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Transcript of Information Literacy
Eliot D. Pratt Library - Goddard College
to the library!
IL Skills Summit
What is information literacy?
- Who is the author? What are the author's qualifications?
- Who is the intended audience? Why was this created?
- When was it created? Is the information outdated?
- Did the author cite sources? Who did they cite?
- How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
- Where was it published? In what format(s)?
- Is there author bias? Are you aware of your own bias?
Critical Evaluation of Resources
Research as Inquiry
Keep in mind that research is an iterative, non-linear process.
Narrow and redefine your research topic along the way.
Begin by reading encyclopedia articles either in print or on the Internet to familiarize yourself with the topic.
Make a list of search terms (keywords). Use a thesaurus to find synonyms. Try using keyword variants in different databases.
Real World Relevance
Good news! Information literacy is not a set of skills that you will learn and rarely use again after you graduate.
In fact, information literacy skills will enhance your life in myriad ways.
Nearly every aspect of our lives and every purchase we make requires information literacy skills to make the most informed choices and decisions.
We are constantly called on to evaluate sources of information to determine their credibility, purpose, validity, and currency.
This will not only help in your academic career, but will also help you beyond graduation in everything from determining reliable news sources to purchasing trustworthy products.
You will be prepared to become a lifelong learner, informed consumer, and empowered citizen!
Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.
- ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education (2015)
, the database will look for the terms that occur anywhere in an article.
Full-text searching will usually provide the largest number of results, but many may be irrelevant.
Another option is
. A record in a database consists of several parts, or fields, that can be searched individually.
These fields include
Title, Author, Subject, Abstract
, and more.
Using field searching will narrow your search results to just the field you select.
Peer-reviewed scholarly articles are typically considered the most reliable academic resources, depending on your topic.
Reading academic journal articles and books is different than reading more popular items. No need to read cover-to-cover!
Reading scholarly materials efficiently helps you get the most out of your sources and increases your understanding of your subject.
Citation Tips & Management Tools
MLA or APA?
Some common citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Each one requires you to include similar types of information, but may differ slightly in the details, such as the way components are ordered or formatted.
APA is common in the sciences and social sciences.
MLA usually is used in English, literature, and other humanities disciplines.
Consult your syllabus and your professor.
Purdue OWL https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
APA Style http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/index.aspx
Copyright protection generally covers original works in a fixed format, such as music, novels, films, images, plays, art, etc.
Copyright is not an indefinite protection. In the United States, for works created after 1978, it generally lasts 70 years past the life of the creator.
U.S. Copyright Office
We are here for you on your journey
Email, call, and use the library's website.
Visit the library during residencies!
Call 1-800-468-4888 x 208
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Keep track of your sources as you go.
Jot down quotes with page #'s, title, author, date, etc.
Use citation management software:
Anytime you use another person's words or ideas, you must cite them both in the text of your paper and in a works cited list at the end of your paper. This is true for both quotations and paraphrased ideas.
is an idea or invention that comes from someone's mind. Respecting another's hard work and intellectual output is ethical behavior, and it also benefits you if someone references your work in the future.
This is where the notion of
comes into play. When you use someone else's intellectual property, you must properly give them credit by attributing them in your work.
How to cite
provides basic information about a source.
When you cite a source within your paper, you record key elements that will allow your reader to know where you found your information and who influenced your work.
The exact information depends on the citation style but always will include the author and sometimes the date or page number.
at the end of your research paper includes complete information about each resource you borrowed ideas or data from.
The components you will need to include will vary depending on the type of source you are using and the citation style, but generally include information about the author, title, and publication details.
For a printed item like a book, you will generally be able to find the information you need on the cover or the first few pages inside, such as the copyright page.
For an electronic resource, details usually can be found in the header or footer of the website. You can also consult the About page of the website.
Why cite sources?
Citations let your readers know where you found the information you used in your writing.
Citations enhance your argument and provide support for your ideas.
When faculty members and other academics read your work, they want to be able to follow the thread of research, to see how your ideas fit within the ongoing conversation in the field.
Citations can be followed to discover the sources used to develop ideas. Tracing the citations through multiple articles or books can provide an overview and history of the topic.
This idea of scholarship as a conversation means you have a voice in this exchange of ideas and a responsibility to other researchers to give them credit for the work you use to build your own ideas.
Cliffs of Citations
Public Domain & Fair Use
Works in the
either do not meet the requirements for copyright or their copyright protection has expired. Sources from the public domain can generally be used without permission but still require attribution.
is a limitation to copyright law that allows users to copy a work (a portion or in full) without asking the owner for permission. You can refer to the following 4 factors to determine if you have a case for fair use:
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work (courts tend to favor fair use when the work is non-fiction in nature).
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
Limit Your Search
These are good places to start for background information on your topic and learning terminology.
Scour bibliographies of online encyclopedia entries for articles & books relevant to your research.
Use advanced search options in Google, Bing, etc.
Beware that Google ranks websites based upon popularity and other factors rather than relevance.
Google, Wikipedia, WWW
Information has value
The creation of information products requires a significant commitment of time, original thought, and research.
Being an ethical user of information requires you to show respect for the time, labor and intellectual property of others.
That is why it is so important to use sources in a responsible and ethical manner by attributing credit where credit is due.
It works both ways. Your creations are protected too!
Natural language & Boolean operators
Once you have generated some keywords for your topic, it's time to string them together in a search engine.
Some library resources use
natural language searching
. You are probably already familiar with this technique — commercial search engines such as Google use natural language searching.
While natural language searching may be the easiest method to use, it is generally not the most accurate or efficient.
