Saturday, February 09, 2008

Information Literacy & researchers: Part 2

Firstly I'll mention that on 7th February I led a discussion in Second Life, the virtual world, reporting back from the Information strategies for researchers conference (held in Dublin on 31 Jan) and discussing issues to do with researchers' information literacy. The transcript of the talk is online at The picture shows some of us as the meeting drew to an end.

The first speaker at the conference in Dublin was Andrew Booth (Sheffield University). He referred to his useful review on information literacy for researchers (referenced below). He had given this review the subheading “Researchers require tailored information literacy training focusing on information management, not simply information retrieval.” This was a theme that emerged in several talks.

The key points that Andrew makes in his paper are:
“It is inappropriate to attempt to meet information literacy needs of researchers using instruction methods based on undergraduate student behaviours;
“Researchers do not follow the neat stepwise progression from a state of unknowing (“information need”) to one of knowing that underpins most information literacy instruction.
“Information management, rather than information retrieval, should be the focus of information literacy instruction for researchers.
“Where information retrieval is covered it should focus on techniques such as “area scanning”, footnote chasing and known author searching rather than keyword searching of abstracts and indexes.
“Information literacy training should be “socialised” through formal collaboration with supervisors and integration with existing research programmes or research groups.
“Training should focus on achievement of practically based outcomes such as the production of a log book or a portfolio.
“Training should optimally be tailored to the individual and delivered at the time of need.”

Booth, A. (2007) “Information literacy training: what do researchers need”. Research Information Network.

Brown, S. and Swan, A. (2007) “Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and their Services.” Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries.

1 comment:

Minnowonsay said...

I enjoyed attending the meeting described in this entry. I have started a blog and written in it my experience of attending this meeting. Organisers might find it useful as feedback. See