Living in an information-driven world is quite a challenging reality. As lots of information is shared and transmitted in so many ways on mediums and platforms, the obstacle to determining the legitimacy and accuracy of every information we acquire becomes a larger problem.

For instance, today, amid the pandemic, is that the challenge for the ballooning of information and excessive data from every person online leads to the establishment of an infodemic. As information spreads at a rapid pace and in a far-reaching manner, the collision of the bulk of information, no matter if it is accurate or not, causes confusion to the masses and turns their information seeking or searching into a perplexing act. In these times wherein threatening health and medical information can cause an alarm for people when being manipulated to misinform them, we need to do our part as citizens. In this blog you will know the skills towards being an information literate individual:

  • Be specific in your information need

We need information but, decoding what we need is sometimes being broad and vague, leading to inaccurate information being acquired. Articulating our information is crucial as it tells us how we can juxtapose it to our knowledge or claims. As we gather information, it could be as statistics, data, facts, opinions, and a lot more. Note-taking and saving this information in digital formats could be helpful in order for us to not lose or destroy information easily once we can collect it. When storing information, you should use a PDF file extension format to ensure that the file is stable and not easy to be altered. PDF files have a PDF/A version from which is ISO-standardized and intentionally designed to archive and preserve digital documents. The most recommended tools to convert PDF files into this can be found in PDFBear’s PDF to PDFA conversion tool. What is great about this tool is that it does not require payment and it is highly safe to use, leaving your file malware-free. Aside from ensuring it could preserve its content, it also preserves the metadata the file has, As the preservation of files becomes a dilemma these days, the tool is truly a huge help for us.

  • Be mindful when finding information

Searching and looking for the information to satisfy your information needs and query could sometimes be challenging. So the tendency is that we used to overlook the most important things on how we should appropriately find information. Keywords are crucial in online search engines when finding information on the Internet. Doing it online could be difficult as lots of information is being uploaded in various databases. As our information needs are specific, we must also find the specific information from these databases. The challenge is that there are lots of information sources from experts and non-experts. We must use the keywords including the name of our trusted information sources in order for us to find the information that we need. In the physical world, the best sources we can go to look and find information in the library, as they have the trusted sources of information from which are chosen by the librarians and information professionals.

  • Be critical when evaluating information

When you have found the information that you need, the most important that you can do is to evaluate the information. Executing it is quite ideal as we are leading to acquiring legitimate and reputable information based on these factors: author’s credentials, date of publication, type of publication, intended audience, objectivity/bias, publisher content, and of course reviews of other people to it. These factors are most likely to be applied in printed information resources. As the Internet is one of the most accessible sources of information, lots of people used to look at the information in it. It seems to be the go-to place of lots of people in the world, perhaps. The challenge in the online information, however, is that content creators could use lots of strategies in order to make their content compelling and be the ‘talk of the folks’ despite its deprived information quality and legitimacy. In evaluating the information, the key is that we should be critical thinkers. Looking beyond the information’s content like the intended audience of the author could affect a lot of the values and areas of the information’s topic. For instance, if the information is intended solely for younger ones, the content could be more filtered and limited to ones that are simple, comprehensive, and ‘decent,’ and could be biased in the lighter side of the information itself, limiting the spectrum of deeper understanding to it.

  • Be proper in applying the information in the context

Integrating and applying the information that we have found, as we had also evaluated it, could be a real thing of a puzzle. Information is powerful, and it could light up a new body of knowledge that we can understand if we have properly systemized it. In integrating new information in the existing one, the context will be defined more profoundly, leading the path to the understanding of the entire concept itself. As we go further, we try to connect everything and those insights from these clouds of concepts, and that is how we become truly knowledgeable.

  • Be mindful when using the information

Every claim that we find and every evidence that we use have their own sources. Acknowledging the right sources, whether they are authors, journalists, politicians, and artists among others, it is important to recognize their names as the information came from them. Backing up your claims is indeed the right thing, but make sure you include the sources. These sources, as we mentioned, can determine whether your information gathered is reputable or not.

Conclusion

As we are living in the Information Age, being an information literate individual, most especially in this time of the pandemic, as we could prevent misinformation and disinformation. These information disorders could affect the decisions of people that can lead them to another havoc.

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