Unit 3: Information Sources: Categorisation

1) What do you understand by sources of information? Name the two broad categories of information sources and give an example of each category.
The sources wherefrom we get information are information sources. These sources comprise documents, organisations, and human beings. The two broad categories of source are: documentary and non-documentary sources. A dictionary is a documentary source and an expert or a university are nondocumentary source.

2) What is a treatise? How does it differ from a monograph?
A treatise is a learned piece of writing on a particular subject. For example, A Treatise on Heat by Saha and Srivastava is used by researchers, scholars, professors, students of physics of Master’s degree course, and the like. It is not used by common men, school or college students. On the other hand, a monograph is also a piece of writing on a particular topic. But, it is written in a simple language whereby it can be used by a specialist, a student even by a common man.

3) Explain a handbook in simple terms.
Unlike encyclopaedias and dictionaries there is no general handbook. A handbook is always devoted to a particular subject or subjects and meant for practicing professionals. Only such information as are required by practicing professionals in their day-to-day work are included in handbooks. For example, Machinery’s Handbook is meant for practicing mechanical engineers, designers, manufacturing engineers, draftsmen, toolmakers and machinists. Hence it contains such chapters as mathematics; mechanics; strength of materials; properties, treatment, and testing of materials; dimensioning, gauging and measuring; tools and tool making; machining operations; manufacturing processes; fasteners; threads and threading; gears, splines and cams; bearings and other machine elements; and measuring units.

4) Name a regional yearbook, and describe broadly its content
The Middle and the North Africa 2005 is a regional yearbook. The regional yearbooks are usually brought out by Europa Publications and they portray the economic and political survey of the region and description of each of the country forming the region. The description includes among others geography; history; economy; statistical survey and directory that embraces the constitution, government, legislature, political organisations, diplomatic representation, judicial system, religion, press, publishers, radio and television, finance, trade and industry, transport, tourism, atomic energy, defence, and education.

5) Enumerate technical/industrial standards and describe the purpose of dimensional standards, and standard test methods.
Technical/industrial standards can be enumerated as dimensional standards; performance or quality standards; standard test methods; methods of use (code of practice); definitions; glossaries and  symbols. Dimensional standards are formulated to secure uniformity, interchangeability, and simplification of the types and sizes of one product. Standard test methods are formulated for testing, chemical analysis, determination of constituents in a chemical compound, and so on.

6) Do you think a common man can also be a source of information? If so, for what
type of information you will approach a common man. 
Yes, a common man can also be a source of information. During census operation, an enumerator approaches a common man for getting information about his/her family members, their qualifications, sources of income, family planning measures they have undertaken, and so on. For investigation of a crime, an accident, and so on, common people are approached for information, if they are witnesses.

Document : A piece of written, printed or electronic matter that provides information or evidence or that serves as an official record.
Documentary Sources: Sources that are in the form of documents.
Non-Documentary : Sources that are not in the form of documents, e.g. Sources organisations, persons.
Primary Sources : Sources that carry original contributions, information that is appearing for the first time, etc. These are the base for secondary sources.
Secondary Sources : Sources that are based on the material published in the primary sources.
Tertiary Sources : Sources that are based on secondary sources, or act as key to the primary and secondary sources
Source: IGNOU Study Material

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