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Information Literacy: Types of Resources

A guide to information literacy for students and instructors.

Non-Traditional Formats

Sources can come in many formats.  The Internet holds many resources such as blogs, vlogs, wiki’s, rss feeds, videos, audio files, photos, tweets, Facebook Pages, and many other types.  These can be a wealth of information for your research provided they are properly documented.

These sources will vary in reputation so make sure to evaluate your sources and contact your instructor to make sure they fit their standard.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the practice of copying someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. In academia, publishing and journalism, it is considered dishonest and is subject to non-legal penalties, unless it also violates copyright law. In order to avoid plagiarism, authors must give credit to originators by using standardized forms of citations that are part of style sheets. 

Types of Resources


Databases & eReference contain accurate and trustworthy information-- these are subscriptions paid for by the library similar to magazine subscriptions but online to allow greater accessibility.


Internet resources require the most work to utilize as they require the most research to ensure they are a creditable resource.  Varied in nature and can contain outdated or misinformation, internet resources are fickle.  Reputable sites can contain the latest information that is unavailable in journal or book format yet.  If the information is housed on a reliable website it can often elevate your research.  

Books & eBooks

A staple of research, these resources are often good for getting a basic idea of a topic or field.  However, they can quickly become outdated as research continues.  For technology and medical fields, any information found in an older book should be cross-referenced with a newer journal or creditable online source.

RSS Feeds

RSS (really simple syndication) feeds are a great way to stay up to date on industry information.  These feeds update automatically as new articles are produced.  Below is a sample feed from Wired Gear.

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