What does it mean to be information literate for college?
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What does it mean to be information literate for college?



Second in a new series on information literacy.

Second in a new series on information literacy.



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  • Image of Dr. E, v, Keyden, photo by Erwin Raupp. Located at Images from the History of Medicine, http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov/
  • Lady editor replying to correspondence, Engraving from Britannica Image Quest..
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What does it mean to be information literate for college? What does it mean to be information literate for college? Presentation Transcript

  • What does it mean to be “information literate” for college? ? Presented by Mark Puterbaugh Information Services Librarian Eastern University Libraries St. Davids, PA 19087 mputerba@eastern.edu 610-341-1461
  • Now you have a basic idea of where you are going. Information literacy isn’t all that hard an idea to grasp. I am smart! I am smart! I am smart!
  • So why is it different now that you are a college student? Why make a big deal over something you do all the time? You search for things on the Internet everyday. You follow a process that helps you find what you want.
  • College is different. It has different requirements. College is part of the academic world.
  • ACRL To get official again, let’s look at how the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) describes Information Literacy in Higher Education. Okay.
  • What does it mean to be “information literate” for college? To be information literate in college you should be able to: • Determine the extent of information needed • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently • Evaluate information and its sources critically • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally Looks more complicated than the first definition.
  • WHY IS IT MORE COMPLICATED? Let’s talk about why.
  • Usually people give their opinions about this and that. No one asks them to support what they say. There are opinions given on the Internet about music, athletes, computers, politics and cat videos. No one demands proof or evidence that backs the opinions. Yada! Yada! Yada!
  • In the academic world opinions do not stand alone. Opinions are built upon the work of others or upon experiences that can be verified and independently repeated. So, when you write a paper for class, your opinions must be verifiable, based on the evidence of your research.
  • Always Remember! When you write a paper, your professor wants to know what you have to say about a topic. But, since you are now in the academic world, your opinion must be based on the verifiable facts. YOUR OPINION DOES MATTER. Give a cheer. Your opinion matters!
  • So, you’re sitting in class. Minding your own business. Thinking deep thoughts. The professor decides that she wants you to write a research paper. You’re sitting in an American History class. (Just thought you should know.)
  • Professor provides a list of topics. You pick one. It’s Abraham Lincoln? Sigh!
  • What will you do?
  • Your professor wanted you to use something specific in your research paper. Didn’t she talk about using peer-reviewed sources? Did she?
  • RELAX. You already have an idea about the academic world and how things work. Peer-review is a very important part of research in higher education.
  • To quote myself, “In the academic world opinions do not stand alone.” “Opinions are built upon the work of others or upon experience that can be verified.” Peer-review is all about verifying research. It makes sure that academic opinions are based upon verifiable evidence.
  • This is how peer-review works. A scholar develops an opinion about an important topic and writes a paper. The scholar wants the article published and sends it to a journal read by other scholars. The editor reads the paper.
  • She thinks it’s a great article and wants to publish it. But, she’s an editor not a scholar. In order to verify her belief that the article is great, she asks other scholars (the author’s equals or peers) in the same field to review the article and tell her it’s a great article.
  • The peers read the article and review the evidence. The peers look at many things: • the logic of the article • footnotes • references • other works on the same topic. • academic style
  • The peers pass judgment as to whether the article is fit for the academic world. If it is deemed fit the article is published. Everyone is happy!
  • No problem! You now have an idea of how research in the academic world works You, also, now know to look for resources that have gone through the peer-review process. That is what your professor wants. This is what is expected in higher education.
  • Where do you find peer- reviewed articles? ?
  • You’re in college so it’s easy. Peer-reviewed journals and scholarly books are found in the library or through a subscription database on the library’s website. And there are additional resources available for your research through the library. They are things that will help you through every stage of your research.
  • That works well for you, doesn’t it? The things that you need are available in or through the library.
  • What’s Next? ?
  • You’ve had to do online searching and find what you needed, a computer store. You’ve gone through the preliminaries about the type of information you need for academic work. Bye! Over the next few sessions we will look at different types of resources used for research and then discuss putting it all together.