A needs analysis for information literacy provision for research: a case study in University College Dublin

Avril Patterson
2009, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. pp. 5 - 18

Abstract


The purpose of this research was to establish the baseline information literacy of incoming postgraduate research students, which in turn could inform the development of information literacy provision to support research. Evidence Based Librarianship and Information Practice (EBLIP) underpinned the methodological framework. An online survey questionnaire, information behaviour observation and a focus group formed the triangulation of methods used in data collection. Findings identified a wide variation in information literacy within and across disciplines; deficiencies in the ability to trace current and ongoing research; difficulties in the conceptualization of research questions and literal rather than lateral thought. However, it must be noted that the non probability nature of the purposive sampling for the survey questionnaire results in data which cannot be extrapolated to other populations. As this study was used to satisfy the partial requirements of an MLIS degree, the constraints of the thesis necessitated the truncation of the EBLIP process, so that the implementation steps were not included. Nevertheless, this study’s contribution to the field of enquiry lies not only in its feasibility as a practical application, but it also in the contribution it makes in an area where a research deficit has been identified (Corrall 2007; Research Information Network 2008).


Keywords


information literacy;research;academic libraries;universities;higher education;evidence-based library and information practice

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