long-term and short-term availability of various government information resources.

School of Information Management

INFO 6300 (Government Information Resources)


Evaluating Long-term Access

This assignment encourages students to independently engage in the assessment of long-term and short-term availability of various government information resources.

Below are the names of two (2) academic journals, as well as, two (2) time periods. Students will search in these journals to identify articles that cite Canadian federal government publications. Once those government publications have been identified, students will then endeavour to locate these publications, in print or electronic format, through online catalogues, databases, repositories, etc., to determine current availability.

Throughout the process of completing this assignment, students will be asked to maintain a brief reflective summary of their search process, any challenges encountered, the ultimate outcomes of their investigations, and reflections on the overall process.

For one (1) journal (below), search through journal issues for 1993 and identify five (5) federal government publications. For the other journal, search through issues for 2012 and identify a further five (5) federal government publications.

Journals:          Canadian Journal of Political Science

                        Canadian Public Administration

Dates:              1993


For each of the ten (10) federal government documents identified, students will be asked to provide a written response that includes the following elements:

  • Name of the journal, year of publication, volume and issue details (e.g., Canadian Public Administration, 1993, 13, 2);
  • Citation for each government document identified (as it appears in the journal article);
  • Short written reflection on the information seeking process, including whether and how the identified document was successfully located. This reflection should include a summary of:
    • Search strategies used to locate the materials;
    • Outcomes of the information retrieval process (e.g., whether or not the item was located, where, and in what format, etc.);
    • Brief overview of any barriers or challenges experienced.

The brief reflective summary : This should highlight any lessons learned, challenges, or surprises experienced during this process.

It is critical that students consider and consult all available resources, including the use of university library research guides, finding aids, etc. both print and electronic formats. It is important to note that it may not be possible to locate each document cited. If you’re unable to locate one of the publications identified, please include it in your submission as this is a possible outcome and an acceptable part of the process.

This assignment seeks to contribute to the following course Learning Objectives:

  • Understand, and be able to, critically assess the policy environment in which government information is produced, managed, disseminated, accessed, and preserved;
  • Be able to deploy advanced and alternative strategies to systematically gather, analyse, synthesize, and communicate information and research findings, including through the use of technology;
  • Understand the need for, and be able to deploy, advanced strategies for navigating and locating government information and data from a diverse range of sources;
  • Be able to articulate the relative strengths and weaknesses of government information and data publication, dissemination, access, and preservation across several jurisdictions;
  • Understand the value of advocacy, community engagement, and accountability across a variety of themes relating to government information resources.

By completing this assignment, students will gain practical experience developing and deploying advanced search strategies and techniques for locating government information in a variety of formats. The assignment will give students hands-on experience with the information retrieval process and with course themes of dissemination, access, and preservation. Students will explore, and reflect upon, key information retrieval techniques and strategies. Students will also have an opportunity to practice, and refine, their written communication skills.

Grading Rubric

The following indicators will be assessed according to the SIM Grading policy:

Information seeking process 50% Process is well-documented and clearly articulates challenges experienced and lessons learned. Demonstrates thorough effort.
Reflective summary discussion post 30% Reflective summary is completed in a thorough manner and shows thoughtful reflection.
Quality of writing 20% Submission and summary were well-written and free of errors.
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