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Key Academic & Digital Information Skills Framework

A guide for academic staff

Organising and using information

When students undertake research for their essays, assignments, projects and dissertations they need to organise, manage and use the information they find effectively, ethically and with academic integrity.

  • Consider how you read text and select relevant material 

  • Learn how to use, summarise and paraphrase information sources to support your writing or argument 

  • Understand how to communicate your findings clearly and in an appropriate style.  

  • Understand the importance of keeping a record of searches and the resources found whilst researching 

  • Understand how to reference to avoid the academic offence of plagiarism and why this is important  

  • Identify the preferred referencing style for your School, programme or module  

  • Construct accurate references and in-text citations for the most commonly used information in your discipline (e.g books and journal articles) to avoid plagiarism and the unethical use of information  

  • Locate and use the sources of referencing help available (such as the UoL Referencing Guides, tutorials and Academic Subject Librarian support) 

  • Proofread your referencing for common mistakes and rectify them accordingly  

  • Be able to analyse several information sources and perspectives to develop your argument  

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the source materials and be able to explain their significance in relation to your own analysis of the subject  

  • Construct an accurate reference for further information types in your subject area, and understand the importance of locating all the required details for a particular reference type e.g. conference papers, multimedia, social media  

  • Understand what reference management software is, and consider the benefits this may offer in collecting and compiling your references  

  • Know how to access the software provided by the university (RefWorks & EndNote) and what support is available e.g. workshop, help guides  

  • Access, collect and use information/data legally and ethically 

  • Synthesise information from multiple sources to support and challenge your research question  

  • Propose areas of further research following the identification of gaps or potential developments in the existing literature  

  • Articulate which resources you have used whilst studying, describe the skills you have developed in the process, and how these were developed (in readiness for further study, placements, interviews & the workplace)  

  • Develop a range of strategies to keep up to date in your discipline, including Browzine, EBSCOHost and JournalTOCS to save searches and set up alerts for key journals/resources  

  • Decide on a strategy and workflow for managing information which suits your discipline and purpose  

  • Evaluate reference management tools and strategies for suitability with your chosen strategy and workflows  

  • Use reference management software to collate references from your research in one place, and prepare bibliographies  

  • Understand the limitations/restrictions on information in relation to publication and copyright