Skip to Main Content

Information Cycle

A guide about the Information Cycle and how to search for news

Information Cycle

The Information Cycle refers to the way that information is produced and distributed, changing and evolving over time.

Facts about the covered event, as well as interpretations of those facts, change over time, and what information is conveyed can depend on the media source. A social media post the day of the event will have a different scope, and possibly accuracy, to a retrospective book written years later.

It is important to think about when the information you are reading/watching/listening to was created and by who. 

Video from the University of Illinois Scholarly Commons


This explanation of the information cycle is meant as a guide. Depending on the event, information may not follow this path exactly. 

Some things are certain. You will not find a peer-reviewed article about an event the week or month after it happened (the process to publish academic articles takes longer than that). 

Books are unlikely to appear until at least 6 months after then event. 

If you have any questions about the Information Cycle or finding sources, please contact the library! We are here to help!