Information Literacy Competencies

1. Inquiry: Recognize and articulate an information need
The selection of a discipline-appropriate topic, question or issue for an independent investigation or project is an important part of academic work. A clearly stated topic or inquiry that is focused, manageable and based on knowledge in the field or course content demonstrates the student’s ability to recognize and articulate an information need.

2. Appropriateness of research: Develop effective search strategies, select, locate and use appropriate information sources.
The ability to select and locate a variety of sources relevant to the project is important. The student selects resources that are appropriate, valid and timely and provides the necessary documentation for citation of the resource.

3. Evaluation: Analyze and critically evaluate information
Information sources selected to support a project are evaluated for credibility, relevance, accuracy, point of view, bias and any additional criteria required by the assignment or implied by the topic of inquiry itself. Students make informed judgments about what evidence should be used or discarded.

4. Synthesis: Organize and synthesize information, and use the information to accomplish a specific purpose for an identified audience.
Essential elements of synthesis and organization of information are demonstrated by the ability to summarize main ideas from information sources and to integrate those ideas into an organized and coherent presentation. A presentation can be written, oral or visual or a combination of media. The student must be able to draw appropriate inferences or conclusions or make recommendations in relation to the project’s purposes or requirements.

5. Integrity: Understand and apply principles of academic integrity relating to information
Academic integrity demands that students apply the University standards of ethics, follow appropriate research guidelines (e.g., rules for human subects), and exemplify the ethical standards of the discipline in the project. The student has appropriately cited sources, and provided evidence of following guidelines or standards.

Information Literacy Links
The National Forum on Information Literacy defines information literacy and related terms.
The Association of Colleges and Research Libraries provides an introduction to information literacy, along with a discussion of why it is important, who needs it and how to learn more about it.
The Directory of Online Resources for Information Literacy (DORIL) is intended to provide librarians and other educators with a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to a wide variety of informational resources available on the World Wide Web that relate to the concept of information literacy.