2004 STS Conference Poster Session


ACRL Science and Technology Section

Making Connections on Campus: 
Collaborative Approaches to Information Literacy in the Sciences

Monday, June 28, 2004

Reception and Poster Session: 
11:30 - 12:30
JW Marriott Grand Lakes Resort - Palazzo Ballroom A-B

Following the STS Program, the Program and Research Committees invite you to attend the STS Reception and Poster Session. The Research Committee has invited seven groups of authors to present posters on topics of interest to Science and Technology Librarians.

Better Term Papers, Less Patchwork Plagiarism: Recognizing and Rewarding the Steps in Research and Writing

Barbara Cockrell, PhD
Waldo Library
Western Michigan University

A faculty-librarian collaboration improved the quality of biology term papers and helped reduce suspected online 'patchwork' plagiarism.

A science librarian partnered with a professor of a writing-intensive ecology class to address concerns about poorly researched term papers, insufficient evaluation and integration of information, and suspicions of patchwork copy and paste online plagiarism. We recognized a need to focus on the research and writing process not just the end-product. So we required that the paper be couched as a scientific hypothesis, with supporting and refuting evidence. Students submitted their working hypothesis, an annotated bibliography, an outline, a draft, and the final paper, sequentially through the semester. The librarian role was changed from one tools-based session to a semester long consultancy that included a process-oriented lab session, grading annotated bibliographies, checking for suspected plagiarism and office hours for help and instructor referrals. Only 13% of the papers written under this new structure included popular articles compared to 32% previously. More students cited ten or more primary scholarly articles (63% compared with 49%). Fewer students cited personal or commercial web sites (5% compared with 16%). Scores for the final papers and the final bibliography were higher. The instructor reported that students' papers demonstrated better understanding, more originality, better quality citations and less suspected plagiarism. Students reported that turning in sequential stages helped with time and content management. Students valued instructor feedback and librarian consultation. The librarian had improved communication with faculty and students and the time and opportunity to address information literacy objectives.

Science Information Literacy: Faculty-Librarian-Vendor Collaboration

Brian Simboli
Lehigh University

In fall 2003, the local representative for Chemical Abstracts Service and the science librarian at Lehigh University did a seminar about searching chemical literature. It was videotaped for delivery, over the web, to distance learning students in two graduate courses, Organic Reactions, and Process R&D in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The poster session proposed here will identify the benefits of the librarian-vendor-faculty collaboration that this seminar involved. Librarians and their patrons can benefit from a vendor representative's in-depth knowledge. The latter can learn more about how university customers are using their databases.

It will also address the planning required for joint training. It greatly helped that the faculty member provided a detailed list of questions he wanted to see covered in the session. This focused the session and encouraged complementarity in structuring its content. The CAS representative talked about use of the literature search tool "SciFinder Scholar", while the librarian focused on complementary sources of information, including Web of Science.

Finally, the session will identify the benefits of videotaping. Even in cases where the session is not for distance learners, videotaping enables re-use of the session, especially valuable given that the vendor representative, unlike the librarian, is not constantly present on campus to do seminars.

In sum, the poster session will emphasize that librarians should partake of the vendor training to which they are entitled as customers and do so in a collaborative way.

Better Living through Chemistry Bibliography

Judith Emde and Ada Emmett
University of Kansas Libraries

Chemistry Bibliography 720 is a one-credit graduate course that has been taught by librarians at the University of Kansas since 1995. With interest and support from the Chemistry faculty and related disciplines, the classes provide an introduction to new and traditional chemical information resources and assist in developing information problem-solving skills. A final project requires students to apply their new researching skills on a topic selected in consultation with their faculty advisors and culminates in a written essay and annotated bibliography. Our poster session will describe the history, challenges, and structure of the course over the years, as well as our grading, assessment plans and testimonials from those who agree that there is "better living through chemistry bibliography" courses.

Making Connections on Campus: Collaborative Approaches to Information Literacy in the Sciences

Mona Florea
Three Rivers Community College

I am the Reference/Instruction Librarian at Three Rivers Community College, in Norwich CT.

Over the last few months, our Library and instructors from the Nursing Department collaborated closely in creating and implementing a Nursing Information Literacy Program for the first year nursing students. Our nursing students are aged from 19 to 52, the average age being 31. Mostly women (many single mothers), they have not been in school for a number of years, have contact with information technology for the first time, and need to be reoriented to academia. The goals of the Nursing Information Literacy Program is to offer instructor/librarian targeted print and electronic resources, learning and research tools, and learning and research guides and tutorials, all in one place, a nursing information and research gateway that can be accessed from the school laboratory or classroom, the clinical area, or from home.

The Biology Research Portfolio Project: A Story of Recursive Faculty-Librarian Collaboration

Jeff Beck
Wabash College

One of the pleasures of working with undergraduate students is to observe their gradual adoption of the skills, mindset, and values of their discipline. It is an even greater pleasure to partner with faculty to develop a curriculum that demonstrates to students that information literacy is one of those essential skills.

