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Journal of Academic Librarianship






This paper describes a three-year long collaborative project between a science librarian, a biology professor and a physical therapy professor to improve information literacy in an undergraduate biology laboratory course. The authors used Bernard J. Lonergan’s Generalized Empirical Method (GEM) as a cognitional framework, emphasizing the role of experience, understanding, judgement and action in conducting research. They focused on the selection, integration and citation of scholarly articles in formal laboratory reports. The science librarian became embedded in the course, delivering information literacy instruction sessions, grading and providing feedback on the use of information sources in the lab reports. Overall the project was successful. The students’ reference grades improved modestly, their use of websites declined dramatically, and the graduate teaching assistants who ran the laboratory sessions reported a great improvement in the quality of the lab reports and the use of scholarly sources. The authors used their experience to inform changes to the course and the way in which information literacy is integrated into science education. GEM can easily be incorporated with the ACRL Framework and offers a useful framework for information literacy across the disciplines.


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