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Information Literacy Instructional Toolkit: Frame 2: Understanding the Information Lifecycle


"Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method.

The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences" (ACRL, Information Creation as a Process).


Relevant learning concepts:

  • Why did the author(s) select a particular format for the publication of their work?
  • How and for whom was the information produced?
  • When and why are particular formats of information appropriate?

Source:  Bucknell University

Teaching Resources

Title: Process Cards (for teaching format as process)
Description: This activity asks students to sort, discuss, and rank six information formats (tweet, blog, Wikipedia article, news article, scholarly article, and scholarly book) based on specific information creation processes (e.g., time, ease, research, editing, and length).
Resource type: Classroom activity
Original author(s): Kevin Seeber
Added: 02/13/2017 By:
Frame(s): Evaluating authorityUnderstanding the information lifecycle


Title: The Source Deck
Description: This sample source deck provides examples as well as instruction on the various kinds of source types you can gather to illustrate various outcomes related to the topics of understanding source types, identifying parts of a citation, as well as understanding the publication timeline.
Resource Type: Classroom activity
Original author(s): Meagan Christensen, Todd Burks, & Meridith Wolnick (University of Virginia Library)
Added: 02/13/2017 By:
Frame(s): Evaluating authorityUnderstanding the information lifecycleUsing information ethically


Title: Format Matters (Research 101)
Description: This video describes "the value of knowing the process used to produce information and how format is one way to examine credibility".
Resource type: Video
Original Author(s): University of Washington Libraries
Added: 05/31/2017
Frame(s):Understanding the information lifecycle


Title: Know Your Sources: A Guide to Understanding Sources
Description: This infographic presents descriptions of various information formats / sources and factors to consider when selecting a specific type.
Resource type: Image
Original Author(s): Portland Community College Library
Added: 05/31/2017
Frame(s):Understanding the information lifecycle


Title: Political Internet Literacy
Description: To help students find research articles about current events and politics; help them understand there are differences between articles written in general magazines, articles written in scholarly journals or for partisan political purposes, & help them understand the research process.
Resource Type: Lesson plan
Original Author(s): Jennifer Schwartz, DePaul University
Added: 05/15/2017 By:
Frame(s): Evaluating authorityUnderstanding the information lifecycleEngaging in the research processParticipating in scholarly conversationsSearching effectively