For the past eight years, students in the introductory biology course for science majors have completed a significant library project. The Biology Research Portfolio Project stands as the model for course-integrated library instruction at Wabash College. In 1996 two biologists and one librarian transformed a long-standing, unsatisfactory library research assignment into an ambitious one semester project. Collaboration over successive years has blossomed into a robust two semester project mediated via BlackBoard with a companion tutorial. As this project has evolved, the entire biology department has participated in teaching, evaluating, and reflecting on the project, thereby infusing a consciousness of information literacy throughout the biology department and beyond.

This poster session will explore several themes, including pedagogical goals and practical reflections on this collaboration. From day one, the goals of the project have remained unchanged--to help students learn to create a Research Portfolio that represents their work in identifying, reading and evaluating a range of journal articles and web resources on a topic that they find personally engaging. Most students successfully demonstrated an ability to develop researchable hypotheses, to edit PDF files, and to understand the differences among primary, secondary, and tertiary literature sources. Through this project, students have started to think like biologists.

The Grand Design: Information Literacy Starts with First-Year Engineering Students and Their Design Projects

Barbara MacAlpine
Trinity University

What better way to start a college student on the road to information literacy than with a faculty member and librarian committed to working together toward that goal? After a year+ of intermittent encouragement (nagging), I finally turned one of our newer engineering faculty into a believer. His enthusiasm for a library component within his first-year design course resulted in an integrated and productive collaboration. I met with the students the first day, returned later in the semester for a 75-minute class period to introduce them to approaches and resources relevant to design literature, attended the presentations of their design projects, and participated as an instructor on their Blackboard page. This poster will spotlight my activities with these students during the Fall '03 semester, including aspects of my presentation on researching the literature for my own mini-design project (a vacuum cleaner to use on pets). Other components will be the handouts and web page I prepared for the students, their evaluations of the presentation, and my worksheet on resources that students followed and turned in with their final reports. With the instructor's encouragement, I also developed and led the students through an exercise on written communication involving small group analysis of samples of literature related to-as one might expect-vacuum cleaners. Part of the poster will highlight this exercise and its mixed reactions; it was not a clean sweep! I am very excited about this collaboration and would welcome the chance to discuss it with other sci/tech librarians.

Planting the seed for collaboration: Connections with a Core Course in Plant Biology

Marian Burright, Maggie Cunningham
Univesrsity of Maryland

Since 2000, librarians at the University of Maryland have collaborated with teaching faculty and graduate teaching assistants in the College of Life Sciences to teach course-integrated library skills to undergraduate students in a core course in Plant Biology designed for non-science majors.

Initially, the Life Sciences Librarian instructed about 30 sections with an annual enrollment exceeding 600 students. She worked with the faculty member to integrate course learning objectives with information literacy competencies, including identifying peer-reviewed publications and popular literature, and evaluating Web sites on a topic in plant science.

Between 2000 and 2003, this collaboration grew into a larger partnership between the Libraries and the College of Life Sciences to manage the content and delivery of the instruction. Presenters will share how we continuously collaborated with the faculty and teaching assistants to improve learning outcomes and quality of students' papers. As the assignment requires non-science majors to use the scientific literature, librarians worked with teaching assistants to help students define manageable topics, select appropriate databases, and formulate effective search strategies. We integrated course learning objectives and information literacy skills into a library research worksheet worth 30 points.

Librarians initiated orientation sessions to familiarize the teaching assistants with information literacy goals. While initially the subject specialist taught all sections, User Education Services has trained a group of seven librarians to teach the sessions.

Assessment has been a critical component of this collaboration; we will show how teaching assistant and student feedback changed markedly from 2000 to 2003.

STS Task Force on Information Literacy for Science and Technology

Virginia Baldwin, University of Nebraska
Sheila J. Young, Arizona State University
C.J. Wong, Quinnipiac University
Ibironke Lawal, Virginia Commonwealth University

In 2002, one of the new initiatives of STS was the formation of a task force on information literacy as it relates to science and technology. In alignment with the ACRL Strategic Plan 2005, the initiative supports the information literacy goals stated in the Strategic Directions of the plan. This poster presents the resulting work in the context of the history of the development of the task force, the charge to the task force, and the activities of the members. The members of the task force reviewed accreditation documents and sources from the literature. Using the ACRL standards as a basis, we propose five standards, one of which is a new standard. These draft standards have been disseminated and feedback has been solicited via the task force website (http://sciencelibrarian.tripod.com/ILTaskForce/ILIndex.htm). Additional suggestions will be gathered through presentations at the 2004 ALA annual meeting. After the incorporation of revisions, the final report will be sent to the STS Council.


The following corporate friends provided generous financial funding in support of the ACRL STS program and its New Members Orientation session.We are most appreciative of this support

Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
Elsevier Science, Inc
YBP Library Services
Springer-Verlag NY, Inc

2004 STS Conference Program

Last updated June 17, 2004