Communication and information have been important parts of your world since the start of civilizations. The race of being well-informed or more informed than others is very apparent. There are different types of information. But not every piece of information available online is authentic. The authenticity of information is always in question nowadays. To get efficient information, you should start finding reliable information sources and be clear about what kind of information do you need. Let’s start learning about the basics and importance of information to increase your information about information itself.
1. What is Information?
The common definition of information is that they are data, facts, figures, statements, pictures, voices, videos, or any news that has some worth to the person receiving them. They are formed by processed raw facts and figures. It is something that is given as well as taken. It increases the knowledge of the recipient about something. You can gain information through research, study, communication, observation, instruction, and the like. (See What are Physical Features in Geography?)
2. Why do we need Information?
Information is a key factor that empowers you. With the intake of quality information, you have quality intellectual development also. You excel in the academic field, and your credibility also increases. When you are well-informed about a subject, it is easy to discuss it with others. Being up-to-date with information helps you in a lot of situations. For example, if cops pull you over without any mistake, you know your rights if you are well-informed about your rights. In this situation, you can save yourself from being manhandled. To know what kind of information do you need, read the next segments. (See Why Studying Is Important?)
3. Why Information is Important in Society? What is the Importance of Information in Life?
The current modern society is very much dependent on information. It is available in data, facts, figures, statements, pictures, voices, videos, or any news. It helps you analyze what you know and what you should know. There is a great importance of information in decision-making as it helps you make correct decisions.
It is also very important for the working of different organizations in society. It is necessary for scientists, students, scholars, engineers, and the like. It helps them stay relevant and updated about their subjects and create more milestones in their subjects. You should be well-informed about the past to create a new thing. Without information, your understanding of this world and society will be lacking. (See Why is Quantitative Research Important?)
4. What are the Types of Information?
Now, let’s learn about the types of information. Information is generally available in these four types:
- Factual Information: As its name suggests, it is solely based on facts. It is concise and doesn’t explain. The best sources of factual information are your good old reference books like almanacs, science books, and encyclopedias. Authentic government statistics are also good sources for such information. For example, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, Africa is a continent, etc. Also, check out what are Properties in Science?
- Analytical Information: It interprets the factual information. It explains things like the meaning and implications of factual information. It’s a kind of information generated by researchers in their studies. The source for such information is journals and books. For example, according to Global Peace Index, Iceland is the safest country in the world.
- Subjective Information: It is solely based on opinions and has only one point of view. It can be found anywhere in book reviews, websites, journals, etc. For example, the XYZ town looked really spooky to me.
- Objective Information: It has multiple perspectives and presents all sides of an argument. It is found in reference books, fair newspapers, inside fact files that have opposing viewpoints, and other such content sources. For example, many people find XYZ town spooky, but some love its mystical aura. (See What is the Decimal for 3/4?)
5. What Kind of Information do you Need?
What kind of information do you need is based on the kind of knowledge you want. There are a total of six kinds of information you may need based on your curiosity and situation.
- Conceptual Information: If you want knowledge about some concepts, hypotheses, theories, philosophies, etc., that are abstract ideas and aren’t always scientifically accepted, then conceptual information is the one for you. For example, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, etc.
- Procedural Information: It provides you with knowledge about how to do something. For example, how to climb a tree, how to ride a bicycle, etc.
- Policy Information: It contains data and analysis. It’s used for selecting, designing, and formulating public policies. It knows laws, policies, rules, guidelines, regulations, etc. This information is used to oversee various organizations. Examples are The Constitution of the USA, the food pyramid diagram, etc.
- Stimulatory Information: This information creates a reaction or stimulation amongst a group or an individual. For example, a celebration party after a victory in a football tournament, etc.
- Empirical Information: It’s the information you gain through observation, testing, experimentation, and human senses. It has a scientific foundation to it. It verifies if a claim is true or false. For example, the theory of gravity, atomic theory, etc. Also, check out what is Three Eighths as a decimal?
- Directive Information: If a person or a group wants to gain a particular outcome or a specific result, this type of information helps them by providing directions. It is available in verbal as well as non-verbal forms. It is used in military, government, work leaderships, legal matters, safety matters in everyday life, and experiences. For example, coaching, living wills, organ donation paperwork, etc. (See What is Biomedical Engineering?)
6. How to Determine What kind of Information you Need?
Information is constantly being produced in this world. But not every piece of information is necessary for you, so how can you determine what kind of information do you need? Basically, you need to be specific about the information you consume.
- First, understand what areas you are already well-informed about, then figure out the areas where you lack knowledge. Check out what do Botanists do?
- Create a topic or questions from that area and search for those questions through reliable sources.
- From time to time, you will need to identify your personal information need and search for the same as this need changes according to the situation. For example, you may not need information about manure in your daily life. But when you start gardening, you will suddenly need to inform yourself about manures. (See Why is it Important to do your Homework?)
7. What makes a Source Reliable and Credible?
Consuming quality information is as important as consuming quality food. You will need to refer to a credible and reliable source for quality information if you are aware of what kind of information do you need. The problem is that there is a boom in information sources with the boom of the Internet, but not all of them are credible. A source should check all these characteristics to be reliable and credible:
- It should be bias-free and with accurate evidence.
- It should have up-to-date content.
- It should show relevance to your search.
- It should be a trustworthy publication with a trustworthy author.
- Its authors should be easy to find.
- Its URL, web source, and layout will show its authenticity. (See What is a Theme in Art?)
8. What is the Most Reliable Source of Information?
The primary sources of information like are more reliable sources of information. These sources of what kind of information do you need include newspapers, magazines, empirical results, photographs, letters, diary entries, speeches, interviews, etc. (See What is an Example of Expository Text?)
9. How to Identify Reliable Information? Ways to Identify Reliable Sources
Reliable information has a reliable source. You can identify what kind of information do you need if your source is reliable or not through a series of checks and tests like 5W questions, SMART check, and CRAAP check.
- 5W Questions: Here, you question the accuracy, authority, publisher, purpose, and objectivity of the source by asking who, what, when, where, and why. It then compares this source with other available sources.
- SMART Test: It checks the source, motive, authority, and source review. It also does a two-step check by comparing the source with another such source.
- CRAAP Test: It checks if the information provided by the source is current, relevant, accurate, and has a credible authority and purpose. (See What are the Three Parts of Cell Theory?)
10. How to get Reliable Information on the Internet?
With so many sources on the Internet, it can be hard to pinpoint what kind of information do you need and which one in this sea of sources is a credible source. To get trustable information on the Internet, you will have to check the following thing about the information source:
- Evaluate the website: Check if it has correct author credentials, reader reviews, ratings, about page, and a team of experts. See if it looks professional.
- Correct information: Check if the content provided is verifiable from other sources or through a simple google search. Must read what are the benefits of studying a foreign language?
- Advertisement: A source having a lot of sponsored or advertisement stuff is a sign of biased content.
- Statistics: If the website is very generic and without statistics, it’s not reliable when there is a need for one.
- Up-to-date: Check when was the source last updated. If it isn’t current, it’s not reliable.
- Primary sources: These sources of information on the Internet are the most reliable ones. Don’t go for curated content. If you want to learn about a certain product, visit its official website, not a third-party website.
- Website domains: Check the URL and domain extension as they tell you a lot about the source you are detailing with.
- Google Scholar: You can search for reliable academic information here as it has content from universities, depositories, and academic calendars. (See List of Field of Study Examples)