Guide to Library Research
Mary Livermore Library
Unit 3: Selecting Resources

The Information Timeline

Depending on the type of resource, the amount of time it takes to get something published varies quite a bit. For example, let's look at the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in terms of information creation (roll your mouse over different points on the timeline to see associated publication types).

Our information timeline is based on the one developed by UNC's Davis Library http://www.lib.unc.edu/instruct/tutorial/searching/timeline.html

  1. "0 Hour"the events begin sometime that morning and the first news starts hitting the airways around 9 a.m. Radio (NPR) and television (CNN) networks start continuous coverage. News websites of all kinds also begin continuous coverage of events.
  2. By the next morning, print newspapers, such as the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times, start to provide daily coverage as well.
  3. National weekly news magazines, such as Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News and World Report, provide weekly coverage of the attacks and the aftermath.
  4. After a month, various magazines, especially professional magazines, such as Foreign Policy and Washington Report, begin to provide in-depth news reports and analyses.
  5. After six months, conference proceedings and articles in professional journals also become available, including some scholarly journals.
  6. After a year, we start to scholarly "peer-reviewed" journal articles, as well as some popular books (possibly written by a news correspondent as opposed to a scholar), become available in libraries. Also government reports become available as well.
  7. After a number of years, scholarly books, as well as reference resources (such as encyclopedias) start to become available. Also, more large scale government documents, such as the 9/11 Commission Report, are also available for study.