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Urban Planning 217: Community Collaborative

Course guide focusing on COVID-19 Impact on Southern California labor and labor unions

Librarian for Public Policy & Urban Planning

Profile Photo
Michelle Brasseur
Contact:
Young Research Library, Level A
310-825-1639
Subjects: Public Affairs

Flow of Information

The flow of information is a conceptual timeline of how information is created, disseminated, and found.  Information is dispersed through a variety of channels. Depending on the type of information, the time it takes to reach its audience could range from seconds to minutes, days to weeks, or months to years. Knowing how information flows helps you understand what types of information you need and how to search and obtain the targeted information.

Report of Experiment or Phenomena Time Frame Review Process Where to Look Written by Audience
News (Internet / TV / Radio Services / Newspapers) Seconds/Minutes No formal peer-review process Websites
TV news newspapers
Journalists General public
Magazines (print and online) Days / Weeks No formal peer-review process Article Databases
Library catalog
Professional journalists, science writers General public to knowledgeable layperson
Conference Proceedings Presented immediately, sometimes published 1-2 years later Possible peer-review 

Article Databases
Conference websites

Specialists in the field, usually scientists or engineers with PhDs, graduate students, post-docs Scholars, specialists, and grad students
Journal articles (print and electronic)
 
Average 3-9 months Formal peer-review process Library catalog
Article databases
Journal website
Google Scholar
Specialists in the field, usually scientists or engineers with PhDs, graduate students, post-docs Scholars, specialists, and students
Review articles Average 1-2 years Formal peer-review process

Article databases
Review journals
Google Scholar

Specialists in the field, usually scientists or engineers with PhDs, graduate students, post-docs Scholars, specialists, and students
Technical Reports and Government Documents Months to years No formal peer-review process

Technical report databases
Science.gov

Specialists in the field, usually scientists or engineers with PhDs, graduate students, post-docs  Audience varies depending on document or report
Books, E-books Average 1-3 years Editorial process, not peer-review

Library catalog
Ebook Collections

Specialists in the field, usually scientists or engineers with PhDs General public to specialists
Reference Sources, Encyclopedias Average 10 years Editorial process, not peer-review

Library catalog
Ebook Collections

Specialists in the field, usually scientists or engineers with PhDs General public to specialists
Websites and Blogs Seconds/minutes to years none Web search tools Anyone General public to Specialists

 

Evaluate Information Sources Using ABCD: Author, Bias, Content & Date

Author

  • Who is the author?  

  • Are they an expert in the field? An eyewitness? Is it a primary or secondary source?

  • Who are the publishers/researchers/fundraisers? Look for an “About Us” tab or similar.

  • Beware of anonymous authors or use of vague phrases like, “sources say”

Bias

  • Does the source cover multiple perspectives on an issue in a neutral manner?  

  • OR does it seem like the author is trying to sell you something or convince you of something?

Content

  • Is the material relevant to your topic? Can you easily explain it to someone else?

  • Is the information supported by evidence? Was it evaluated or peer reviewed before publication? 

  • Are there any spelling or grammatical mistakes?

Date

  • Is the information still current or has the information in your source become outdated? 

  • For websites, check for broken links as an indicator if the page has not been maintained over time.