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.   It meets INFO 200’s student learning outcomes #5 and #6.

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.


Using the search strategies covered in units 5 and 6, 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: Jounal Name. Publisher. Related Web site.

The review should contain the following components:

Download a template for the assignment here: ISRtemplateF17rev

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.


Submit your finished paper to Canvas (not your blog) using the file naming convention: “LastName_NameofAssignment”.

Sample Assignments: 



Info Sources Survey Rubric
Criteria Points
Introduces the information community and, based on the research and professional literature, describes the community’s information behavior and information needs.
2 pts
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
Discusses the survey’s major findings regarding the resources available to the information community. Compares the value and uses of research-based and community-based information sources.
2 pts
Paper has the required components: introduction; description of research-based source; description of community-based source; comparison, conclusion. 
2 pts
Total Points: 10