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Information Literacy Competencies

Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information effectively.


First Year/Freshman (by 25 credit hours)

Information Resources

• Students will be able to differentiate between open and restricted Web sites and explain the difference.

(ACRL Standard 1.2; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

• Students will be able to evaluate a web site based on evaluation criteria.

(ACRL Standard 3.2; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking, Integration & Application of Knowledge)

• Students will be able to differentiate between popular and scholarly information sources and describe the characteristics of scholarly literature.

(ACRL Standard 1.2; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

• Students will be able to identify which sources are most appropriate for an assignment.

(ACRL Standard 1.1, 1.2; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

University Library

• Students will be able to describe and use basic services and resources offered by University Library.

(ACRL Standard 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills)

• Students will know how to request help or advice from University Library, either in-person or online.

(ACRL Standard 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills)

Citation Elements

• Students will be familiar with IUPUI’s definition of plagiarism and recognize whether a particular piece of information needs to be cited to avoid plagiarizing.

(ACRL Standards 2.5, 5.2; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking, Values & Ethics)

• Students will be able to identify the elements of a basic citation such as author and title for several types of resources (e.g., a book, a journal article, a web page) in order to avoid plagiarizing.

(ACRL Standards 2.5, 5.2; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Values & Ethics)


Second Year/Sophomore (by 55 credit hours)

Information Resources

• Students will be able to use appropriate techniques to improve the precision of their results when searching the open web or library databases (e.g., phrase searching/use of quotation marks, truncation/wildcard symbols, field searching).

(ACRL Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

• Students will be able to identify and use a multi-disciplinary article database to retrieve articles relevant to their coursework.

(ACRL Standards 1.1, 2.1, 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

• Students will be able to identify and use a discipline-specific article database to retrieve articles relevant to their coursework.

(ACRL Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills; Intellectual Depth, Breadth & Adativeness)

• Students will be able to evaluate the information they find for relevance to a given assignment.

(ACRL Standards 1.4, 2.4, 3.2, 3.4; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking, Integration & Application of Knowledge, Understanding Society & Culture)

University Library

• Students will be able to use the library catalog, IUCAT, to identify and locate books (print and/or electronic) and/or other media relevant to their coursework.

(ACRL Standard 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

• Students will be able to find and navigate library research guides.

(ACRL Standard 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills)

• Students will know how to identify and contact subject librarians for research-specific assistance.

(ACRL Standard 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills)

Citation Elements

• Students will be able to construct citations according to a specified style guide.

(ACRL Standards 2.5, 5.2, 5.3; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking, Integration & Application of Knowledge, Values & Ethics)


Third Year/Junior (by 85 credit hours)

Information Resources

• Students will be able to differentiate between original (primary) and secondary sources of information.

(ACRL Standard 1.2; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills, Critical Thinking)

• Students will know how to locate and under what circumstances to use appropriate subject-specific reference works.

(ACRL Standards 1.1, 2.1, 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills; Intellectual Depth, Breadth & Adaptiveness)

• Students will be able to find articles when given a citation (e.g. using IUCAT to find journal and article in print, citation linker for electronic version).

(ACRL Standards 2.1, 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills)

• Students will be able to employ database-specific techniques for more precise search results, (e.g. using database help or thesaurus files).

(ACRL Standards 2.2, 2.4, 3.7; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills; Critical Thinking; Intellectual Depth, Breadth & Adaptiveness)

• Students will be able to use strategies (e.g., OR, truncation, wildcard) to ensure the comprehensiveness of a search.

(ACRL Standard 2.2; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills; Critical Thinking; Intellectual Depth, Breadth & Adaptiveness)

• Students will be able to locate and use discipline-specific databases related to their majors (e.g. PsycInfo, SciFinder Scholar).

(ACRL Standards 1.2, 2.1, 2.3); PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills; Intellectual Depth, Breadth & Adaptiveness)

University Library

• Students will be able to describe and use intermediate services and resources offered by University Library (e.g., interlibrary loan services, course reserves, request delivery).

(ACRL Standards 1.3, 2.3; PUL – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills)

Citation Elements

• Students will be able to construct citations according to a discipline-specific style guide (e.g., Chicago, ACS, APA).

(ACRL Standards 2.5, 5.2, 5.3; PULs – Core Communication & Quantitative Skills; Intellectual Depth, Breadth & Adaptiveness; Integration & Application of Knowledge; Values & Ethics)


Fourth Year/Senior (by graduation)

At this level, students will have mastered the FIRST through THIRD YEAR COMPETENICES and feel confident in their ability to integrate their skills and knowledge to meet their academic and personal information needs for lifelong learning.

During the senior year, faculty who note deficiencies in a student’s skills, should refer the student to their librarian liaison for library research assistance and instruction.

Students should be aware that they may continue to access University Library resources after graduation whenever they visit the library building.


The Competencies in pdf.

The Competencies in poster format.


Creative Commons License
IUPUI University Library Information Literacy Competencies by IUPUI University Library Information Literacy Strategy Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Last updated by pboruffj on 05/03/2010