Good practice

Good practice in information handling and data management

Identifying and promoting best practice in information literacy training and development across the HE and research sectors can be a useful way of encouraging institutions to adapt or improve their approach to such activity. It facilitates knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer exchange, and can help to develop communities of practice. But although setting out best practice is a fairly obvious activity to pursue, seeking out and presenting appropriate and relevant instances is not without its challenges. RIDLs has therefore sponsored the identification of examples that cover a useful range of approaches and aspects of IL, as well as a good cross section of institutions.

On behalf of RIDLs – the initiative that preceded and laid the ground for InformAll – teamed up with SCONUL to work on this task, which involved identifying, documenting and presenting around fifteen cases of training good practice particularly from the library sector. This work was undertaken under the auspices of the Research Information Literacy and Digital Scholarship project (RILADS). The final report from that project is here.

The cases that have been evaluated and identified are set out below. The accompanying report, which provides an analysis of the cases, makes use of the criteria developed by RIDLs to describe and assess training provision in information literacy. The report also incorporates recommendations that may be of value to those planning to develop such training resources.

The selected examples are not intended to reflect ‘the best’ IL resource; they are about good practice, rather than best practice, and the benefit of this selection is that those charged with developing resources to serve a similar need may efficiently access some examples – and ultimately perhaps, good practice may become common practice.

[Insert RILADs report]


Examples of good practice

Institution Resource name Audience / Coverage
Cardiff University Embedded information literacy Postgraduate students. Integration of information and digital literacies into the University Graduate College skills development programme.
Cranfield University Online information literacy tutorial Undergraduate / postgraduate students. Highly interactive online tutorials on a wide range of IL issues; attractively and imaginatively packaged.
Glasgow Caledonian University PG IL module (‘Pilot’) Postdoc researchers. Online tutorials on wide range of IL issues (developed for postdocs, but seems suitable for graduate students too).
Loughborough University eMRSG: East Midlands Research Support Group Early career researchers. Online, interactive tutorials on disseminating research outputs and reference management. Resource developed jointly by four East Midlands HEIs.
LSE MY592 Postgraduate students. Structured 6-week course on many aspects of IL.
Open University Ready to research Postgraduate students. A set of online tutorials, structured within a broad range of IL topics.
Oxford University Research Skills Toolkit Postgraduate students. A set of interactive online resources.
University of Bath Information Skills for Research Postgraduates Postgraduate students. Extensive programme of courses throughout the academic year, mostly on literature searching, but also on copyright, plagiarism, use of databases… The only programme on this list which has some discipline-specific resources.
University of Birmingham Raising your research profile Workshops on publishing, bibliometrics and social media.
University of Durham Training Resources 1213 Postgraduate students. Range of autumn term IL courses.
University of Edinburgh Research Data MANTRA course Postgraduate students. Online tutorials on all aspects of research data management.
University of Manchester Media & Information resource Postgraduate students, researchers. Podcast-based online resource covering wide range of IL issues.
University of Nottingham Effective Literature Searching Postgraduate students (early stage). 5-day course on literature searching
University of Salford Salford Postgraduate Research Training (SPoRT) Postgraduate researchers. Wide-ranging programme of workshops reflecting the structure of the RDF; selected sessions available on aspects of IL.
University of Warwick Digital Researcher Early career researchers. Module-based, 18-week online learning programme on social media in the research lifecycle.