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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2008
DOI:10.5062/F4SQ8XB5

URLs in this document have been updated. Links enclosed in {curly brackets} have been changed. If a replacement link was located, the new URL was added and the link is active; if a new site could not be identified, the broken link was removed.

[Refereed]

Science and Technology Resources on the Internet

Resources for Information Literacy Instruction in the Sciences

Maribeth Slebodnik
Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist
Assistant Professor of Library Science
Purdue University Libraries
West Lafayette, Indiana
slebodnik@purdue.edu

Annie Zeidman-Karpinski
Sciences and Technical Services Librarian
Associate Professor
University of Oregon Libraries
Eugene, Oregon
annie@uoregon.edu

Copyright 2008, Maribeth Slebodnik and Annie Zeidman-Karpinski. Used with permission.

Abstract

This bibliography contains a collection of web sites and online resources that pertain to information literacy sources for scientific disciplines. This web bibliography, or "webliography", contains links and descriptions of web sites that cover general and background information on information literacy and general science as well as specific sciences. It includes instruction tools such as tutorials and assessment information, image collections and networking tools for science librarians. This webliography is useful for science librarians who are charged with providing instruction to science students and faculty in various disciplines.

Introduction

Information literacy is defined, by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) as "...the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information." Other definitions refer to 'information fluency' or 'information and communication technologies (ICT) literacy' or simply 'critical thinking.' More specifically, the scientist and the science student need to apply those skills to "...unique areas such as experimentation, laboratory research, and mechanical drawing." In science, engineering and technology dependent fields, it is vital that students have "...a set of abilities to identify the need for information, procure the information, evaluate the information and subsequently revise the strategy for obtaining the information, to use the information and to use it in an ethical and legal manner, and to engage in lifelong learning." (ACRL 2006) Science, as with many fields, is changing quickly. It is essential that students and practitioners understand not only the difference between good science and bad, but that they are able to discover and access the latest information in their own and related fields.

In 2000, the ACRL approved the {Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education} to provide a framework for assessing the information literate individual. The standards derived from a 1989 ALA Presidential Committee Report on Information Literacy, and were later endorsed by American Association for Higher Education and the Council of Independent Colleges. They form the basis for ACRL's leadership position in incorporating information literacy in higher education, integrating with the American Association of School Librarians competencies for the K-12 curriculum to construct a unified set of expectations throughout the educational process.

ACRL published {Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology} in 2006 to address the unique challenges of information literacy instruction for science, engineering and technology. This set of standards acknowledge the difficulty of obtaining peer reviewed literature and grey literature, the interdisciplinary nature of science which requires knowledge of more than one discipline, and the variety of formats which requires increasing expertise in information technology. Currency is particularly important in the rapidly changing fields of science, technology and engineering.

Given the importance of information literacy, these standards and definitions are understandably broad. As practicing librarians, it is our responsibility to implement these standards effectively for our particular constituencies. When teaching information literacy to students of science, no matter their academic level, it is particularly useful to provide the context of science and scientific literature, and to provide concrete examples and tools from the appropriate discipline. These skills are transferable to other subject areas, which we encourage students to understand. The resources described are useful for enhancing your own instruction, providing the means to stay abreast of information literacy in general and specifically for science students, and to network with similarly engaged colleagues. The ultimate goal is to provide tools to help improve the information literacy as well as the scientific literacy of students at your institution of higher learning.

Scope and Methods

This web bibliography, or webliography, is a collection of resources selected because they promote or lend themselves to information literacy instruction, with an emphasis on science topics. In general, the resources will be collections, rather than single resources, although exceptions are made for particularly useful or easily adaptable resources. These resources are meant to be useful to academic librarians teaching undergraduate or graduate science students and working with academic faculty. The language of all sites is English, although information literacy is an international topic. Resources are freely available, unless specified as requiring registration or the payment of a fee for use or downloading.

Selection was first made by a survey of the sites that the authors have collected and found useful in their own instruction. The initial collection was supplemented by the use of general search engines such as Google and by following links from useful sources, such as Internet Scout.

Since it is unlikely that a webliography on this topic can (or should) remain comprehensive, a wiki space has been set up for readers to discuss the resources collected here and share other useful resources for information literacy instruction. We invite you to join us at http://wikis.ala.org/acrl/index.php/ISTL_Webliography_Resources_for_Information_Literacy_Instruction to share the resources that you have found helpful and those you discover as you design and deliver instruction to your own patrons.

Section Headings

General Information
Information Literacy
Science and General Reference
Instruction Tools
Tutorials
Assessment
Networking
Current Awareness
Image Collections
Other Resources

General Information

Here is a survey of information about information literacy in general and in the sciences. The first section includes the ACRL standards mentioned in the Introduction and resources specific to science information literacy. The second section includes selected reference resources with good scientific content and/or an educational focus. They can be used much as traditional reference sources, both by the librarian and the student. They are applicable for enhancing the librarian's scientific background, as well as for demonstrating finding and retrieving information on a scientific topic to students.

