Use this graphic to select the best type of information source for your needs.
|Source||Best for||Intended Audience||Watch for/Consider|
Newspapers are best for:
|Newspapers are intended for a general audience||
When using newspapers, you should watch for and consider that:
Magazines are best for:
|Magazines are intended for general audiences, or those with a specific, recreational interest (e.g. sports, fashion, sciences, etc.)||
When using magazines, you should watch for and consider that:
Professional or Trade Publications are best for:
|Professional or Trade publications are intended for professional organizations or professionals and scholars with similar interests||
When using professional or trade publications, you should watch for and consider that:
Scholarly/Academic journals are best for:
|Scholarly/Academic journals are intended for scholars, researchers, professionals, and university students in a particular field||
When using scholarly/academic journals, you should watch for and consider that:
Books are best for:
|Books are intended for a variety of audiences, from general audiences through scholars.||
When using books, you should watch for and consider that:
Websites are best for:
|Websites are intended for a general audience||
When using websites, you should watch for and consider that:
Understanding the information cycle can be particularly important when you are searching for information about recent topics. Watch the video below to learn more.
If the video is not opening, this may be a browser issue associated with Flash. Try viewing in Firefox.
You can see the infographic and follow the instructions below.
What is the Information Cycle?
The Information Cycle is the progression of media coverage of a particular newsworthy event. Understanding the information cycle will help you better know what information is available on your topic and better evaluate information sources covering that topic.
After an event, information about that event becomes available in a pattern similar to this:
THE DAY OF: Television, Social Media, and the Web (ex: CNN, Twitter, blogs)
THE WEEK OF: Newspapers (ex. New York Times, Chicago Tribune)
THE WEEK AFTER: Magazines (ex. Time, National Geographic)
MONTHS AFTER: Academic/Scholarly Journals (ex. The American Political Science Review, Journal of American Medical Association)
A YEAR AFTER & LATER: Books, Government Publications, and Reference Collections (Popular Titles, encyclopedias, government reports)