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Understanding Research

Learn how to search, identify, evaluate, and utilize academic research.

Information Sources

The Information Life Cycle

The Information Spectrum

You can think about the NU Library’s resources as sources of information that fall along the lines of an information spectrum. The information spectrum chart provides a helpful way to identify and evaluate the sources and information you will use for research.

Below, the Information Spectrum Chart lists various kinds of information sources and the various places we can find these information sources. Notice that the information sources listed on the left are all found on the Internet and are produced very quickly. The information listed on the right is found in electronic and print formats and includes scholarly information, which cannot always be found freely on the Internet but can be found in the library.

Taken from "DEVELOPING INFORMATION LITERACY" by the Cascadia College COLL101 and Campus Library Team

Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Research

What is peer review?


Journals typically have other experts in the field review articles prior to publication. In a blind peer-review, reviewers know the author's name.  In a double-blind peer-review, neither the author(s) nor the reviewers know the identities of the others. To find the level of peer-review of a particular journal, you usually need to look at the editorial statement of that journal.


Types of Scholarly Articles


See accessible PDF below for full text of image.