2.1 Available at Your Fingertips!

We know that you know how to find stuff on the internet. But is it the right stuff that you need for your college-level assignments? In today’s digital world, we go online for nearly everything. It only makes sense that academic research has also gone online. However, finding scholarly information on the internet is not always easy. Research has shown that first-year college students often have difficulty making the transition from using Google to developing a more comprehensive set of research skills.  If you plan to do academic research, you will need to know how to effectively select appropriate search tools, develop keywords, and evaluate your search results.

Information Has Value

Information is powerful. All information has value of some kind, whether it is making money, sharing knowledge, informing decisions, encountering new perspectives, or helping you engage with the world around you. Value is also relative to your information needs. The same content can have more or less value depending on your purpose.

Since information can have monetary value to its creators, publishers and copyright holders often seek to protect that value by placing their content behind paywalls.

A paywall is a system that requires users to either pay to access content, log in, or be members of a community (like ISU) that has paid subscription fees for them. For example, Netflix is a subscription service that keeps its content (streaming movies and television shows) behind a paywall. A vast number of scholarly materials are also locked behind paywalls; however, there are resources online that are scholarly, reputable, and do not charge access fees.


LIB 160: Information Literacy Copyright © 2019 by Iowa State University Library Instruction Services. All Rights Reserved.

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