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Information Literacy Research Skill Building: Basic Timeline for Information

This guide contains information literacy instructional materials based on the ACRL Information Literacy Standards.

Basic Timeline

WSU Library Instruction

Basic Timeline for Information


1. The Past

Historical Context = long before the event or development

Well before an event occurs, or a movement or trend develops, the foundations of its existence may be in place. Researchers may be able to understand a great deal about an event or development by making connections to its historical roots. At WSU, one can search for historical information through the Search It, through article indexes and databases, and the collections of MASC.

Recent History = shortly before the event or development

Some events or developments happen with little warning while others seem to come from long and clear strings of causes. There may be key information one can access that was generated directly before the event or development. Often times this information takes the form of personal communications from those involved in the event. At WSU, one can search for historical information through the Search It, through article indexes and databases, and the collections of MASC.

2. The Present and the Future

  Day of Event Day/Days After Week/Weeks After Months After 1-3 Years After More Than Three Years After
Information Sources TV/Radio/News Blog, Wikis Newspapers Blog, Wikis Popular Magazines Journals Books Reference Books
How to find information at WSU Libraries look at the WSU Libraries listing of news and current events links, use the resources found in the Current Journals/ Newspapers Reading Room look for newspaper titles in the Search It; search for events, topics, and authors within newspapers by using article indexes and databases; browse the resources found in the Current Journals/ Newspapers Reading Room look for magazine titles in Search It; search for events, topics, and authors within magazines by using article indexes and databases; browse the resources found in the Current Journals/ Newspapers Reading Room look for journal titles in Search It; search for events, topics, and authors within journals by using the subject listings of selected electronic article indexes and databases; browse the resources found in the Current Journals/ Newspapers Reading Room look for book titles, authors, and subjects in Search It look for reference book titles, authors, and subjects in Search It
Audience General Public General Public Knowledgeable Layperson Scholars, Specialists, Students General Public to Scholars General Public to Scholars
Kind of Information General (who, what, when, where, not why yet) Varies (some article analysis, statistics, photographs, editorial opinions) Combination of Day of Event and Day/Day(s) After Information Research results, detailed and theoretical discussions, bibliographies available for the first time comprehesive coverage, in-depth analysis every information type from this row available, best resources lists available
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