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The University of Tampa Macdonald-Kelce Library

Information Literacy Framework

This guide will help students better understand the information literacy concepts underlying the research process. Information Literacy includes media literacy and text-based literacy.

A useful glossary for discussing information literacy concepts.

  • Agnotology - the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.
  • Cherry-picking - the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. It is a kind of fallacy of selective attention, the most common example of which is the confirmation bias. Cherry picking may be committed intentionally or unintentionally. This fallacy is a major problem in public debate.
  • Confirmation Bias - the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.
  • Copyright - a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others.
  • Curiosity - a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in humans and other animals.
  • Creative Commons - an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.
  • Database - an organized collection of data, generally stored and accessed electronically from a computer system.
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier) - a persistent identifier or handle used to uniquely identify digital objects. DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets.
  • Dunning-Kruger Effect - a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.
  • Fact - a thing that is known to be consistent with objective reality and can be proven to be true with evidence.
  • Fair Use - a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder.
  • HTTP Cookie - (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user's computer by the user's web browser while the user is browsing.
  • Information - any entity or form that provides the answer to a question of some kind or resolves uncertainty.
  • Information Overload - a term used to describe the difficulty of understanding an issue and effectively making decisions when one has too much information about that issue.
  • Inquiry - any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem.
  • Iteration - the repetition of a process in order to generate a (possibly unbounded) sequence of outcomes. The sequence will approach some end point or end value. Each repetition of the process is a single iteration, and the outcome of each iteration is then the starting point of the next iteration.
  • Knowledge - a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.
  • Metacognition - "cognition about cognition", "thinking about thinking", "knowing about knowing", becoming "aware of one's awareness" and higher-order thinking skills.
  • Metadata - Metadata means "data about data". Metadata is defined as the data providing information about one or more aspects of the data; it is used to summarize basic information about data which can make tracking and working with specific data easier. Some examples include: Means of creation of the data, Purpose of the data, Time and date of creation, Creator or author of the data, Location on a computer network where the data was created, Standards used, File size, Data quality, Source of the data, and Process used to create the data.
  • Objectivity - objectivity in science is an attempt to uncover truths about the natural world by eliminating personal biases, emotions, and false beliefs.
  • Open Access - research outputs which are distributed online and free of cost or other barriers, possibly with the addition of a Creative Commons license to promote reuse.
  • Open Source - a term denoting that a product includes permission to use its source code, design documents, or content. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement. Use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the software sector to cover other open content and forms of open collaboration.
  • Opinion - a judgment, viewpoint, or statement that is not conclusive.
  • Primary Source - In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source (also called an original source) is an artifact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. In journalism, a primary source can be a person with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document written by such a person. In scientific literature, a primary source is the original publication of a scientist's new data, results and theories. In political history, primary sources are documents such as official reports, speeches, pamphlets, posters, or letters by participants, official election returns and eyewitness accounts.
  • Propaganda - information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented.
  • Public Domain - all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.
  • Satisficing - a decision-making strategy or cognitive heuristic that entails searching through the available alternatives until an acceptability threshold is met.
  • Scholarship - the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the subject as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public. It is the methods that systemically advance the teaching, research, and practice of a given scholarly or academic field of study through rigorous inquiry.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.
  • Secondary Source - a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere. A secondary source contrasts with a primary source, which is an original source of the information being discussed; a primary source can be a person with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document created by such a person.
  • Serendipity - an unplanned, fortunate discovery.
  • Sousveillance - the recording of an activity by a participant in the activity, typically by way of small wearable or portable personal technologies. The term "sousveillance", coined by Steve Mann, stems from the contrasting French words sur, meaning "above", and sous, meaning "below", i.e. "surveillance" denotes the "eye-in-the-sky" watching from above, whereas "sousveillance" denotes bringing the camera or other means of observation down to human level, either physically (mounting cameras on people rather than on buildings), or hierarchically (ordinary people doing the watching, rather than higher authorities or architectures doing the watching).
  • Surveillance - the monitoring of behavior, activities, or other changing information for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting people.
  • Tertiary Source - an index or textual consolidation of primary and secondary sources. As tertiary sources, encyclopedias, textbooks, and compendia attempt to summarize, collect, and consolidate the source materials into an overview, but may also present subjective, or biased commentary and analysis (which are characteristics of secondary sources).
  • Threshold Concepts - core concepts which, once understood, transform perception of a given subject, phenomenon, or experience.
  • Wisdom - the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight.

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