Information Literacy Course

- Discover, access and use information effectively for your research and academic sucess! 


Course description:

Information Literacy aims to respond to problems, errors and gaps in web information retrieval that have been identified worldwide, even among younger generations. It has been acknowledged that technology competency is distinct from information competency and therefore does not provide adequate solutions for Internet information searching complexities.

Easy and extended access to information is causing end-user overload and leading to difficulties in identifying, evaluating, selecting, locating and accessing relevant and reliable information sources that can address specific information needs.

The main objective of the Information Literacy Course is to provide students with a set of  critical information skills mentioned above that have been recognized as crucial for academic achievement and life-long learning development requirements.

Key Topics

  • Defining the object of information queries. Managing search tools and strategies.
  • Evaluating information sources
  • Plagiarism, citation and referencing
  • Bibliometrics and scientific publishing


PhD students at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
PhD holders working at NOVA (Professors, Researchers,...)


15th edition: 21/02, 22/02 and 23/02/2018 (Wed to Fri) | Venue: to defined | This edition will be held in Portuguese (NEW)


Day 1: 9 am - 6 pm
Day 2: 9 am - 6 pm
Day 3: 9 am - 1 pm


Course Coordinator:
Isabel Andrade

1. Defining the object of information queries. Managing search tools and strategies
FCSH - Nita Camotim
Nova SBE - Sean Story

2. Evaluating information sources
ENSP - Isabel Andrade

3. Plagiarism, citation and referencing
FCT - Ana Roxo
FCT - Rosário Duarte

4. Bibliometrics and scientific publishing
ITQB - Susana Lopes
NOVA IMS - Antónia Correia 


1 ECTS | 2 + 1/2 days (25 hours)

Activities Number of Hours
Lectures 16
Seminar 2
Reading / Self-Study 5
Assessment: Multi-choice test 2
Total 25


Assessments tasks Weighting
Multi-choice test 100%


Learning outcomes

1) Defining the object of information queries. Managing search tools and strategies (How to effectively search online resources) – by the end of this module:
a) Students should be aware of the diversity of information resources and be able to identify the most useful or relevant to their research field;
b) Students should also become familiar with the interfaces, tools and strategies used in information seeking being able to perform advanced searches using a variety of strategies, operators, and limiters to improve their research.

2) Evaluating information sources - by the end of this module:
a) Students should know how to examine and compare information from various sources – print or online – by applying appropriate evaluation criteria;
b) Students should be able to identify reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and points of view or biases among several evaluation criteria for information sources.

3) Plagiarism, citation and referencing – by the end of this module:

a) Students should be able to understand the different elements and syntax of a bibliographic reference according to the different types of sources used;
b) Students should be able to recognize the existence of several standards for bibliographic references;
c) Students should be aware of the existence of some bibliographic management software;
d) Students should be able to recognize and avoid plagiarism and get acquainted with some of the plagiarism detection software available;
e) Students should know when/why to cite a source.

4) Bibliometrics and scientific publishing - by the end of this module:
a) Students should understand the context and use of bibliometrics in higher education;
b) Students should be able to identify the main metrics used in the evaluation and assessment of research;
c) Students should be aware of the main issues and limitations associated with bibliometric analysis.

Recommended reading

1. Defining the object of information queries. Managing search tools and strategies

Badke, W. Research strategies: finding your way through the information fog. 3. New York: iUniverse, 2008. Print.
Hart, Chris. Doing a literature search: a comprehensive guide for the social sciences. London: Sage, 2006. Print.
O'Leary, Z. The essential guide to doing your research project. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 2010. Print.

2.  Evaluating information sources

Hoyer J. Information is social: information literacy in context. Reference Services Review. 2011; 39:10–23. doi.10.1108/00907321111108088.
Kingsley K, Galbraith GM, Herring M, Stowers E, Stewart T, Kingsley KV. Why not just Google it? : an assessment of information literacy skills in a biomedical  science  curriculum. BMC Medical Education. 2011; 11:17. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-17.
Savolainen R, Kari J. Placing the Internet in information source horizons: a study of information seeking by Internet users in the context of self-development. Library & Information Science Research. 2004; 26:415–433.

3.  Plagiarism, citation and referencing

Caldwell C. A ten-step model for academic integrity: a positive approach for business schools. Journal of Business Ethics.2010; 92:1–13.
Kellum KK, Mark AE, Riley-Huff DA - Development, assessment and use of an on-line plagiarism tutorial. Library Hi Tech. 2011; 29(4) 641-654.
Talab R. Copyright and you: a student online plagiarism guide: detection and prevention resources (and copyright implications!).TechTrends. 2004; 48(6); 15-19.

4.  Bibliometrics and scientific publishing

Borgman C L, Furner J.  Scholarly communication and bibliometrics. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. 2002; 36(1) 2-72.
Hirsch J. E. An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. PNAS. 2005; 102(46)16569-16572.
Thomson Reuters. Using bibliometrics: a guide to evaluating research performance with citation data. [Internet]. New York, NY: Thomson Reuters; 2010. [cited 2012 Dec 20]. Available from: