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Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.
As librarians and faculty, we share in a collective responsibility to promote information literacy skills, and the ACRL Framework includes six frames that broadly articulate what information literate students should know.
These six concepts are themselves multifaceted and accommodate increasing levels of sophistication as assignments and student information needs grow more advanced over time.
The matrix below represents one attempt to graduate core concepts from the Framework over time. As a living working document, it will be subject to frequent update and reconsideration.
Avoids uncredited articles, such as uncredited web articles and anonymous social media posts.
Evaluates author authority based on subject expertise and credentialing.
Recognizes limitations of author authority; recognizes authority is contextual.
Avoids wikipedia. Looks for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and other warning signs of suspicious information.
Understands the inherent authority of different information formats (popular, scholarly, trade). Investigates specific journal titles for mission, areas of coverage, and article review process.
Recognizes the wider information environment of their discipline (conference proceedings, organizational websites, media, etc.)
Recognizes the potential for information bias. Understands the role of viewpoint literature.
Identifies arguments and argument premises in viewpoint literature. Locates and includes multiple perspectives to avoid bias.
Identifies misleading graphs, quotes, and statistics.
Recognizes a variety of publication types.
Recognizes purposes of different publication types and selects sources accordingly.
Recognizes discipline-focused publication types, important publishers and disciplinary sources of information. Recognizes open access and material costs of academic publishing. Open data/accessiblity of data.
Recognizes peer review as an indicator of quality.
Understands the process of peer review and recognizes how it increases the integrity of scholarly literature.
Understands the parts of a scholarly article within their field of study.
Relevance of Information
Seeks out sources beyond simple web search results; uses appropriate types of sources for assignments; recognizes library resources as being more appropriate for college-level research-based assignments.
Considers timeliness of information to research question; understands the publication schedule of different publication types; uses publication date limiters appropriately.
Seeks out information in appropriate disciplinary databases and relevant core journals.
Monetary Value of Information
Understands value of academic publishing (costs, prestige, comparisons to other information types).
Awareness of academic publishing ecosystem (journals, textbooks, limited access to research literature).
Awareness of implications of academic publishing ecosystem implications (student as future author; limited access to academic literature after college).
Social Value of Information
Wikipedia's social value and its limitations.
Governmental websites; open access literature.
Professional Value of Information
Incorporates organizational websites; professional blogs.
Recognizes professional opportunities
Ethical Use of Information
Understands the definition of plagiarism and how to avoid it.
Makes use of library citation tools in the databases and discovery tools.
Uses (as appropriate) citation management tools such as RefWorks.
Understands role of keywords in basic searches.
Searches interatively for information. Synonyms and related terms.
Searches iteratively; identifies controlled vocabulary and subject headings.
Citation and Plagiarism
Awareness of citation as a means to avoid plagiarism.
Understands the role of citation and references in scholarly publishing.
Uses citations and references to identify primary and undiscovered sources.
Citation in Scholarly Publishing
Awareness of role of citation in the research process of researchers/scholars.
Finds "cited by" citations for relevant articles and uses these to generate additional resources
Understands the relevance of the peer review process in academic publishing.
Understands the role of academic publishing to the creation of knowledge within one's discipline.
Uses discovery tool to locate relevant information.
Uses discovery tool and databases to locate relevant information.
Uses advanced search tools in disciplinary databases to locate relevant information.
Uses keywords to locate relevant information.
Uses keywords, synonyms, and related terms to locate relevant information.
Uses subject headings and controlled vocabulary to locate relevant information.
Awareness of Boolean logic (AND).
Uses Boolean logic effectively (AND, OR, NOT).
Uses Boolean logic nesting when appropriate.
Understands how to get help from a librarian; understands how to check out books and equipment.
Awareness of Interlibrary loan, consultation service,
Awareness of discovery tool limiters for major format types.
Uses format and publication date limiters in discovery tool and databases