Friday, September 28, 2012

Call for Proposals for Edited Collection

Information Literacy—Not Just for Librarians: Issues in Assessment, Teaching, and Application
Editors: Barbara D’Angelo, Sandra Jamieson, Barry Maid, and Janice R. Walker

Information Literacy—Not Just for Librarians: Issues in Assessment, Teaching and Application is an edited collection that will address research in and issues surrounding theoretical, pedagogical, and practical approaches to information literacy (IL).  According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) an "information literate individual" is able to “determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources critically, incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base, use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.” As this definition reveals, IL goes far beyond the traditional image of locating and assessing sources to include understanding and using them. In other words, today IL exists beyond the realm of academic librarians.  One example is the fact the WPA Outcomes Statement and the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education mirror one another and were created in the same timeframe.  Both WPA and ACRL were replying to the same exigence.

Information literacy as a core competency has been endorsed by the Council of Independent Colleges and forms the basis of the Quality Enrichment Plans of many SACS-accredited institutions   Yet in spite of the broad currency of the term, there is still no agreed-upon definition or understanding of what IL instruction entails. Calls for more broadly-shared ownership of and responsibility for IL (see for example Fister 1992, Gavin 1995, Norgaard 2003, & Lupton 2004), have been largely unheeded in practice. Research by Project Information Literacy, The Citation Project, and the LILAC Project reveal that the majority of American college students remain far from “information literate individuals” and suggest that focused attention to information literacy is essential across disciplines and specializations, and for this it remains imperative to establish a significant literature that draws on the expertise and vision of scholars in multiple disciplines.

This collection seeks to bring together the work of faculty across the curriculum, including those from academic and professional disciplines, general education programs, writing studies, technical communication, and library sciences.  Proposals should address one or more of the following issues or related issues:

·         Status of IL initiatives
·         Partnerships across disciplines and/or between faculty and librarians
·         Impact of new media/technologies on IL instruction
·         Impact of assessment and accreditation standards on IL initiatives
·         Theoretical considerations
·         Pedagogical approaches
·         IL as part of a vertical curriculum
·         Research in the transfer of IL skills across the curriculum
·         IL in theory and in practice
·         IL beyond the classroom
·         Research on students’ and/or faculty IL practices


Submit abstracts (approximately 200 words) via email by January 31, 2013 to

2012 Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy

 Just a few pics from the conference. If you missed this year's Conference, you missed a great one!  Over 300 people in attendance (a new record)!
The first three pictures are from the Saturday morning keynote by Joyce Valenza.  She managed to pack into an hour several YEAR's worth of information!  But she has promised to provide us with a link to her presentation online so we can peruse it at our leisure. Keep an eye out on the Conference Web site at 

 The last three pictures here are from the wonderful post-conference workshop on the Citation Project, presented by Sandra Jamieson and Tricia Serviss.
Let's hope we can entice them to return next year for another update!

Speaking of next year, save the date! September 20-21, 2013 at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah.  This will be our 10th anniversary, so expect to party!  See you there.

Monday, May 14, 2012

GSU eReserves Copyright Infringement Case

The decision is in regarding the eReserves case against Georgia State University:

Basically, 10% was used more as a rule than a guideline, but applied equally to edited collections as well as single-authored books; multi-semester use of materials is allowed; and only 95% of the instances brought before the judge were determined to be in violation of Fair Use.  However, the judge also seemed to think that we (potential infringers that we are) should determine monetary effect of our use, even when that information is not available to us.  I think.  Or something like that.  Anyway, read it for yourself and see what you think.

Libraries can not (yet) breathe easily, but at least they're not (quite) dead.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Join Us at CCCC 2012 in St. Louis!

Understanding Students’ Source Choices: Insights from the Citation Project and LILAC Project
Session: D.19 on Mar 22, 2012 from 3:15 PM to 4:30 PM Cluster: 10) Research
Type: Concurrent Session (3 or more presenters) Interest Emphasis: Not Applicable
Level Emphasis: All Focus: First-Year Composition
Description of session: When instructors read students’ researched writing, they assess the sources in the bibliography and the ways in which sources are cited in the text. The results of two separate research projects, however, provide important new information about how and why students choose the sources they do; what kinds of sources are chosen; and how the source choices affect the intellectual and rhetorical quality of the students’ written work. Speakers in this session describe pedagogical changes that are suggested by the research results.

