Information Sources Survey


The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to the types of information sources used by information providers and their communities.  Its goal is to help you to identify and evaluate information sources and determine their appropriate users and uses.

IMPORTANT: The two sources you choose should be a researched-based source (encyclopedia, almanac, academic journal as a whole, authoritative Web site, etc) and a community-based resource (Zine, newsletter, virtual community, blog, etc). Do not choose a single peer-reviewed article as your research-based resource.

The research-based source will be one a member of your chosen community might find in a library and consult to meet an information need. The community-based source will be one a member of your chosen community might contribute to or participate in as part of information seeking behaviors.


Using the materials and resources in modules 6 and 7, locate and describe one research-based and one community-based information source that would be of interest or value to your chosen information community.

The Information Sources Survey (excluding the reference list) should be a minimum of 1200 words in length and no more than 1500 maximum, double spaced, and in APA format.  Note: If one of your sources is a “whole journal,” APA does not have a citation style for a “whole journal.” Please utilize this simple citation style for journals: Journal Name. Publisher. Related Website.

The review should contain the following components:

**A template for the assignment is available for download here: ISRtemplateF19rev

Introduction. Based on your reading in the secondary literature and exploration of your community, clearly describe your chosen information community and the types of information sought and valued by its members.

Resources. Describe each source. List the two sources you located and provide the information listed below.

  • Identify if it is a research-based source or community-based source
  • Complete citation for the information source in APA format.
  • Critical description of the source based on these criteria:

Position within the information cycle: (Choose one and provide 1-2 sentences additional explanation.)

  • Hours/Day of the event: Social media posts or breaking news
  • Days/Weeks after event: New stories, social media, blog posts, magazine articles, secondary new stories, forum posts, etc.
  • Months after the event: Academic journal articles
  • Years after the event: Academic books & Reference works

Scope and content: (subjects, time period, geographical coverage, etc.)

Credentials and authority of the author, editor, and/or publisher:

Purposes and uses:

Intended audience:

Design: (Choose one and provide 1-2 sentences additional explanation.)

  • Online database
  • Reference work, encyclopedia, dictionary
  • Peer reviewed journal as a while
  • Published academic book on a particular topic
  • Web site or online community

Currency and frequency of update: (Choose one, provide the year of publication, and provide 1-2 sentences additional explanation.)

  • Multiple editions
  • Stand alone work: book, e-book
  • Web Site, online community, forums, social networking site

Biases and gaps:

Value for your information community:

Compare and Contrast:  Provide an analysis and comparison of the content and uses of the research-based and community-based information sources.  To conclude, reflect on what this assignment taught you about your information community and the types of resources available for its use. Be sure to include a references section if you cite any articles from our course or your research.


  • Worth 10 points
  • Must be a minimum of 1200 words in length and no more than 1500 maximum, double spaced, and in APA format
  • Submit your finished paper to Canvas (not your blog) using the naming convention: “LastName_NameofAssignment” as a PDF or Word document. 
  • All assignments are due on Sundays unless otherwise noted and must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. PT.   
  • If life circumstances require students to request an extension, please do so several days before the assignment is due or as soon as possible.

Sample Assignments: 


Info Sources Survey Rubric
Criteria Description PTS
Appropriateness and Quality of the Introductory Content
Opening paragraph introduces the information community and, based on the research and professional literature, describes the community’s information behavior and information needs.
2 pts
Analysis, Critical Thinking and Reflection
Provides a critical annotation for each source that addresses the criteria listed in the assignment guidelines: position in the information cycle; scope and content; credentials of author(s) and publisher; purpose; intended audience; design; currency; biases and gaps; value to the information community. Includes a critical evaluation of each source, noting both its strengths and weaknesses.
4 pts
Connections to Course Content and Information Science
Reflects on the sources through the lens of INFO 200 course content and clearly cites course materials to support ideas and connections.
2 pts
Components and Mechanics
Paper has all required components and is error free. 2  pts
Total Points: 10