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Information literacy definitions

The Scottish Information Literacy Project used the CILIP information literacy definiton:

“knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate it, use and communicate it in an ethical manner”

This definition implies several skills. We believe that the skills (or competencies) that are required to be information literate require an understanding of: 

  •  A need for information 
  •  The resources available 
  •  How to find information 
  • The need to evaluate results
  • How to work with or exploit results
  • Ethics and responsibility of use
  • How to communicate or share your findings
  • How to manage your findings

These areas are explored in more detail at Information literacy: the skills and encompasses all media types and formats – electronic, people and printed information sources.

In the UK and around the world there are many definitons and models. The Information Literacy Groups Website provides a list of:

Iterative Process 

It is however important to note that whilst most models and frameworks list the required skills and competencies in a linear fashion, the process is iterative. In practice information searches are often circular rather than linear with the search cycle being completed and/or restarted several times using different keywords, Boolean terms and/or information sources in the search for relevant information.