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Information skills

By Jeanne Brown on October 10, 2006 10:06 AM | Permalink
Do you feel confident that you can find whatever information you need? This is something of a trick question, since research has shown that many who are quite confident are not, in fact, able to identify quality information in the area of their search. [See citations to the research below.] There are several reasons for this. One of the reasons is that by relying exclusively on web site information -- which some students do -- there are many sources of quality information that are not being accessed. I and several colleagues have spent the last year drafting a set of information competencies for students in design disciplines [including architecture, landscape, architecture history, interior design, art history, studio art, fashion, and planning]. They are divided into basic, intermediate, and advanced skills. By looking at these very specific skills you may arrive at a different assessment of how info savvy you are! I would be most interested in your take on these skills, and how useful you would consider them to be to you as a student now, and as a professional later. You can send your comments to me at, post through the form bolow, or feel free to drop in and see me in my office. Information skills are at Some of these skills are addressed in the ASL online Finding Resources modules. There are 14 modules so far, and more to be added. They cover a variety of topics, including finding scholarly articles, and copyright restrictions for posting images on the web. Citations to research suggesting that confidence in one's research skills do not always translate into superior seaching skills: 1. Gross, Melissa. "The Impact of Low-Level Skills on Information-Seeking Behavior: Implications of Competency Theory for Research and Practice." Reference & User Quarterly 45, no.2 (Winter 2005): 155-163. Dunning, David. "Not Knowing Thyself." The Chronicle of Higher Education 52, no. 35 (May 5, 2006).

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