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Information Literacy: Core Competencies

Information Literacy Plan

Click the link below to download a copy of the Loyola ▪ Notre Dame Library's Information Literacy Program Plan.

Request an Information Literacy Session

The Research & Instruction Department is available to teach your students how to use the library research resources. Sessions last 50-90 minutes and can cover such topics as how to effectively search library databases, the library catalog, and other key resources for conducting research; how to access the full text of articles; and how to evaluate information found in databases or on the web. If you would like to schedule a library information literacy session or talk to librarian about developing a session for your students, please use this form.

Undergraduate Competencies

Below are some of the skills that undergraguate students acquire in the information literacy courses taught through the Loyola Notre Dame Library. While all of these skills cannot be taught in one session, faculty work with librarians to determine the competencies that best fit the needs of student assignments.

Basic Skills

  • Describe different sources for information (books, newspapers, journals, magazines, websites, etc) and begin to understand which sources will be best for a particular information need.
  • Compare and contrast information found in popular and scholarly resources in terms of authorship, content, credibility,  and references.
  • Form a topic into a researchable question.
  • Develop a search strategy for finding relevant resources to answer the research question using skills such as identifying key terms, combine search terms using AND, and expand the search using synonyms with OR.
  • Access resources journal articles electronically, in print, and through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Evaluate the quality of the information retrieved using criteria such as authorship, point of view, bias, date written, citations, etc.
  • Locate books using the library catalog.
  • Distinguish between a journal, book, or chapter in a book citation.
  • Describe various ways to get research help (ask a librarian in-person, online, phone;  ask a professor, writing center, etc.)

Advanced Skills

  • Identify subject specific databases appropriate for a research topic.
  • Use "controlled vocabulary" to refine a search.
  • Locate terminology used in a particular field of study.
  • Use techniques to expand and limit a search such as Boolean operators, date and age limits, etc.
  • Identify primary source documents and specific databases and websites dedicated to primary source research.

Graduate Competencies

Many of the skills used in undergraduate research are also used in graduate level research.

 

  • Develop a research question that contributes to the body of work in a field.
  • Identify subject specific databases appropriate for a research topic.
  • Use "controlled vocabulary" to refine a search.
  • Locate terminology used in a particular field of study.
  • Use techniques to expand and limit a search such as Boolean operators, date and age limits, etc.
  • Identify primary source documents and specific databases and websites dedicated to primary source research.
  • Use cited reference searching to locate related articles within the circle of practice.
  • Use citation software to store, organize, and share citations and create bibliographies.