Researchers and information literacy

Todd Vandenbark

Vitae, an organization in the UK dedicated to enhancing researchers’ skills and employability, has recently released two publications on the relevance of information literacy (IL) to research:

  • a short booklet aimed at researchers explaining the relevance of information literacy to their work, and
  • a two-page pamphlet version of key information from the booklet.
SCONUL 7 pillars of information literacy

Included in these materials is a diagram of “Information literacy lens on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework using the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy.” IL for the researcher involves the ability to:

  • Identify an information need for answering a research question,
  • know the Scope of gaps in their current knowledge that need filling,
  • Plan strategies for finding needed data and information,
  • Gather data, information and other needed resources,
  • review and Evaluate the research process and resulting data
  • Manage information so it is organized both professionally and ethically,
  • apply and Present research results by synthesizing new and old information to create new knowledge, and disseminate it in multiple ways

As discussions in our regular “Librarians Meeting” indicate, academic libraries supporting research need to move from a ready-to-help-librarian model, to a partnership with researchers where we bring our expertise at organizing and finding information to the research planning process. Our challenge is to build collaborative relationships with researchers at our institutions so that as they begin planning research, we can facilitate the process so research information and results are well-organized, and packaged for reuse. Eccles Library is dedicated to supporting the medical research community, and has on staff a dedicated Research Librarian, Abby Adamczyk.

Are you a researcher planning a new endeavor? Have you ever considered partnering with a librarian during the planning process? Tell us about it!