- The key to being a savvy online searcher is to use common search techniques that you can apply to almost any database, including article databases, online catalogs and even commercial search engines.
- This is important because searching library databases including the library book catalog is similar but different from searching Google.
- The techniques described in this section will enable you to quickly retrieve relevant information from the thousands of records in a database.
- When you search a database and do not get the results you expect, first refine your search - and then ask the Librarian for advice. She is happy to help you find what you need.
The information literate student can: 1
- Determine the extent of information he or she needs
- Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluate information and its sources critically
- Incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and be able to access and use information ethically and legally
1Although the term ´information literacy´ is spreading throughout the library literature today, it is not a new idea. Faculty have been concerned about teaching these concepts and skills for a long time.
Why is Information literacy important?
The ability to locate, evaluate and use information has always been important, but in today's Information Age, with the explosion of online library and Internet resources, these abilities take on a new urgency. Having more information from which to choose can make research more difficult rather than easier. Often the easiest information to find is unfiltered or unreliable, making information literacy skills more important than ever.
Information literacy skills are important for students´ academic, work and personal lives. In academia, discipline specific information is constantly changing, and much of what students learn in class will become outdated. An information literate student is a lifelong learner, with the skills necessary to continually find and evaluate information about new developments in an academic discipline. In an information economy, students will need information literacy skills to succeed in the work force, whether they are creating a marketing proposal for a new product or looking for current medical research to treat a patient. Information literacy skills also enrich students personal and civic lives. For example, students will draw upon these skills to apply for government services, buy a car, participate in elections, make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families, and manage their finances.
How is information literacy taught?
Students are more likely to learn the concepts and skills in the context of an academic course when they have an information problem to solve. For that reason, information literacy best practices recommend integrating the teaching of information literacy into the curriculum. Ideally, information literacy competencies are sequenced and integrated into the curriculum of an academic department. As students move through their major, they master increasingly sophisticated competencies.
How do I know if students are learning?
Any information literacy program will include an assessment of student learning. Individual assessments are developed in consultation with the faculty member. For an example of how information literacy assessment may be approached, see the current Teaching & Learning Services Assessment Plan.
1 (Adapted from the Association of College and Research Libraries "Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education")
Comments shared from the University of Texas: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/services/instruction/aboutinfolit.html
Research is Messy
Research is a messy process! There is no one-size-fits-all-research tools, and instead you need to blend a few resources together to get the right mix and discover appropriate resources for your need. There are a number of types of tools that have different types of resources. Below are your best bets for specific types of research, though the thoroughness of your results will vary.
|Type of Resource||
|Scholarly Journal Articles||√||√||√||√||√|
|Non-scholarly/ popular articles||√||√||√||√||√|