To get more precise search results, try connecting keywords using
. They may be familiar to you from mathematics or logic.
three Boolean operators: AND, OR, and NOT
- traditional medicine AND mental health
- PTSD OR post traumatic stress disorder
- historical fiction NOT
Nesting & Quotation Marks
is a technique where you combine Boolean operators within parentheses ( ), like mathematical equations.
This allows you to search for multiple variations of keywords, according to the functions of the operators.
For example, you could search for the following:
• (pottery or ceramics) AND (Chinese or Han Dynasty)
When searching for a phrase of two or more words, use
around the phrase. The results will include results containing those words in that exact order. This helps the accuracy of your search.
When you don't put the phrase in quotations, the search will also include instances where the words appear separately, which may be irrelevant.
Keywords reflect the main topic(s) of your research question. It helps to brainstorm multiple keywords related to your topic. Are there different words or phrases that describe what you are looking for?
There may be different keywords to describe your topic, and some library resources may use different terminology than what you think is the obvious choice.
Use a thesaurus can help you find synonyms. You will come across useful search terms as you go.
Omit non-essential words, as they are very common and may not help narrow your search.
You may need to repeat your search several times using different combinations of keywords.
On the first search, you may not know all the right words to use or all the right places to look. It is common to feel uncertain and that's okay.
Open Web vs. Hidden Web
Primary or Secondary Source?
Association of College & Research Libraries. ACRL Logo. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/
Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Quotable quote. Goodreads. Retrieved from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7570-if-you-have-a-garden-and-a-library-you-have
Fiore, Elisa. Quotation marks. PublicDomainPictures.net. Retrieved from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=41872&picture=quotation-marks
Ferlic, Janko. Books with hanging light bulbs. Unsplash Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/search/books?photo=sfL_QOnmy00.
Google, Inc. (2015). Google logo. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Google_2015_logo.svg
Haren, Shonn. Primary sources. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Primary_Sources.png
Haren, Shonn. Secondary sources. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Information_literacy#/media/File:Secondary_Sources.png
Hyeok, Jeong Gu. Keyboard with key. Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/keyboard-key-success-online-621830/
Lin, James.(2005). Reading on the grass 1. FreeImages. Retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/reading-on-the-grass-1-1554151
Linforth, Peter. Question mark man. Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/question-mark-why-question-1829459/
Muffett, Tarresa. 8 essential steps in research process. Visual.ly. Retrieved from https://visual.ly/community/infographic/education/8-essential-steps-research-process
Noble, Glen. Stacks of books. Unsplash. Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/search/books?photo=o4-YyGi5JBc
Ohio University Libraries. How Boolean operators impact search terms. Retrieved from https://www.library.ohiou.edu/archive/2013/11/research-tips-how-i-search-for-information/
University of North Carolina Greensboro. (2012). UNCG Video. Retrieved from
Unknown. Copyright symbol. Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/copyright-icon-license-intellectual-98570/
Waupaca High School Instructional Media Center. When do you cite? Retrieved from http://whsimc.weebly.com/citing-sources.html
Wiggler, Logga. Key chain close up. Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/key-keychain-close-up-123554
Wikipedia. (2017). Wikipedia logo. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_logos
Another way to improve your search is by adding limits. Most databases will have a feature that allows you to limit your search by different factors.
Choose limits by thinking about what types of sources will help you achieve your research goals and avoid irrelevant results.
Conducting a search using limits will usually lead to fewer results, but the results you retrieve will be more relevant to your specific research needs.
You can implement limits before or after searching.
The "Open Web" contains sites that are freely available with no special login or security. Anyone can publish to the web - regardless of their knowledge of a subject.
The "Hidden Web" contains all the websites that are protected and require credentials to access. Subscriptions to scholarly information are part of the hidden web. Most can only be accessed with student or faculty credentials. Your tuition pays for access to the highest quality research available.
Frameworks of Information Literacy
Authority is constructed and contextual
Scholarship as a conversation
Research as inquiry
Information creation as a process
Searching as strategic exploration
Information has value
to search electronic databases more efficiently and effectively.
After finding some relevant resources via keyword searches, take a look at the subject headings for your best resources.
Then, go back and change the keyword field to subject and insert the subject headings you found.
Now you will find more relevant search results for your research topic.
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." - Cicero
Students will be able to…
Define information literacy and understand the new IL framework.
Identify scholarly information using consciously selected criteria.
Determine whether information should be incorporated into an assignment and/or be trusted.
Determine potential bias of an information source.
Perform additional research to verify information.
Choose search tools that will allow for most effective multimedia searching.
Evaluate information resources for authority, currency, relevance, purpose, perspective and other critical criteria.
Recognize bias in information resources.
Differentiate between natural language searching and subject searches.
Limit their search results based on format, date, subject, and more.
Differentiate between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline.
Exploit electronic databases efficiently and effectively.
Understand the value of utilizing library databases and resources instead of commercial search engines, wikis, blogs, social media and other web content.
Cite print and non-print resources with discipline appropriate citation styles.
Define plagiarism and academic integrity.
Understand the institution’s expectations of academic integrity and consequences of acting dishonorably.
Search the library's catalog for books, A/V materials
Search the library's databases for scholarly articles
Consult the library's research guides in your subject area
Use the resources in your program's website:
Where to begin? The Big 4
Keywords are bolded in the research question below:
One search tool might use the keyword phrase "flu shot" and another might use "influenza vaccine." There are also several synonyms for mandatory (obligatory, compulsory, required, necessary) and healthcare workers (provider, practitioner, professional, doctors, nurses, health care, etc.)
Develop a list of several keywords for each main idea in your research question. Mix and match them in the library database search boxes using advanced search.
Full-text searching vs. Field searching