Students lack basic information skills, says survey

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Many college students falsely perceive their level of information literacy, according to a new survey developed by librarians and sponsored by Credo. The survey data suggests that, while students display an understanding of information skills, they are not successful at applying these skills.

In one example from the survey findings, a majority of the 1,500+ respondents grasped the concept of information literacy as it relates to finding, evaluating and using information, but 46 per cent of students admitted to looking for a copyright symbol to determine accuracy of a source and over half admitted they were unfamiliar with the purpose and basic characteristics of scholarly journals.

'These results are eye-opening,' commented Credo CEO Mike Sweet. 'This is clear evidence that many students are not learning the basics of how to research, skills that transfer beyond the classroom to ensure success in the workforce and beyond.'

The full results of the survey, along with a paper authored by Allen McKiel, dean of library services at Western Oregon University, will be unveiled on 11 April at the 2013 ACRL Conference in Indianapolis, IN, USA.