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Introductory Science Resource Guide for Cal Poly Pomona Students and Faculty

Information Overload


With millions upon millions of new articles, essays, books, and other pieces of information being published every year, finding reliable information for your assignments and research projects can be a challenge! Some easy ways to start finding, understanding, and using reliable information can look like

  • Locating Peer Reviewed articles – these are often more reliable and rigorous than other non-peer reviewed sources
  • Using your Information Literacy skills -- when in doubt, think critically about the information you've found
  • And Evaluating your Online Sources – ask questions!

What's Peer Review?

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field.

Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication.

Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review. It can also be used as a teaching tool to help students improve writing assignments. (Wikipedia)

The below diagram shows how peer review works:


Graphic created by Ariel Hahn (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Being an Engaged Researcher

Information Literacy Basics

When thinking about academic research, scholarly writing, and other forms of information you might encounter as a student at Cal Poly Pomona, it's incredibly important consider how information gets to you as well as what external forces helped shape it's creation. Using the below six concepts, you can start to ask better questions and learn to be a more critical consumer of information:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015)

In practice, these concepts can look like moving through the four strategies below and asking yourself questions about whatever online resource you've encountered:



The above diagram was created by West Chester University's FHG Library -- specifically Grace Liu, Amy Pajewski,and Rachel M. McMullin. Their online tutorials can be found here. Their additional resources can be found here. (CC-BY)

Using Google to Find Information

Updated Google Logo (2015)

Search the internet more effectively by asking yourself these questions:

Who is the author?What are their credentials?What possible biases exist? When was this source published?