Managing information

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In this section, guidance on searching for digital information (access), managing it (interpret) and creating new information sources (create) is outlined using a series of online information literacy modules. To understand how to use and share digital information effectively, we suggest you start with working through the scenario in the Digital Information Literacy module.

Later on you will explore other modules and learn important skills for accessing, using and managing information effectively.

Copyright and plagiarism

When accessing and using information it is essential that we understand how to respect intellectual property (IP). This belongs automatically to any works that are created. Works can be in the form of writing, images, video, audio, diagrams, music, art etc. Authors vary in the copyright licenses that they assign to their works. It is always courteous to acknowledge the original author where possible, that is, to give attribution to their work. Acknowledgement is essential whether quoting what they say, rewording it or taking a copy (if this is allowable) and using it in another way.

Licensing of works

  • Material in the Public Domain can be freely used and re-worked.
  • Creative Commons licences - variety of open licence options for sharing creative works.
  • All rights reserved (no-reuse allowed without permission) - default position of copyright law.

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This is a huge problem now that information is so easily accessible from the Internet. Respecting copyright is just as important online as it is in print. And avoiding plagiarism in your assessment work is absolutely essential for this course.

It is easy to break the rules without meaning to. So take particular care to use your own words and media where possible, and if referring to or quoting another person's work ensure that their licensing allows you to do this and always correctly cite and reference the source.

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  • Avoid unintentionally infringing the rules on copyright and plagiarism. Check out: Ethical use of information
  • To understand creative commons licensing for sharing material, watch this video about A Shared Culture.

Searching for information

Your assessment portfolio will need to include references to literature, so it's essential that you are are able to find relevant materials to support what you write. And because we are all busy, we need to be able to search efficiently to avoid wasting time.

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  • Need to develop your skills in finding relevant information? Here's a great tutorial: Searching for information

Evaluating information

The Internet provides us with easy access to an enormous range of information - but unfortunately not all of it is very good quality! In fact, some is so poor that relying on it in your assessment work will seriously harm the value of what you write.

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  • Need to develop your skills in evaluating information? Here's a great tutorial: Evaluating information

Essay writing

Accessing and managing information when writing an essay or other piece is an art in itself.

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You can use this Essay writing with readings resource to assist.

The resource will help you learn how to access and use information effectively to write an essay, including how to:

  • approach the topic you have been given;
  • collate the information provided; and
  • develop your argument and incorporate your research into the final essay.

Please note: the resource provides only one example of how this may be done.

Managing references

When referring to the literature, it's important that you correctly and methodically cite and reference everything you have used. Finding the right tool to manage all your references will save you a lot of time and help you avoid leaving anything you've used out of the reference list.

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  • For a guide on how to correctly cite and reference information, check out:
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab

Handy tools

Here are some tools that can help you in managing information sources.

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* Zotero - a free web-based tool for managing references.
Video - Overview of using Zotero (15 Min).
Video series - Zotero tutorials.
  • Delicious - a free web-based tool for managing and sharing bookmarks.
  • EndNote - computer-based tool for managing bibliographic references. Not free!