ODU LIBRARIES: Information Literacy and Research

Information Literacy Standards of the ACRL
(Associaton for College and Research Libraries)

Standard 1
Standard 2
Standard 3
Standard 4
Standard 5

Standard 2:
The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.
  2. The information literate student constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies.
  3. The information literate student retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.
  4. The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.
  5. The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.

1. The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.

Outcomes Include:

A. Identifies appropriate investigative methods (e.g., laboratory experiment, simulation, fieldwork)

Practice:

  1. Students are given a specific research idea and asked to brainstorm different methods for investigating and gathering data for this project

B. Investigates benefits and applicability of various investigative methods

Practice:

      1. Students are introduced to various methods of investigation and then asked to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each give a specific case study.

    C. Investigates the scope, content, and organization of information retrieval systems

      Objective:

      1. Describes the structure and components of the system or tool being used, regardless of format (e.g., index, thesaurus, type of information retrieved by the system).
      2. Identifies the source of help within a given information retrieval system and uses it effectively.
      3. Identifies what types of information are contained in a particular system (e.g., all branch libraries are included in the catalog; not all databases are full text; catalogs, periodical databases, and Web sites may be included in a gateway).
      4. Distinguishes among indexes, online databases, and collections of online databases, as well as gateways to different databases and collections.
      5. Selects appropriate tools (e.g., indexes, online databases) for research on a particular topic.
      6. Identifies the differences between freely available Internet search tools and subscription or fee-based databases.
      7. Identifies and uses search language and protocols (e.g., Boolean, adjacency) appropriate to the retrieval system.
      8. Determines the period of time covered by a particular source.
      9. Identifies the types of sources that are indexed in a particular database or index (e.g., an index that covers newspapers or popular periodicals versus a more specialized index to find scholarly literature).
      10. Demonstrates when it is appropriate to use a single tool (e.g., using only a periodical index when only periodical articles are required).
      11. Distinguishes between full-text and bibliographic databases.

      Practice:

      1. Students are asked to search the same topic in various different online resources and to compare and contrast their findings.

D. Selects efficient and effective approaches for accessing the information needed from the investigative method or information retrieval system

Objective:

    1. Selects appropriate information sources (i.e., primary, secondary or tertiary sources) and determines their relevance for the current information need.
    2. Determines appropriate means for recording or saving the desired information (e.g., printing, saving to disc, photocopying, taking notes).
    3. Analyzes and interprets the information collected using a growing awareness of key terms and concepts to decide whether to search for additional information or to identify more accurately when the information need has been met.

 Practice:

    1. In a group students are asked to develop a list of “short-cuts” for searching various given databases.
2. The information literate student constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies.

Outcomes Include:

A. Develops a research plan appropriate to the investigative method

Objective:

      1. Describes a general process for searching for information.
      2. Describes when different types of information (e.g., primary/secondary, background/specific) may be suitable for different purposes.
      3. Gathers and evaluates information and appropriately modifies the research plan as new insights are gained.

     Practice:

      1. As a first step in completing an assignment students develop a plan with steps for the process from start to finish.

B. Identifies keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed

Objective:

    1. Identifies keywords or phrases that represent a topic in general sources (e.g., library catalog, periodical index, online source) and in subject-specific sources.
    2. Demonstrates an understanding that different terminology may be used in general sources and subject-specific sources.
    3. Identifies alternate terminology, including synonyms, broader or narrower words and phrases that describe a topic.
    4. Identifies keywords that describe an information source (e.g., book, journal article, magazine article, Web site).

 Practice:

    1. Have students write topic down, then pass the sheet around and have other students suggest keywords. Pick a topic appropriate to demographic characteristics of the students; use a real life application, have students developing own keywords, subjects.

C. Selects controlled vocabulary specific to the discipline or information retrieval source

Objective:

    1. Uses background sources (e.g., encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, thesauri, textbooks) to identify discipline-specific terminology that describes a given topic.
    2. Explains what controlled vocabulary is and why it is used.
    3. Identifies search terms likely to be useful for a research topic in relevant controlled vocabulary lists.
    4. Identifies when and where controlled vocabulary is used in a bibliographic record, and then successfully searches for additional information using that vocabulary.

 Practice:

  1. Identify a specialized tool in their discipline and have students develop a list of terms that would be found in this tool. Then have them try it to see if they were right. Explain the need for controlled vocabulary as a searching “short-cut”.

D. Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books)

Objective:

    1. Demonstrates when it is appropriate to search a particular field (e.g., title, author, subject).
    2. Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of Boolean logic and constructs a search statement using Boolean operators.
    3. Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of proximity searching and constructs a search statement using proximity operators.
    4. Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of nesting and constructs a search using nested words or phrases.
    5. Demonstrates and understanding of the concept of browsing and uses an index that allows it.
    6. Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of keyword searching and uses it appropriately and effectively.
    7. Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of truncation and uses it appropriately and effectively.

 Practice:

    1. Help student create a strategy by picking a relevant to the topic, write terminology on board and outline strategy. Then have students physically represent AND and OR (e.g. students wearing green, stand; those also wearing -- etc).
    2. Be sure your sample topic for demo is of interest and is memorable to students-current topic, scandal, etc.

E. Implements the search strategy in various information retrieval systems using different user interfaces and search engines, with different command languages, protocols, and search parameters

      Objective:

        1. Uses help screens and other user aids to understand the particular search structures and commands of an information retrieval system.
        2. Demonstrates an awareness of the fact that there may be separate interfaces for basic and advanced searching in retrieval systems.
        3. Narrows or broadens questions and search terms to retrieve the appropriate quantity of information, using search techniques such as Boolean logic, limiting, and field searching.
        4. Identifies and selects keywords and phrases to use when searching each source, recognizing that different sources may use different terminology for similar concepts.
        5. Formulates and executes search strategies to match information needs with available resources.
        6. Describes differences in searching for bibliographic records, abstracts, or full text in information sources.

