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Information Literacy | Research How Tos

Learning Goal:

Otis graduates will be able to assemble, evaluate, and ethically use information from diverse sources to accomplish a specific purpose.

The world of information is constantly changing. Today we are more than just consumers. We are now also creators of new knowledge and information.

Information literacy is a set of skills and practices that support your ability to think critically about the information you use and create.

Information literacy is a way of knowing and thinking about all the kinds of information you encounter. To be information literate requires that you develop habits of mind that engage you in a self-directed, critical self-reflection about ways you learn what you don't know.

Throughout the curriculum at Otis and in particular in core LAS courses, you will receive instruction and practice assignments in information literacy in the following 6 frameworks (concepts). This is an important skill set for any educated person and it has been identified by employers as an important skill desired of college graduates as they enter the job market. (What Employers Want)

 

info lit

Used with permission of Lindsay O’Neill

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Research Is a Process of Exploration and Inquiry

Research as Inquiry refers to an understanding that research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex questions whose answers develop new questions or lines of inquiry in any field. One thing leads to another. It is important to stay open to the process and to new ideas.

 

 

Video: Research is a Process

Concept Mapping

Example of How to Begin Researching a Topic

How to Use Wikipedia

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Locating information requires a combination of inquiry, discovery, and serendipity. There is no one size fits all source to find the needed information. Information discovery is nonlinear and iterative, requiring the use of abroad range of information sources and flexibility to pursuit alternate avenues as new understanding is developed. Depending on the information need and context, the learner may need to consult a variety of resources ranging from databases and books to observations and interviews.

 

 

Video: Searching is Strategic

Beginning Your Research

What Are Databases and Why You Need Them

Boolean Logic

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

This framework refers to a recognition that information resources are drawn from a creator's expertise and credibility is based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority should be viewed with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought.

 

 

Video: Credibility is Contextual

CRAAP Detection

Sample Annotations (the Otis Way)

Format as Process

Format is the way tangible knowledge is disseminated. The essential characteristic of format is the underlying process of information creation, production, and dissemination, rather than how the content is delivered or experienced.

Learners recognize that there is a process behind the production of each resource. Knowing how information is created and produced for specific formats helps learners to evaluate the quality of a resource and illuminates benefits (e.g. the review process for an article) & constraints (the lack of currency of a book) of those resources.
 

 

Video: Format Matters

Types of Information

 

Scholarship as Conversation

Scholarship is a conversation refers to the idea of sustained discourse within a community of scholars or thinkers, with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of competing perspectives and interpretations. While many questions can be answered with a single, authoritative source–the capital of a country or the average rainfall in L.A., for example–scholarly research resists simple answers. Rather, scholarship is discursive practice in which ideas are formulated, debated, and weighed against one another over extended periods of time.

 

 

Video: Scholarship is a Conversation

Video: Peer Review in 3 Minutes

 

Information Has Value

The creation of information and products requires a commitment of time, original thought, and resources that need to be respected by those seeking to use these products, or create their own work based on the work of others. Information is intellectual property produced for all different purposes. Its value is based on various factors such as the producer, intended audience, and the content. Both creators and consumers of information have responsibilities to ethically use information.

 

 

 

Citing Sources

Copyright / Intellectual Property

Copyright Basics Video

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Don't forget to run your paper through Grammarly just to be sure you don't have any uncited quotes!