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Library Information Literacy Modules: Module 2




This module will review the various types of information sources, including primary/secondary sources, peer-reviewed sources, and scholarly materials. The module will include tutorials, exercises, and videos to enhance understanding.

Video: Data, Information, and Knowledge


Video: Types of Sources


Tutorial: Selecting Appropriate Digital Sources





Tutorial: Information Has Value


Video: Primary & Secondary Sources


Video: Primary & Secondary Research


Video: Peer Review


Tutorial: Source Types


Tutorial: How to Read Scholarly Sources


Please take a few minutes to assess what you have learned by completing the survey for Module 2 HERE.

In order to receive confirmation of completion, please complete the quiz for this module.  

You are allowed to take the quiz more than once. To retake, you will find instructions on the last page of the quiz module.


A brief summary of an article. The abstract for a scholarly article will summarize the authors' research purpose, methods and conclusions.


A bibliography is a list of sources about a single topic. Each book listed in the bibliography is identified by its Author, Title, Publisher, Place of Publication, and Date of Publication. Articles from newspapers, journals and magazines include the title of articles, the authors, the journal or magazine, where it was published, the Volume, Issue Number, the Date of the Publication and the Pages the article appeared on. Each discipline has its own style for creating bibliography entries.


A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web (Wikipedia).

Call Number

The letters and numbers assigned to a book to give it a unique location in the library; example: HF 5567.C45 2003. Library of Congress is used for materials at the Palo Alto College Library – this includes all books, journals, movies, and reference works.


The information given in a bibliography or a database about a particular title. The citation may include the article title, periodical title, book title, place of publication, publisher, volume, pages, and date. Refer to a style manual to learn how to format citations for your own bibliographies.


A collection of information, usually electronic, that refers to a place where you can search for articles in journals and magazines. Databases index (or organize) articles, so that they are online and searchable. An example of a Palo Alto database would be: Academic Search Complete.


Important words from your research topic or research question. Keywords are more flexible than phrases or sentences for searching. The more keywords in your search, the fewer search results you will get.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

A library service that allows you to request books and articles from other libraries if we do not own them at Palo Alto.


A global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of a local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies (Wikipedia).

Peer Review (Preferred)

Articles published in peer reviewed journals have been reviewed and edited by a board of expert editors.

Primary Source

Primary source is used to describe several different types of sources. In the Sciences, a primary source is an original research article. In the Humanities, a primary source could be the text of a novel or it could be an artifact like a map or a diary.

Scholarly Source

Scholarly sources are different from news sources because rather than reporting an event, scholarly sources ask and answer questions through some form of analysis. Scholarly sources are written by experts--people who know a lot about their subject, like professors, who may also refer to other sources in a works cited/references list to show where their information came from originally.

Search Engine

An application that searches for, and retrieves, data based on some criteria, especially one that searches the Internet for documents containing specified words (Wiktionary).


The stacks are the place in the library where you can retrieve your books. The stacks are located on the first floor (Children's Library, when open) and second floor (main library). They are arranged by call numbers.


To help you find information in the library, databases can be searched in groups by their subject. For example, you can find all of the Health Sciences databases in one list: or, you may want to search the list of History databases.


The "address" of any particular web page or other element of content on the Internet. The URL includes a Domain Name which is a unique name consisting of a string of alphanumeric characters and dashes separated by periods, that maps to IP numbers. The Top Level Domain (TLD) or Extension identifies an organization, group, or purpose for the site.

Works Cited

A list of sources you have *cited* in your paper. It is also called a "References" list.

World Wide Web

(WWW): the network of pages of images, texts and sounds on the Internet which can be viewed using browser software. The WWW is a small segment of the much larger Internet.