       Practice:

        1. Perform same search in various databases to show how results differ. Explain what retrieval system does what (catalog vs. index vs. web).

F. Implements the search using investigative protocols appropriate to the discipline

    Objective:

    1. Locates major print bibliographic and reference sources appropriate to the discipline of a research topic.
    2. Locates and uses a specialized dictionary, encyclopedia, bibliography, or other common reference tool in print format for a given topic.
    3. Demonstrates an understanding of the fact that items may be grouped together by subject in order to facilitate browsing.
    4. Uses effectively the organizational structure of a typical book (e.g., indexes, tables of contents, user's instructions, legends, cross-references) in order to locate pertinent information in it.

3. The information literate student retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.

Outcomes Include:

    A. Uses various search systems to retrieve information in a variety of formats

    Objective:

    1. Describes some materials that are not available online or in digitized formats and must be accessed in print or other formats (e.g., microform, video, audio).
    2. Identifies research sources, regardless of format, that are appropriate to a particular discipline or research need.
    3. Recognizes the format of an information source (e.g., book, chapter in a book, periodical article) from its citation. (See also 2.3.b.)
    4. Uses different research sources (e.g., catalogs and indexes) to find different types of information (e.g., books and periodical articles).
    5. Describes search functionality common to most databases regardless of differences in the search interface (e.g., Boolean logic capability, field structure, keyword searching, relevancy ranking).
    6. Uses effectively the organizational structure and access points of print research sources (e.g., indexes, bibliographies) to retrieve pertinent information from those sources.

    Practice:

    1. In groups students are asked to look for various types of information and various formats on the same subject (illustration, a chart, a picture, a video, a map, a book, a journal, etc) all on Hawaiian Islands in preparation for a discussion of biodiversity.

    B. Uses various classification schemes and other systems (e.g., call number systems or indexes) to locate information resources within the library or to identify specific sites for physical exploration

      Objective:

      1. Uses call number systems effectively (e.g., demonstrates how a call number assists in locating the corresponding item in the library).
      2. Explains the difference between the library catalog and a periodical index.
      3. Describes the different scopes of coverage found in different periodical indexes.
      4. Distinguishes among citations to identify various types of materials (e.g., books, periodical articles, essays in anthologies). (See also 2.3.a.)

       Practice:

        1. The network is out and you cannot access library catalog or indexes online. While in the library but you still want to find information on your topic – describe how you can do this?
        2. Browse call number area in library for items similar to the one found in a catalog search.

    C. Uses specialized online or in person services available at the institution to retrieve information needed (e.g., interlibrary loan/document delivery, professional associations, institutional research offices, community resources, experts and practitioners)

    Objective:

    1. Retrieves a document in print or electronic form.
    2. Describes various retrieval methods for information not available locally.
    3. Identifies the appropriate service point or resource for the particular
    4. Initiates an interlibrary loan request by filling out and submitting a form either online or in person.
    5. Uses the Web site of an institution, library, organization or community to locate information about specific services.

    Practice:

    1. Provide students with the information needed to understand that the modern library is merely a gateway to the world of information and that various options exist for them to obtain that information if it is not housed locally. This may include making a phone call to a local community resource, expert or office.

    D. Uses surveys, letters, interviews, and other forms of inquiry to retrieve primary information

    Practice:

    1. In groups student develop a research study that looks to gathering local information to support a theory or concept found in the textbook or class readings.

4. The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.

Outcomes Include:

A. Assesses the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results to determine whether alternative information retrieval systems or investigative methods should be utilized.

Objective:

  1. Determines if the quantity of citations retrieved is adequate, too extensive, or insufficient for the information need.
  2. Evaluates the quality of the information retrieved using criteria such as authorship, point of view/bias, date written, citations, etc.
  3. Assesses the relevance of information found by examining elements of the citation such as title, abstract, subject headings, source, and date of publication.
  4. Determines the relevance of an item to the information need in terms of its depth of coverage, language, and time frame.

Practice:

  1. Use sample sources to evaluate if an information questions can be answered using these sample sources.
  2. Have students closely examine these- read the abstract, citation info, create exercise (when was this published, how long is it, etc.

    B. Identifies gaps in the information retrieved and determines if the search strategy should be revised

    Practice:

      1. Limit search by date and/or utilizes alternate terminology.

    C. Repeats the search using the revised strategy as necessary

      Practice:

      1. Conducts search using alternative terminology.

5. The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.

Outcomes Include:

A. Selects among various technologies the most appropriate one for the task of extracting the needed information (e.g., copy/paste software functions, photocopier, scanner, audio/visual equipment, or exploratory instruments)

Practice:

      1. Prints only marked record

    B. Creates a system for organizing the information

    Practice:

    1. Organizes citations in timeline (current to older)

    C. Differentiates between the types of sources cited and understands the elements and correct syntax of a citation for a wide range of resources

    Objective:

    1. Identifies different types of information sources cited in a research tool.
    2. Determines whether or not a cited item is available locally and, if so, can locate it.
    3. Demonstrates an understanding that different disciplines may use different citation styles

    Practice:

    1. Utilizes appropriate citation style
    2. Can cite a source in different citation styles

D. Records all pertinent citation information for future reference

      Practice:

        1. Have student list what type of information goes in to a citation. Then have them describe how they go about assuring that they have gathered this information.

E. Uses various technologies to manage the information selected and organized.

      Practice:

        1. Students describe various methods they use to organize and manage the information they collect for a research project.
        2. Student uses email to send results of search.
        3. Student uses “Endnote” or similar software.