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Student Information and Digital Literacies

Defining Information and Digital literacies and their development within the curriculum

Student development and progression

We support student progression by providing a sustainable and accessible mix of taught sessions, blended learning and self-directed study materials. Our offer is aligned with the new Graduate Framework to enable students to recognise and record their development against it. 

 Finding Information Evaluating InformationManaging Information
Stage 1 - Introductory

Describe the difference between academic, professional and specialist literature, and identify appropriate uses of these information types in their work. 

Identify different types of academic information available in their subject area and find academic information using reliable sources. 

Locate and interpret their reading lists. 

Use Library Search to: 

  • run a simple keyword search 
  • refine a search using filter options 
  • find an item on Library shelves 
  • access an electronic item 

Use bibliographies and reference lists to identify further reading and find a source from its reference. 

Perform a search on a database where required by the curriculum. 

Locate their Library subject guide for future reference. 

Describe what critical evaluation is and why it is important to evaluate the information they use in their work, identifying issues around authority, currency, misinformation, fake news, and bias. 

Explain the limitations of Google, Wikipedia and Generative AI tools for the purposes of an academic literature search. 

Make informed and critical decisions about the information sources and digital tools used in their work. 

Describe what referencing is and why it is important. 

Identify any preferred referencing style for their School, programme, or module. 

Construct an accurate reference for the most used information types in their discipline (e.g., books and journal articles). 

Locate and use sources of referencing help (such as Cite Them Right, Referencing guide, Library Help and Academic Skills Kit). 

Apply referencing principles to avoid plagiarism and the unethical use of information. 

Describe key ethical issues surrounding AI and its use in education, including how its use can impact their academic integrity. 

Acknowledge the use of AI generated content in their work. 

Stage 2 - Intermediate

Use their subject guide to find links to subject specific resources. 

Develop a search strategy for finding information for assignments and projects by: 

  • describing the scope of their topic. 
  • identifying keywords for the topic and building a bank of synonyms and related terms to expand their search. 
  • applying Boolean search techniques to combine keywords with AND/OR linking words. 
  • use the refining and limiting options in databases to focus results. 

Discover and use a wider range of sources (such as legislation, government publications, scientific data, standards and patents, company information, newspapers, audio visual and websites). 

Identify information protected by copyright law and find alternatives using creative commons licences and open access sources. 

Recognise AI tools when they are interacting with them in exisiting and new platforms. 

Assess the currency, relevance, accuracy, authority and purpose of potential sources of information, including Generative AI, making appropriate selections for their needs. 

Apply lateral reading techniques to fact check information across a range of sources. 

Compare and contrast evidence, revealing gaps in knowledge. 

Construct an accurate reference for further information types in their discipline (e.g., multimedia and social media). 

Proofread their referencing for common mistakes and rectify them accordingly. 

Judge whether reference management software would help to save them time in their final year and locate further information if needed (e.g. by reviewing the Referencing Guide or EndNote Guide). 


Stage 3+ - Advanced

Identify key journal titles, authoritative sources, experts, and networks in their discipline. 

Read widely around a theme to identify a suitable research topic and create a well-defined research question for an independent research project. 

Apply search techniques to find information about the types of methodology used in the research around their topic. 

Evaluate and refine their search strategy by: 

  • using a range of search modifiers, including phrase searching, truncation and wild cards. 
  • applying controlled vocabulary searching where available in specific databases. 
  • using multiple synonyms and combining searches to build up a complex search string. 
  • searching across a range of multidisciplinary and subject specific databases. 
  • adapting their search strategy to improve search results. 

Explain what a 360° search is (moving backwards through references and forwards through citing documents), and employ it in their own searching. 

Build a strong evidence base for their research, articulating and justifying the decisions they have made in choosing and using sources, including Generative AI, explaining how they are appropriate to their information needs and the task at hand. 

Follow the development of an area of research, comparing and contrasting evidence and synthesising information to form connections and build their own arguments. 

Save searches and set up email alerts to keep up to date with key journals/resources. 

Explore use of AI tools such as Semantic Scholar for keeping up to date with research in their field. 

Decide on a workflow for managing information that suits their purposes. 

Evaluate reference management tools and strategies considering their preferred workflows: 

  • If using EndNote, plan for how to access their EndNote Library after graduation.  

Collect and use data ethically. 

Reflect on the transferable skills they have developed through the research process and articulate how these were applied and improved (in readiness for further study, placements, interviews and the workplace beyond University). 


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