Information Literacy

Information Literacy - ACRL overview
{http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/infolit/index.cfm}
The starting point for learning about information literacy. Includes links to an overview, standards, resources, professional activities and news.

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
{http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm}
(PDF: {http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm})
ACRL standards for assessing the information literate individual.

Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology
{http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/infolitscitech.cfm}
Outlines the five ACRL standards and their performance indicators in relation to science.

Information Literacy in the Disciplines
{http://wikis.ala.org/acrl/index.php/Information_literacy_in_the_disciplines}
ACRL has collected links and citations to information literacy standards and curricula developed by accrediting agencies, professional associations, and institutions of higher education. Disciplines include arts & humanities, cultural studies, professional studies, science & technology and social sciences. Science and technology includes links and citations for biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental studies, geology, mathematics and physics. A related wiki is Information Literacy in Science Libraries: A Literature Review.

Science and General Reference

There are clearly many useful (and often expensive) resources available for purchase or subscription. Here are some freely available resources to demonstrate alternative means of publishing scientific information.

Wikipedia
http://www.wikipedia.org/
The biggest and most popular wiki encyclopedia on the Internet. Can be a surprisingly good place to find chemical properties and initial articles on topics that you (or your students) are unfamiliar with. The links and further references can be mined like any bibliography and should always be checked for accuracy. Constantly updated and policed by a cadre of volunteers, this intriguing idea has helped to spread the wiki idea as a means of scientific communication.

Google Scholar
http://scholar.google.com/
Google hasn't divulged exactly what they have here, but they say that it is better on science content than anything else. Side by side comparisons of GS and the catalogs they indexed fully display different results. For example, a search of MARINE BIOLOGY in GS limited to Blackwell publications turned up 27,800 while the same search on the Blackwell site turned up nearly half the number of articles, 12,952. (See it yourself at: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~jacso/scholarly/side-by-side2.htm) Sometimes this is the best place to start a search for an incomplete citation or a good place to go if you're not turning up anything in the places (databases, indexes, etc.) you think it really should be. Useful to share with Google-addicted students as a more acceptable alternative for initial research.

Encyclopedia of Life
http://www.eol.org/home.html
A fledgling effort inspired by E.O. Wilson - the ultimate goal is to have 'an electronic page for each species of organism on Earth available everywhere by single access on command.' The first million pages, many of them still skeletal, went live in February 2008. Although not comprehensive (yet), the initial exemplar pages are a rich source of information as well as a concrete demonstration of the collaborative nature of science.

Instruction Tools

There are a number of useful instruction tools out there that others have been generating and sharing. While instruction needs to be tailored for your students and their skill levels, the basic concepts do not need to be endlessly recreated. Many are willing to share excellent lesson plans, syllabi, tutorials, and links to multimedia that can provide inspiration, enrich instruction and won't take precious time to find or create. Here are some sites that particularly impressed us as resources for our own instruction and approaches to incorporating information literacy into instruction.

MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)
http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm
MERLOT is a searchable collection of resources for higher education. Some resources are peer-reviewed, and these are clearly marked. Resources are accessed via large subject areas (e.g., Science and Technology) which are then broken into more granular categories (Agriculture, Astronomy, etc.) Another access point is by discipline communities (e.g., Health Sciences), each of which includes sections entitled Teaching, People, Learning Materials, Beyond Merlot and Showcase. MERLOT's strong suit is the contributions of its members. The Learning Materials numbered over 18,000 when accessed in February 2008. Registration for MERLOT is free, and allows one to contribute as well as to search for and use learning materials. Science categories include the Science and Technology subject area and discipline communities for biology, chemistry, health sciences, mathematics and physics. Materials can also be accessed through personal collections, where one can view collections of single topic information organized by one in the field. Two categories of learning materials that are of particular interest are Mathematics & statistics and Science & technology.

PRIMO (Peer Reviewed Instructional Materials Online)
{http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/sections/is/iswebsite/projpubs/primo}
Very nicely designed searchable database of materials collected and contributed by members of the Instruction Section of ACRL. Not only about science, but the interface allows you to do searches for items that are of interest/use. The metadata for the entries is short, but helpful and the attempts to add keywords to enhance the searching by title and description welcome. The Site of the Month link on many of the entries is a bit confusing. Those entries seem to have been compiled from another source where a survey tool was working and therefore, perhaps, more useful.

S.O.S. for Information Literacy: A Virtual Factory for Teaching Information Literacy Skills
http://www.informationliteracy.org/
A searchable collection of lesson plans, handouts, presentations, videos and other resources to enhance the teaching of information literacy. Developed in response to surveys that indicated the need for information literacy focused instruction, sponsors include IMLS, ACRL and AASL. Search by keyword and grade level, which includes higher education, professional, graduate and continuing education. A search for 'higher education' as the grade level yielded some interesting lesson plans. Freely available; register to submit your own material to this resource.

