What criteria are best for determining the relevance of your data sources?

What criteria are best for determining the relevance of your data sources?

data sources

What is a Data Sources

Data sources is very important. In data analysis and business intelligence, a data sources is a vital component that provides raw data for analysis. A data source is a location or system that stores and manages data, and it can take on many different forms. From traditional databases and spreadsheets to cloud-based platforms and APIs, countless types of data sources are available to modern businesses.

Understanding the different types of data sources and their strengths and limitations is crucial for making informed decisions and deriving actionable insights from data. In this article, we will define what is a data source, examine data source types, and provide examples of how they can be used in different contexts.


In today’s world, it is essential to master skills that allow us to manage information appropriately, according to our needs. Being a person competent in information management becomes a fundamental factor for the development of our academic life, as well as our professional life and even staff. Therefore, a key factor will be our degree of autonomy in the management of information.

The history of access to information has been one of universalization and progressive growth. In recent years, we have witnessed a true information explosion, in which the volume of information of all kinds (journalistic, economic, commercial, academic , scientific, etc.) has exploded to reach unthinkable dimensions, almost always difficult to manage.

Thanks to the development of ICT (information and communication technologies), our capacity to process, store and transmit information through the use of computers and communications networks, giving rise to the birth of the information and knowledge society in which we are immersed.


What are the sources of information?

An information source is understood as any instrument or, in a broader sense, resource, that can serve to satisfy an information need.

The objective of the information sources will be to facilitate the location and identification of documents, thus answering the question: where are we going to look for the information?

It is necessary to consider the type of information sources that will be consulted for class work. The student must select sources that provide information at a level appropriate to his or her needs.

1. Books:

We generally call a book a “scientific, literary or any other work of sufficient length to form a volume, which may appear in print or on another medium.”

Traditionally, the book was a printed document, but today we can find many in electronic format. Depending on the content and structure, various types of books can be established:

  • Manuals: These are works in which the most substantial aspects of a subject are gathered and synthesized. They compile basic data that is easy to consult, and are especially useful for getting started in the fundamentals of a discipline.
  • Monographs: They are specific studies on a specific topic and will help us gain in-depth knowledge of the area of ​​knowledge. They can provide both basic and exhaustive information on the topic of the work. We can complete the information using specialized magazine articles.
  • Encyclopedias and dictionaries: They offer synthetic and timely information on a topic for quick reference. There are general ones, for all topics, and specialized ones, for a specific subject. Encyclopedia entries are of medium length, while dictionaries contain short definitions.
  • Doctoral theses: These are research works carried out to obtain a doctorate degree. They are original works, not published commercially, exponents of research, with very complete information on a topic of study.

To locate books we will consult the library catalogue.

2. Magazines:

These are periodical publications that appear in successive installments. They are a fundamental source of up-to-date information, necessary to stay up to date on a topic.

We must highlight that electronic publishing has had a great impact on the publication of magazines, and a large number of them are already They publish in digital format. To locate journal articles we will consult the bibliographic databases.

1 . Library catalogs

Catalogs are databases that include descriptions of the documents held by a library. They include the publications that make up the fund or collection of a library: books and magazines, both printed and electronic, sound recordings, videos, etc. The libraries of the University of Valencia have a common catalog called Trobes.

What can we NOT find in the catalogue?

We cannot find MAGAZINE ARTICLES. Articles contained in magazines must be searched in bibliographic databases.

Through a search system, catalogs allow us to locate documents and find out their availability online. To find books and other resources available through the catalog we can search by different fields:

– Author: search by the last name and first name of an author, the name of a public or private organization

– Title: search by exact title

– Word: search for documents that contain said word in any of the record fields

– Subject: search for records of a specific subject or topic. In Trobes the subjects are in Valencian.

When we have identified the book we are looking for in the catalog, we have to locate it in the library. The catalog provides us with a signature for each copy located and indicates where (room, closet, shelf) in the library we can find it.

The catalog also allows:

– Consult the documents in electronic version subscribed by the library: magazines and electronic books and databases

– Carry out certain procedures remotely: reservations, renewals, etc.

2. Databases available through the Library

In addition to the documents that we find in the library catalog, we may need to search for more information (press, scientific articles, statistics, legislation, jurisprudence, financial data…) on the topic of our work.

For this, the library has a series of databases.

What is a database?

A database is a collection of data (texts, figures and/or images) belonging to the same context, systematically selected and stored, and organized according to a search program that allows their location and automated retrieval.

The libraries of the University of Valencia subscribe to a wide range of databases where we can locate information. We can access through the following link: http://biblioteca.uv.es/castellano/recursos_electronicos/bases_dades/acces.php

They are usually found online and we can access them through the university network or from home by setting up a virtual private network (VPN). They also gather freely accessible databases.

There are different types of databases, depending on the information they contain: bibliographic, factual, press; You can consult the main ones for your discipline in section 2.4. Sources of information in Social Sciences. Some of the most used are bibliographic databases, which contain references to documents, mainly journal articles, chapters, reports, conference communications, patents, etc. Sometimes they contain access to the full text of the documents and/or a summary.

General characteristics:

  • rfield-structured recordsauthor, title, title of the source, type of document, etc.
  • contain iinformation extracted fromprimary sources (journals, monographs, conference proceedings…), submitted to documentary analysis (indexation and summary).
  • They allow you to search by keywords.
  • They allow you to save information to print it, save it, send it to an email account or to a bibliography manager.


The Internet provides access to a large and diverse amount of information and resources. However, unlike libraries that select and evaluate information based on the quality and relevance of each resource, the Internet contains everything, no one is in charge of the content that is hosted, since it is a medium in which it can be self-published.

It is a participatory environment where anyone can contribute information. And that is where the problem of the network lies: not all the information is true or verified. Therefore, when using the Internet as a source of information, we must be critical and know how to differentiate which resources can help us. We must evaluate the information we find, especially if we want to use it to do a job.


One of the first impulses when you feel a need for information is to turn to Google to satisfy it. Although in some cases this resource is sufficient, it is necessary to keep in mind that neither is everything that is, nor is it everything that is, that is, that there is a lot of important information that does not appear in conventional searches and that much of what appears only adds noise and confusion.

How does Google work?

Google incorporates an automatic algorithm that evaluates the sites found, so that only the most relevant ones appear, taking into account the terms or keywords entered in the search. Once the results are obtained, these terms appear in bold, so that the user knows why those resources have been selected.

To evaluate the quality of the resources, Google uses the number of links as a measure. that each page has. In this way, each link from one page to another works as a “quote.” But all links are not valued equally: those links, or quotes, that come from pages that in turn have received more links from other pages are worth more. Through this “democratic” system, Google orders the list of results by placing the websites that receive the most links at the top of the list.

The main characteristic of these search engines is that they only index websites linked to the academic world: journal portals, repositories, headquarters academic websites, databases, commercial publishers, scientific societies, online library catalogs, etc.


In the search process, we can come across a wide variety of information on our topic. However, not all information will have the same value, therefore, we must select the appropriate sources of information, taking into account different aspects.

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