Information skills - what are they?
SCONUL has identified
seven key information skills:
- Recognise the information
need - what do I need to find
ways of addressing gap - how do I go about
finding out, choosing suitable sources, print/Internet
strategies for locating - search
databases/Internet using defined search strategy, keyword, and/or
e.g. Boolean searching, library web pages, catalogue, reference
section (print sources)
- Locate and
access - finding information in the library
catalogue and other catalogues, databases, getting hold of it, e.g.
electronic journals available immediately, finding books on shelf,
- Compare and
evaluate - how accurate is the information, does
it come from a reliable, authoritative source? Is it peer-reviewed?
How can I evaluate it?
apply and communicate - use of the information
in writing essays, citing references correctly, avoiding
plagiarism, applying one’s own analysis and presenting the
information, keeping records and bibliographical references
and create - using current awareness services,
regular database searches, contributing to the knowledge base by
publishing own papers.
Information skills strategy
We are currently implementing an Information skills strategy for students and
staff. It focuses on embedding information skills within programmes
so that students have to attend sessions as part of their course.
This approach developed from the paper Information skills - towards a strategy which
was endorsed by Academic Board in 2005.
Recommendations of the strategy 2008/9
- Programme Leaders work with Academic Subject Librarians to draw
up an implementation plan in each programme for information
literacy skills development to be ‘embedded’ in the most
appropriate manner and these plans be rolled out from September
- Programme Leaders identify a contact person for each programme
to work with their Academic Subject Librarian to effect necessary
information skills operations.
- Subject Heads work with Academic Subject Librarians to review
and update the Information Literacy Framework to reflect changes in
student needs, electronic opportunities and discipline and
- Faculties to commit to an annual subject based workshop to
ensure academic staff update their own information skills and
knowledge in the ever changing information environment.
- Require all new or re-validating programmes to clearly
articulate where their information skills are embedded.
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