look for books on the shelves ourselves and either read them in the library or borrow them.

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Queries

To locate relevant information sources in a library you have to make information queries. The most common problems with information queries are either too broad questions or too narrow questions. With the help of the librarian you can learn to broaden and narrow your queries in order to get "good hits".

Example
 

Examples of students' inquiry processes? For instance an example of how VL helps to solve too broad / narrow queries? That could be done display by display with explanations.

Here should also be links to national library pages and good materials instructing about electronic searches. A couple of search engines ought to be presented here.
Some materials by Alexandra could be used and also we have some ideas for dealing with this.

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