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Advanced Research: Producers/Types of Information (formal and informal)

This guide is for MSJC students and advanced researchers and features topics such as strategic browsing, finding data and using research tips to make your research process better, faster and smarter.

Producers, Types, Formal/Informal

Explore the possible producers of information about any topic.  There are any number of organizations and individuals who might have an interest in the topic.

Information Producers

Information Producers
Government Agencies site:
Congress site:
Research institutes and societies typically nonpartisan and blatantly biased
Community and regional organizations local organizations and agencies and their efforts to deal with issues
Scholars and researchers at college and universities for in-depth scientific studies, quantitative and qualitative research.


Information Types

Question Analysis - Information Types
Information Types Producers
Bibliographic and full-text indexes and databases for Congressional hearings and executive agency reports
Statistical sources published by appropriate government agencies and departments
Maps, charts, and pictures produced by agencies and other groups showing commercial zoning, investment data, land surveys and studies.
Interviews or editorials by private citizens about their perceptions and experiences. 


Formal/Informal Sources

Remember to consider whether you will be needing  information sources (i.e., journals and text that are easily obtained from the library) or whether you will need other more informal sources.  An information source is an individual or organization whose area of expertise is a particular topic.  This information can be obtained by interviews, letters, emails or phone calls.  Of course you may need a combination of both formal and informal sources to identify the full range of information.  Keep in mind that information sources may be complements to formal sources when the latter cannot supply crucial information.