Digital Literacy

Introduction to Locating Information

A digitally literate citizen should understand the process of discovering and locating materials. Where you search may be dependent upon what information you need and why. For example, a Google search may be perfect for you to search for restaurant reviews or when you need to check the local weather. However, you will want to understand how to access the UNF Library's databases to search for academic and peer-reviewed materials when working toward completing papers and research projects. Your UNF librarians offer one-on-one and small group research consultations to help you through the research process. When you understand where digital information is stored, why it is stored, and how it is stored, you will make better choices for finding applicable information.

Helpful Resources

Take the time to understand the different source types where you may locate information: Newspapers, Popular Magazines, Professional Journals, Scholarly Journals, Academic Books, and Encyclopedias. 

Infographic of different types of information including newspaper, popular magazine, professional journal, scholarly journal, academic book, and encyclopedia.

Creative Commons License Infographic licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike license
Portland Community College Library. 
Infographic Transcript of Library Resources
Newspaper Popular Magazine Professional Journal Scholarly Journal Academic Book Encyclopedia
A reporting and recording of cultural and political happenings that keeps the general public informed of daily events, sports, and current news. Opinions and public comments can also be included. A glossy compilation of information, entering stories with unique themes intended for specific interests-or lifestyles-from celebrities to gardening to gaming. A collection of work related articles that keep professionals up-to-date on the latest trends, breakthroughs, and controversies in their field. A collection of analytic reports that outline the objectives, background, methods, results, and limitations of new research written for and by scholars in a niche field.  A book in which the information presented is supported by clearly identified sources. Sometimes each chapter has a different author, and the editor pulls them all together into a whole. Often these types of books have a narrow and specific focus.  A book or set of books giving information on many subjects or on many aspects of one subject. Some are intended as an entry point into research for a general audience, some provide detailed information. Most list relevant books and articles for further information on a topic. 


Halpin, P. A. (2016). Using Twitter in a nonscience major science class increases students’ use of reputable science sources in class discussionsJournal of College Science Teaching45(6), 71–77.

Kim, J. S. (2020). A series of digital research discoveriesEighteenth Century Fiction33(1), 107–109.

Liping Deng, & Tavares, N. J. (2015). Exploring university students’ use of technologies beyond the formal learning context: A tale of two online platformsAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology31(3), 313–327.

Murray, J. L., & Feinberg, D. E. (2020). Collaboration and integration: Embedding library resources in CanvasInformation Technology & Libraries39(2), 1–12.

Thomas, C., Vardeman, K., & Jingjing Wu. (2021). User experience testing in the open textbook adaptation workflow: A case studyInformation Technology & Libraries40(1), 1–18.

Woodson, A. N. (2015). Just Google it?: Supporting historical reasoning and engagement during online researchSocial Education79(5), 256–260.


Beware online "filter bubbles". 

E. Pariser


What Are Databases and Why You Need Them

Yavapai College Library


UNF Basic Searching Using UNF Library's OneSearch