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Assessing an Information Need: Questions and Considerations

Need information? To save yourself time and frustration, the first step is figuing out what you need and where to find it.

Questions and Considerations

Questions to consider

Questions Considerations and Suggestions
What information do I need? Write down your information need in narrative form. Consider the type of information you need: background, current, statistical, etc.
What is the main topic? Identify the key topic(s) of your search.
Can this main concept be represented by any other terms? Generate synonyms for your key topic(s).
What are the supporting concepts? Consider aspects such as therapy, diagnosis, etiology, etc. Consider also population, such as infants, Gen X, African-Americans, women, etc.
Can the supporting concepts be represented by any other terms? Or by a feature of the system? Generate synonyms for your supporting concepts. If you already have an idea of which resource you will use, consider features of that system (subheadings, limits).
What format is needed? Can a feature of the system represent this? Consider internal and external determinants of the format. (See above for more information on format components.)