Honors Project Information Literacy Checklist

The following checklist is used by librarians and archivists in assisting honors project writers to understand the research process. The five standards listed below are versions of the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

By the end of their required honors project research appointment students should:

Standard 1: Determine the nature & extent of information needed

  • Be aware of a variety of resources.
  • Understand the structure of knowledge and its communication within the
    project discipline.
  • Differentiate between primary and secondary sources, archival vs. published
    materials, raw vs. processed data, etc.
  • Be able to assess the availability of resources and how to overcome obstacles
    through ILL, travel, or other means.

Standard 2: Access needed information effectively & efficiently

  • Develop an effective search strategy.
  • Navigate the Smith Libraries website and know how to obtain items once
    identified.
  • Understand the limitations of full-text access to sources.
  • Make use of the extended honors project borrowing privilege while respecting its
    limitations.
  • Understand time required to acquire resources – and the need to create a
    reasonable timeline for the research process.

Standard 3: Evaluate information & its sources critically

  • Assess the validity & accuracy of studies using a variety of tools.
  • Be aware of the need for a project which contains a balance of publication
    formats, dates, and perspectives.
  • Feel encouraged to return for more help.

Standard 4: Use information effectively to accomplish a stated purpose

  • Keep research log of resources checked, subject terms used, and complete
    citations for items found.
  • Feel empowered to use the assistance from Jacobson Center & Educational
    Technology Services staff for both project written and oral presentations.
  • Be able to locate help for creating final pdf version of project.

Standard 5: Understand many of the issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally

  • Identify which citation style to use and understand when to cite research materials.
  • Evaluate appropriateness of using a citation management software to manage project bibliography; know how to access and get help.
  • Understand when copyright permission is needed for use of materials.
  • Be aware that the writer of the project holds its copyright and thus has the right to grant
    or deny permission for future use of its content by others.

Smith College Information Literacy Team
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