✖ close

☰ In This Section

Library Instruction

Our librarians can tailor a library session to fit your specific course and assignment

Library sessions will introduce your students to the academic research resources like journals, databases, and books they need to complete assignments. Many students are unfamiliar with how to effectively use these resources to compete papers or other projects. Schedule a library session, or take a look at online video modules available.

Schedule Library Session       BU Online Modules      Sem Online Modules  

Components of Information Literacy

Information Literacy involves developing the set of skills needed to understand a need for information sources which you can successfully find, competently evaluate, and appropriately use and credit.

Competency One: Articulate the specific information needed

Introductory

  • Shape questions of appropriate scope for research based on key concepts related to topic.
  • Locate sources for background information to identify foundational ideas.
  • Identify various sources of help in searching (e.g. professors, librarians, peers, subject guides, etc.)

Intermediate

  • Break down complex research questions into simpler ones when necessary to help facilitate searching.
  • Revise the topic based on preliminary searching.
  • Write research question or thesis statement within the context of discipline.
  • Use discipline-specific terminology for key concepts of topic.
  • Understand and articulate the traditional and emerging processes of information creation and dissemination in a particular discipline.
  • Identify core subject research databases.

Advanced

  • Develop an original research question that contributes to the body of knowledge in the field

Competency Two: Search, access, and organize information using appropriate tools/systems

Introductory

  • Conduct basic keyword searches.
  • Locate known item.
  • Select search tools most appropriate for topic.
  • Revise searches based on the results of preliminary searching.
  • Recognize search tools for acquiring resources outside of BUL collections (e.g. Interlibrary Loan, Google Books, Google Scholar, Open Access Materials).
  • Choose a strategy for keeping track of information found.

Intermediate

  • Recognize the different types of searching (e.g., controlled vocabulary, keyword, natural language, etc.) and use the one most appropriate to the task/search tool.
  • Use advanced search features in subject research databases.
  • Locate a breadth of primary and secondary sources of information in the field and related fields.
  • Use tools for acquiring resources outside of  BUL collections (e.g. Interlibrary Loan, Google Books, Google Scholar, Open Access Materials).
  • Use a citation management system (e.g. Ref- Works, EasyBib, etc.).

Advanced

  • Seek primary sources from foundational theorists and practitioners.
  • Use current awareness technologies (e.g. apps, social media, blogs) to stay informed about re- search.

Competency Three: Evaluate the quality, usefulness, and relevance of the information

Introductory

  • Compare the unique attributes of different information formats (e.g. scholarly article, blog, wiki, etc.).
  • Evaluate resources for relevance, authority, accuracy, reliability, coverage, and timeliness.
  • Recognize different types of authority (e.g., based on expertise, social position, special experience, etc.), and determine how authoritative information should be for a particular need.
  • Describe differences between open web and library databases.

Intermediate

  • Define peer-reviewed.
  • Select peer-reviewed sources when appropriate.
  • Identify possible biases within an information source.
  • Employ review tools to evaluate information sources (e.g., book reviews, annotated bibliographies, etc.)
  • Identify "standard" or seminal works in a field.
  • Choose internet sources from outside the library when appropriate.

Advanced

  • Differentiate between types of research (e.g. qualitative, quantitative).
  • Evaluate research methods within studies.
  • Identify research biases within studies .
  • Assess key sources of information using formal evaluation criteria (e.g. journal impact factors).
  • Understand that even the authority of "standard" works is sometimes challenged by some scholars, and recognize when this has been the case with a particular work

Competency Four: Ethically communicate both synthesized and new knowledge

Introductory

  • Identify multiple sources and perspectives.
  • Outline information found.
  • Label ideas and quotes from others.
  • Cite sources using appropriate citation style, and check for accuracy of citations and references.
  • Match communication style to the target audience.

Intermediate

  • Select appropriate information to synthesize from multiple sources and perspectives.
  • Summarize information found.
  • Formulate a logical conclusion with sufficient evidence.
  • Understand ethical and legal considerations of attribution, academic honesty, and copyright (including basic knowledge of fair use, Open Access, and the public domain).

Advanced

  • Adhere to professional ethical guidelines (e.g. HIPPA, FERPA, HRRC/IRB, etc.).
  • Choose whether to retain author rights for future research output.
  • Archive completed work to ensure its future accessibility.
  • Identify opportunities to share findings (social media, open access journals, etc.)