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..
Images of Planck, Einstein and Jung from Britannica Image Quest
Information Literacy for College
What does it mean to be
“information literate” for college?
Now you have a basic
idea of where you are
Information literacy isn’t
all that hard an idea to
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
You follow a process that helps
you find what you want.
College is different.
It’s in the
the academic world .
The academic world has
requirements for doing
research and presenting
Look at how the Association of College and
Research Libraries (ACRL) describes Information
Literacy in Higher Education.
What does it mean to be “information
literate” for college?
To be information literate in college the
ACRL believes that you should be able to:
• Determine the extent of information
• Access the needed information
effectively and efficiently
• Evaluate information and its sources
• 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
People give their opinions all the
time. No one asks them to support
what they say.
They give opinions on the Internet
about pop stars, athletes, computers,
politics and cat videos.
No one demands proof that a
person’s opinion is backed by
For your opinion to matter in
the academic world it must
be based on the evidence of
In the academic world
opinions do not stand alone.
Opinions are built upon the
work of others or upon facts
that can be verified and
So, when you write a paper
for class your opinions must
be verifiable, based on the
evidence of your research.
When you write a paper, your professor
wants to know what you have to say about
a topic. However, your opinion must be
based on verifiable evidence.
YOUR OPINION DOES MATTER.
Give a cheer. Your opinion matters!
So, let’s say that you’re sitting
You are minding your own
The professor, out of the blue,
wants you to write a research
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”?
What will you do?
Your professor wants you to use
specific resources in writing your research paper.
She talks about peer-
Remember, In the academic
world opinions do not stand
Opinions are built upon the
work of others or upon
experience that can be
Peer-review is all about
verifying research. It makes
sure that academic opinions
are based upon verifiable
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
The editor of the journal reads the paper.
She thinks it’s an excellent
article and wants to publish
it. But, she’s an editor not a
In order to verify her belief
that the article is excellent,
she invites other scholars,
the author’s equals or
peers, in the same field to
review the article. The peers
determine the quality of the
The peers look at many things.
• They examine logic of the article.
• They determine the quality and exactness
of the research.
• They review the accuracy of the citations
• They refer to other works on the same topic
to gain perspective on the subject matter.
• They assess the academic style of the
The peers read the article and review the
evidence that the author presents.
The peers pass judgment as to
whether the article is fit for the
academic world .
If it is deemed fit the article is
You now have an idea of how
research in the academic world
works. The footnotes and
references in an article provide
verifiable evidence. Opinions in
an academic scholarly paper must
be based on verifiable evidence.
You, also, now know to look for
resources that have gone through
the peer-review process.
Peer-reviewed resources are what
your professor wants you to use
in your research.
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.
Don’t forget. The librarians are there
to help you through every stage of
That works well for
you, doesn’t it?
The things that you
need are available in
or through the
Research is more than looking things up on
the web or even a library database.
It’s a process of retrieving information,
analyzing that information, forming an
opinion and then expressing that opinion
based upon the evidence you have
You already have searching skills. Now you
need to refine those skills into researching
Over the next few sessions we will look at the resources you
need to consider when doing research.
Do the student activity for this lesson.
After that proceed to the next lesson.
Revised Monday, February 16, 15.