According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, "Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning."  These information skills are an essential component of Evidence-Based Practice.

 

1.  The information literate user determines the nature and extent of the information needed

Skills:
  • Choose a manageable topic of interest and formulate a searchable question
  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Understand the content and structure of different types of information retrieval systems (article indexes, library catalogs, etc.)
  • Understand the scholarly process as it relates to the generation of published information.
  • Recognize the existence of many forms of information sources, and critically evaluate the characteristics of different types.
  • Identify appropriate sources (e.g. databases, search engines, catalogs) to use to search for relevant information
  • Direct patients to consumer health resources on the web
 

2: The information literate user accesses needed information effectively and efficiently

Skills:
  • Identify keywords, synonyms and related terms to find information for a topic of interest
  • Understand and use controlled vocabulary appropriately
  • Construct a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes)
  • Implement the search strategy in various information retrieval systems using different user interfaces and search engines, with different command languages, protocols, and search parameters
  • Refine the search strategy if necessary based on the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results
  • Utilize local sources to retrieve full text of identified materials, and use available services (Interlibrary Loan, professional associations, institutional research offices, etc.) to obtain materials not held in local collections
  • Choose appropriate references for the information need at hand.
  

3: The information literate health professional evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system   

Skills:
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Synthesize information into a body of knowledge and communicate results effectively.
  • Organize selected information into a knowledge base (e.g. RefWorks, Zotero, etc.)
  • Use information to affect practice (Evidence-Based Practice)
 

4: The information literate user, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Skills:
  • Demonstrate appropriate use of information in an assignment
  • Synthesize information into a body of knowledge and communicate results effectively.
  • Consistently document sources following an accepted style (e.g. APA, AMA, Chicago)
  • Articulate the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.
  • Know where and when to seek help, and realize that information competency skills take time to develop and refine.
  • Be able to direct patients to consumer health resources on the web
 

5: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Skills:
  • Articulate the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.