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Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Interconnected concepts and ideas about information, research and scholarship.

FRAMEWORK FOCUS: Searching as Strategic Exploration

   Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops. Research works best when approached with an open, flexible mind.

Key sentence: Novice learners may search a limited set of resources, while experts may search more broadly and deeply to determine the most appropriate information within the project scope. Likewise, novice learners tend to use few search strategies, while experts select from various search strategies, depending on the sources, scope, and context of the information need.

Knowledge Practices:

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • determine the initial scope of the task required to meet their information needs;
  • identify interested parties, such as scholars, organizations, governments, and industries, who might produce information about a topic and then determine how to access that information;
  • utilize divergent (e.g., brainstorming) and convergent (e.g., selecting the best source) thinking when searching;
  • match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools;
  • design and refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on search results;
  • understand how information systems (i.e., collections of recorded information) are organized in order to access relevant information;
  • use different types of searching language (e.g., controlled vocabulary, keywords, natural language) appropriately;
  • manage searching processes and results effectively.

We Teach:

  • Research question formulation 
  • Search logic and source type selection 
  • Keyword building 
  • Multiple search tools that are major-specific 
  • Iterative searching 
  • Use of Boolean operators 
  • Advanced searching in a wide variety of disciplinary databases
  • Organization and significance of our OneSearch discovery product 
  • Use of reference searching 

Works Cited

Select information on this LibGuide used with permission from https://library.campbell.edu/information-fluency/framework

ACRL Framework

“Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.” Association of College and Research Libraries, 11 Jan. 2016, https://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework. Accessed 07 June 2017.