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Key Information Skills
  1. Recognising your information need
  2. Using appropriate search techniques
  3. Accessing resources
  4. Evaluating information
  5. Recording sources
  6. Staying legal
Recognising your information need

To recognise that one has an information need and to be able to "locate" that need in the context of the information landscape at UCL.

Level 0
  • Outline the information needed to undertake everyday tasks.
  • Identify who and where to ask for help in the most appropriate UCL library site. Understanding of purposes and audience of resources, both popular and scholarly.
Level 1
  • Define specific information needs.
  • Compare characteristics of information resources: primary, secondary, journal literature, print v electronic.
  • Assess issues of currency and quality of information.
  • Differentiate between journal articles, books or book chapters from a reading list.
  • Identify print and electronic holdings at UCL Library Services.
  • Use general reference resources to increase familiarity with a topic.
  • Recognise that background information helps to focus topic.
Level 2
  • Present new information produced from existing information combined with original thought.
Level 3
  • Redefine/modify information sought on basis of material found for project.
  • Reflect on problems encountered and recognise how to solve them.
Level 4
  • Create new knowledge in a project through synthesis or development of existing information.
  • Use mailing lists, discussion groups, newsgroups to obtain and exchange information
Using appropriate search techniques

To use appropriate techniques to find the information required using a range of resources and sources.

Level 0
  • Recognise need to use both print and electronic resources.
  • Use everyday search tools such as Google.
  • Recognise the need to use appropriate search tools.
Level 1
  • Select, with some guidance, the most appropriate print and electronic sources available at UCL for an assignment.
  • Identify library Catalogue as a list of the holdings of UCL Library Services.
  • Define limitations of Web materials located by search engines.
  • Compare gateways and search engines.
  • Describe of the makeup of a database.
  • Define concepts of a topic for a presentation or essay.
  • Transfer a subject query into a keyword search.
  • Use keywords to search for material on a topic.
  • Use help screens, help sheets to search for information.
Level 2
  • Select appropriate subject print and electronic resources available at UCL for essay work, without guidance.
  • Select most appropriate search tool, distinguishing between different types of tool, such as indexes, online databases, library catalogues, search engines and gateways.
  • Identify other relevant library catalogues to find information available elsewhere.
  • Use truncation and Boolean search techniques effectively.
  • Understand and use controlled vocabulary.
  • Limit searches as required.
  • Display electronic results in various orders and understand all components of citations.
  • Use variety of Web search engines effectively.
Level 3
  • Select a range of appropriate subject resources available at UCL or elsewhere for undertaking a project.
  • Construct complex searches and use them across a range of databases, using different user interfaces, redefining terms and repeating searches as required.
Level 4
  • Use specialist collections or British Library.
  • Set up e-mail alerting services.
  • Save and re-use searches, updating them as required.
  • Assess whether additional search techniques are required such as contacting prominent authors, hand searching journal titles etc.

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Accessing resources

To 'translate' results into getting hold of desired resources.

Level 0
  • Use library catalogue to search for specific books.
  • Navigate around Web using live links.
  • Use Web addresses to search the Web.
Level 1
  • Use a library catalogue to find specific books, journal titles, books on a subject.
  • Use classification in library to locate all kinds of print materials in the library.
  • Reserve and renew books.
  • Use Web gateways and search engines to locate material for an essay topic.
  • Use databases and full text services on Library Services website to locate material for an essay topic.
  • Access electronic information both on and off-campus.
Level 2
  • Use interlibrary loan service.
  • Identify other relevant libraries available to UCL students.
Level 3
  • Plan the collection of full-text resources to meet personal and departmental deadlines.
  • Arrange and plan appointments to specialist collections both within and outside UCL.
Level 4
  • Budget for cost of obtaining full-text materials not available at UCL.

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Evaluating information

To be, throughout, critical and evaluative in respect of the sources and resources used and obtained.

Level 0
  • Read text, select material and summarise in own words for own use at basic level.
Level 1
  • Understand of issues of currency, bias and authority of information.
  • Understand of issues of accuracy, relevance, comprehensiveness of information.
  • Extract material by taking notes from print sources and from electronic by printing or saving to disk.
  • Sift main ideas of information found for constructing a presentation or essay.
Level 2
  • Choose a range of materials on topics, taking into account currency, bias, authority, accuracy, relevance and comprehensiveness.
  • Sift information for application in essay.
Level 3
  • Understand the peer review process in journals.
  • Read, analyse and evaluate wide range of materials on complex subjects identifying bias, and other factors, measuring against material already found.
Level 4
  • Read, analyse and critically evaluate a wide range of materials, taking into account study design, methods used, appropriateness of results reporting and applicability to project as required.

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Recording sources

To be, throughout, methodical and accurate in recording the sources used in the course of learning, teaching or research.

Level 0
  • Recognise the need to keep records of searches and resources found.
Level 1
  • Keep basic records of searches made and resources found.
  • Create a bibliography of materials used to write essays in a recognised style.
Level 2
  • Cite information in assignments and compile notes or bibliographies in the style preferred by the UCL department.
Level 3
  • Keep systematic records of searches and material found for project.
  • Organise these records to provide comprehensive details of searches in project write up.
  • Use bibliographic software such as Reference Manager or EndNote to assist in citing materials.
Level 4
  • Use bibliographic software such as Reference Manager or EndNote to assist in citing materials in a large, multi-chaptered document.
  • Reproduce details of search strategies in project write up, if required.

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Staying legal

To have an awareness of the legal and ethical issues that apply to the use of information resources.

Level 0
  • None
Level 1
  • Understand, at a basic level, intellectual property and copyright law as it applies to students.
  • Act on both UCL rules and individual UCL departmental rules regarding plagiarism and collusion.
Level 2
  • None
Level 3
  • Acquire and use a wide range of materials for use in assignments and projects while staying within intellectual property and copyright law.
Level 4
  • Understand intellectual property and copyright law as it applies to authors of copyrighted works based at UCL.

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Last modified 20 October 2008

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