These are discussed below, and are followed by exercises to help develop your fluency in this area. Look at your question and your thesis/hypothesis, and make a list of the terms common to both lists (excluding “the,” “and,” “a,” etc.). What is it that you don’t understand about that thing? In fact, Norm thought the paper would probably be much longer than the required ten pages. The ‘ information ’ and ‘ need ’ in ‘ information need ’ are an inseparable interconnection. That same lack of space may mean you do not report what others have said about your question. It’s rare that you’ll start a search from absolute zero. This type of chart enables you to state both what you know and what you want to know, as well as providing space where you can track your planning, searching and evaluation progress. They may be the most useful search terms overall or they may only be a starting point. Does your proposed answer really answer that question? And in order to do research based on what has already been found out, you will have studied what others have already reported. Because of the widely varying quality of new information, evaluation is also a key element of information literacy, and will be addressed in the Evaluate chapter of this book. If none of the terms from your question and thesis/hypothesis lists overlap at all, you might want to take a closer look and see if your thesis/hypothesis really answers your research question. The information need for the various purposes is enumerated below as: Information is an aid in decision making, policy making needed for the policy makers, decision makers, managers etc. Analyzing and assessing the information needs of clients is key to the provision of effective service and appropriate collections in both face-to-face and virtual library services. Teaching & Learning, Ohio State University Libraries, Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Soon he leaned back in his chair and looked over what he had written. Teachers and health care providers need to be able to assess patient needs and communicate clearly. But the concept of information needs has proved to be an elusive one, difficult to define, isolate and measure. Information needs are why you need sources. Another word for needs. Rarely mentioned in general literature about needs, it is a common term in information science. For final products other than term papers, you’ll have the same needs and will use sources to meet them. To convince your audience that your answer is correct or, at least, the most reasonable answer. This is where you define the limits of what you are searching for. Whatever project you are currently working on, there should be some question you are trying to answer. While the identification of an information need is presented in this chapter as the first step in the research process, many times the information need you initially identified will change as you discover new information and connections. Norm Allknow was having trouble. One of the first things you need to do when beginning any information-based project is to identify your personal need for information. One of the most important things you can do when starting to research a topic is to scan the existing information landscape to find out what is already out there. In the first column, list what you know about your topic. Dates of birth. Do you want general or specific information about the subject? You may not be familiar with specialized terminology used in the field you are researching. For another way to think about the work your sources do, see Roles of Research Sources. You'll need to provide the following information: Basic information about you, your family, and your pets; Who you want to be the Guardian to take care of your children and pets, if applicable; Who you want to be the Executor to administer your estate and carry out your Will On a poster about your own original research, you aren’t likely to have room to describe the situation surrounding your research question and why the question is important. II M.L.I. In this chapter, you will learn about the first pillar of information literacy. Often the information you found for your initial need will turn out to be the pathway to a rich vein of information that can serve as raw material for many subsequent projects. You might realize while out walking that you can’t identify any of the trees around your house. You know that it’s plastic, and that it’s designed to repel water, but can’t explain why this happens. Having your online information hijacked is a nightmare, and, should it happen to your business, it could cost you customers. An information management framework via Wikipedia. But you won’t be doing any of that alone. Information needs for operational decision making may relate to regional sales data, supply-chain management for a specific product, or any other similar information. What facts or background information do you already know? Information needs are why you need sources. The term information need is often understood as an individual or group's desire to locate and obtain information to satisfy a conscious or unconscious need. Taking extra steps to protect your personal information—and knowing what information you need to safeguard—is the best way to prevent identity theft from happening to you. As previously discussed, gaining a general understanding of the information environment helps you to situate your information need in the relevant context and can also make you aware of possible alternative directions for your research. Now write your proposed answer to your question. In the second column, briefly explain how you know this (heard it from the professor, read it in the textbook, saw it on a blog, etc.). Information needs can be divided into the following categories: a. You may be assigned a topic you have never heard of. How can you express what you need to find out? So, it helps to think critically about our information needs before we start looking for sources. He had been using computers since he was five years old and thought he knew all there was to know about them. This can be driven by curiosity or the need to make a decision or complete a task. Social or Pragmatic Information Needs: Information required coping with day to day life. Other chapters in this book deal with finding, evaluating, and managing information in a variety of ways and formats. When reading an article or textbook, you may notice that something the author refers to is completely new to you. Taking your lack of knowledge and turning it into a search topic or research question starts with being able to state what your lack of knowledge is. You’ll find that it’s not uncommon to revise your question or thesis statement several times in the course of a research project. We may mistakenly assume, as Norm did in the above example, that we already know enough to proceed. You may be surprised at how little or how much you already know, but either way you will be aware of your own background on the topic. Defining Information Needs. We’ll get into more specific strategies for accessing different types of information later in the book, particularly in the Gather chapter, but for now it pays to think more broadly about the information environment in which you are operating. Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research by Teaching & Learning, Ohio State University Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! Information literacy addresses a number of abilities and concepts that can help us to determine exactly what our information needs are in various circumstances. This page explores the different types of documents available and how you may access them. If you state them clearly, they can help to keep you on track as you proceed with your research. On a more practical note, however, reading through some of the existing information can also provide you with commonly used terminology, which you can then use to state your own research question, as well as in searches for additional information. Our information needs are determined by an assignment's requirements, the research questions we're trying to answer, how much we already know about a topic, who will read our research, and many other factors. Social Security numbers. Your information literacy skills will develop against this changing background as you use the same underlying principles to do research on a variety of topics. For instance, in order to justify doing the research to yourself and your professor, you probably started by meeting the information need to describe the situation and why it is important. Once you’ve clearly stated what you do know, it should be easier to state what you don’t know. Taking stock of what you already know can help you to identify any erroneous assumptions you might be making based on incomplete or biased information. Continually think about your relationship to the information you find. Find more ways to say needs, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Your initial questions may be too broad or too narrow. He spent a few minutes imagining how impressed his teacher was going to be, and then sat down to start writing. In most research projects, you will find that you move back and forth between the different pillars as you discover more information and come up with more questions about your topic. Once you have identified your own lack of knowledge, investigated the existing information on the topic, and set some limits on your research based on your current information need, write out your research question or state your thesis. This may be the first draft of your thesis statement which you will attempt to support with your research, or in some cases, the first draft of a hypothesis that you will go on to test experimentally. While the pillars are normally presented in a certain order, it is important to remember that they are not intended to be a step-by-step guide to be followed in a strict order. If not, you may have arrived at your first opportunity for revision. Meeting those needs is what you’re going to do with sources as you complete your research project. b. Recreation Information Needs: Information satisfying the recreational and cultural interests of … One of the first things you need to do when beginning any information-based project is to identify your personal need for information. One useful way to keep your research on track is with a “KWHL” chart. This exercise gives you a simple way to gauge your starting point, and may help you identify specific gaps in your knowledge of your topic that you will need to fill as you proceed with your research. Such an assumption can lead us to waste valuable time working with incomplete or outdated information. Why are you doing things the way you are? If your company is on a growth path, choose a system that can grow with you. This may seem obvious, but it is something many of us take for granted. Primarily you need to be aware of where to look for information, how to access it and how to use it. Part of this is to state what you already know. But meeting each of the other information needs will result in written sections of a term paper. 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