Information Studies


INSTG014 Supporting Information Users

This module aims to give participants an understanding of information resources and bibliographic control, and confidence in working with differing resources in a range of subjects to answer both reference and research queries. Students will have an awareness of factors for change and their likely impact on information resources and retrieval. 

We will consider:

  • Resources in print and digital format for bibliographic and reference support of study, research and information resource development. 
  • The control, recording and exchange of published information, including patterns of dissemination and control of the literature of specific subjects. 
  • The structure, content and purpose of a range of publication formats, including guides to information sources, directories, terminological tools, factual reference sources, tools for serials control, bibliographies, indexing and abstracting services, library catalogues and union lists, and resources for the bibliographic control of specialized forms such as non-book materials, archives and official publications.
  • How to interrogate such resources to identify appropriate content for a variety of study, enquiry and research purposes.
  • User information needs and information literacy models
  • Theoretical and practical approaches to information retrieval

On successful completion students will 

  • have a clear understanding of the performance, usefulness and usability of a wide range of information resources
  • understand the importance of bibliographic control
  • have confidence in the use of different resources in a range of subjects to answer reference and research enquiries
  • be aware of factors for change and their impacts on information resources and retrieval 

Guide programme (current students see Moodle for timetable)

  • Introduction to the module, UCL Library resources and e-journals
  • General Guides to sources, Print-based guides and directories of sources, subject gateways, portals, and hubs
  • Serials bibliography and control, Serials resources on the web, Journal Citation Reports
  • Current bibliography, Retrospective bibliography, Web of knowledge, ZETOC
  • Organisations and institutions, Institutions and directories, Medline
  • Terminological sources, Quality and control of information, Dictionaries, encyclopaedias and other terminological sources
  • Special forms, Non-text resources on the web, Government and legal resources on the web

UCL Subject librarians make an important contribution to the weekly practical computer lab elements of these classes.

Preliminary reading

There is no set text for this module. Introductory paragraphs from these texts should provide you with appropriate background for the module.

  • Andretta, S. (2005). Information literacy : A practitioner's guide (Chandos information professional series Y). Oxford: Chandos.
  • Bawden, D. & Robinson, L. (2012) Introduction to Information Science. London : Facet
  • Bopp, R. & Smith, L. (2001) Reference and Information Services, 3rd Edn. Englewood, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited
  • Cassell, K. & Hiremath, U. (2013) Reference and Information Services: an introduction. London : Facet
  • Chowdhury, G. (2010) Introduction to modern information retrieval. London : Facet
  • Hagler, R. (1997) The bibliographic record and information technology. Chicago : American Library Association
  • Nicholas, D., & Herman, E. (2009) Assessing information needs in the age of the digital consumer (3rd ed) London : Routledge

Assessment: Assessment by coursework only
Compulsory for: MA LIS students. This module is also available for short course students

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this module
Taught by: Charles Inskip

Further information for students currently taking this module