Types of Information

1. Scholarly.

Scholarly information is information drawn from the research of field experts. The Central Connecticut State Universities advise that when learning about a topic, one must rely most on scholarly sources because they are created by experts whose works have been peer-reviewed before being made public. 

An expert is someone whose credentials are recognized by the practitioners, teachers, and students of a particular field. Peer-review is a process where one’s findings/research is evaluated by fellow experts. Scholarly sources must be peer-reviewed before they can be published. References and citations are indicated so that everything can be verified.

2. Professional/ Trade.

Professional or trade information includes current news and trends about a specific industry presented to experts and enthusiasts by someone with knowledge in the field. Professional or trade journals do not have to be peer-reviewed to be published but they are exposed to a higher level of scrutiny from people with knowledge in that field.

3. Entertainment/ Popular.

Popular information is information meant for the general population. A journalist, staff writer, or content producer may use some entertaining hooks in order to catch attention or to be easily understood. It is derived from or a discussion of other people’s work.

4. Opinion.

An opinion is a viewpoint, judgment, or statement that is not conclusive. Opinions on a specific matter will vary from person to person and will not be thoroughly resolved. However, in instances when the best—if not the only—answer must be found, it is wise to choose among informed and sound opinions. An intelligent opinion is an argument for a conclusion based on an analysis of verifiable facts and reliable information. Two people may come up with opposing conclusions based on the same verifiable facts and information, but the disagreement may be sufficiently resolved when new facts or arguments are presented. Medical, legal, and judicial opinions are some of the examples in this category.