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Research Guides

Information about Types of Resources

Source Type Description Authors Audience/Use
Scholarly Journals Articles & Books
(i.e. journal articles, edited books)
Peer- or rigorously reviewed sources whose purpose is to report results of original research or analysis Scholars, researchers, and experts in the field of study Scholars, researchers and students

White Papers or Reports

(i.e. White papers or reports from NGOs, Human Rights groups, Think Tanks, etc.)

Report or guide that seeks to present an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision Experts from the organization or agency, staff writers, Public Relations or marketing writers, etc. Practitioners and stakeholders, experts in the field or area, general public

Government Documents

(i.e. Supreme Court documents, hearings, policy briefs, census data, etc.)

Publication produced by a government agency Experts from the government agency, staff writers, Public Relations or marketing writers, etc. Government agencies, national or international stakeholders, general public

News (Local, National, International)

(i.e. The New York Times, The Telegraph, etc.)


Report broad, general information and entertainment; Feature interviews with experts and general public

Reporters, usually not experts on the subject General public, all readers


Information Creation is a Process

Information Timeline

[UPDATE] Click the image below to learn more about source types, when they are published, and the information they contain.

Information Timeline thumbnail

Timeline courtesy of NW Missouri State University's Owens Library