Speaker One Abstract:
TITLE: Statistical Analysis of Students' Source Choices

The Citation Project has studied almost 1,000 sources cited in 175 student researched papers from FYC classes at 16 colleges across the US, and the correlation between the type and difficulty-level of the source and students’ use of it. This presentation will discuss these findings and related questions about how we describe and they assess sources. There is much room for confusion when we say “peer reviewed” to mean “reviewed by academics” but wikipedia is also “peer reviewed,” and there is more confusion regarding bias. McClure and Clink’s 2009 study of 100 student essays found that sources they classified as “advocacy” were the most frequently cited, followed by “News” and “Informational” (“How Do You Know That?”). A 2011 whitepaper by, “Plagiarism and the Web,” uses six classifications, and notes that material in “Homework and Academic” is the second most frequently used (25% of 140 million content matches). This category includes, which boasts “more than 6,500,000 student-uploaded documents from over 5,000 universities around the world” but would probably not be classified as “academic” by most FYC faculty. Another Turnitin grouping, “News and Portals,” includes The New York Times and (the 2nd most frequently used source after wikipedia). Turnitin studied “content matches” and didn’t distinguish between quoted or correctly cited and uncited work. The citation project only codes cited source use and classifies sources into much finer categories, yet some of the findings match those of Turnitin and both studies conclude that we need to teach students to incorporate source material more effectively. But this research also confirms that students in FYC are failing to use appropriate sources, and suggests that rather than trying to teach them how to find those sources—or using computer programs to monitor which sites they use and how they use them—FYC should stop assigning the research paper.

Speaker Two Abstract:
TITLE: How Students Find and Evaluate Sources

This presentation will report on the LILAC Project’s pilot study of students’ information-seeking behavior (ISB). Using a “research-aloud protocol” (RAP), along with interviews and surveys, we attempt to discover what students are taking away from current classroom- and library-based information literacy instruction so that we can make recommendations for equipping students with research skills that will transfer beyond the first-year classroom. In the past few years, research into and testing of students’ skills in information literacy, usually defined as the ability to locate and use information from outside sources, has proliferated. The results of most of these tests and studies, however, is to tell us what we, as educators, already know: whatever we are doing now to teach essential information literacy skills to our students is just not working. Even though teachers and librarians have tried a wide variety of ways to teach these skills, students continue to fare poorly in assessments of those skills. While there are problems with many of these assessment instruments, we are right to be concerned, as the RAPs I describe in this presentation will show. The problem is not a lack of instruction or a lack of instructional materials dealing with information literacy; of these, we have an embarrassment of riches. Instead, we may need to reconsider how, when, and where we provide students with this instruction.

Speaker 3 Abstract:
TITLE: Pedagogical Causes and Rhetorical Consequences of Students' Source Choices

A rhetorical analysis of papers studied in the Citation Project reveals that what often seem to be stylistic infelicities, underdeveloped or disorganized writing, misuse of sources, or excessive reliance on sources cannot be remedied in late stages of composing. The Citation Project research reveals that instead, these issues often derive from “quote-mining” sources rather than reading them; overvaluing brevity and ease of reading as criteria for source selection; and focusing on correct citation without actually engaging with or even reading the sources. Passages from an array of student research papers illustrate problems in style and academic integrity that result from attenuated and cursory source selection and incomplete reading. These results suggest that it may be useful to redefine “early” and “late” stages of students’ writing from sources, with drafting categorized not as an “early” stage but a “late” one. It may be useful, too, to consider the extent to which correct citation is being overvalued in the assessment of student writing. Even when poor sources have been chosen and read only for the discovery of “killer quotes,” the paper may appear to handle sources well. Speaker 3 will offer concrete principles for what seem necessary and extensive pedagogical and curricular reforms.