AMSER (Applied Mathematics and Science Educational Repository)
http://amser.org/
A portal for information resources specifically for community and technical colleges, but free for anyone to use. Funded by the National Science Foundation and created by a team of project partners, including Internet Scout. Organized using GEM (Gateway to Educational Materials) classification, it includes an advanced search option. The material consists mostly of links to other resources, all of them are entered into AMSER with an impressive amount of metadata. These descriptions can be rated by the users, which would be a useful aspect indeed if it were to be more widely used.

Syllabus Finder - Center for History and New Media
http://chnm.gmu.edu/research-and-tools/
Useful tool for finding educational resources on a particular topic to spark your own planning. The Syllabus Finder uses an optimized Google search of educational institution web sites, with most relevant results listed first. A search on 'information literacy' turned up 14,000 possible results, and adding biology to the search decreased the set to about 2,300. A preliminary scan showed some useful course outlines, lesson plans and syllabi, most written within the last 3-4 years. Some results include assigned readings on a topic, a unique and potentially useful point of access.

NSDL (National Science Digital Library)
http://nsdl.org/
The National Science Digital Library is funded by the National Science Foundation. This resource rich site includes educational resources for K-12 teachers, higher education and librarians. The subject material is organized into pathways - seven subject-based pathways (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computational Science, Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematical Science, and Physics and Astronomy) and three audience-based pathways (Middle School, Community and Technical Colleges, and Multimedia Resources for the Classroom.) Each pathway is stewarded by an appropriate group - for example, the Chemistry pathway is managed by the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Chemical Education. Each pathway is arranged somewhat differently, but all include carefully selected educational resources, most labeled with an educational level, recommended audience and any copyright restriction. Some individual resources (e.g., American Physiological Society on the Biological Sciences pathway) require free registration for full text viewing. Resource types include lesson outlines, multimedia resources, journal articles, book chapters, classroom activities, exercises, assessments and images. We encourage you to consider applying for the funds they offer for digital projects -- librarians would be natural contributors.

INTUTE
http://www.intute.ac.uk/
Intute is a free online service providing access to web resources for education and research in four major categories: Science & Technology, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Health & Life Sciences. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the web sites and write high quality descriptions of the resources. The database contains over 120,000 records as of 2/19/2008. A search on "weeds" in the Health and Life Sciences section turned up 132 web sites, documents and carefully described resources. Click on the "Description" link to find the description, controlled keywords, URL and classification for each source.

GEMs (Greener Educational Materials for Chemists)
http://greenchem.uoregon.edu/gems.html
A searchable database of materials about teaching green chemistry as well as more general chemical principles and laboratory techniques. High quality items have been entered into the collection with good metadata. Materials include links and multimedia projects as well as more conventional formats.

MedEdPORTAL
{https://www.mededportal.org/}
A program of the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Dental Association, this resource provides free access to peer-reviewed instructional materials supporting medical and dental education. Topics include basic sciences, such as biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, cell biology and research methods, as well as clinical topics. Authors complete a peer review form and register for a Creative Commons license before their work is reviewed and published. Instructional materials are evaluated for SCORM compliance so they can be incorporated into web-based learning systems such as Blackboard.

Second Life
http://secondlife.com/
A controversial, potentially revolutionary way of interacting online. For example, San Jose State University has a whole campus for distance education here set up to deliver degrees online in an environment that looks more exciting than your e-mail inbox and flat online computer discussion boards. The potential for delivering information literacy resources in Second Life is intriguing, as it is programmable and open all the time. However, the SL world is still constrained by the technologies available in our world and high start up "costs", in terms of the energy, effort and practice it takes to learn how to do the most basic things. Once you know what you're doing, like walking without inadvertently flying around, it is supposed to be more useful. Some libraries have invested huge resources, others, haven't yet. Time will tell if this attempt to create a 2-D world on the Internet will be the next big thing or a fad.

Bibliographic Gaming
http://bibliogaming.blogspot.com/
An active blog by and about librarians using video games to teach. If you are interested in this approach to attracting students and relatively painless instruction, this is a good place to find resources for that purpose. It also links to colleagues who've already embarked on this path and to critical discussions of institutional efforts, and results of instructional gaming initiatives in libraries.

Tutorials

Tutorials can enhance the interactivity of instruction and appeal to students who are accustomed to the multimedia environment. Many excellent tutorials have been developed on a multitude of topics. Included here are animated tutorials using screen-capture software like Camtasia and Captivate, and simple text-based or PowerPoint tutorials for lower bandwidth situations. Many are in collections that are categorized or are searchable by subject so they can be used for many classroom situations. The section is organized with science-specific collections and tutorials first, then more generalized tutorials following. There are other institutional collections of tutorials available -- a few are included here, but we invite you to help form a more comprehensive list on the wiki.

Information Exploration: Becoming a Savvy Scholar
{http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/materials-science-and-engineering/3-093-information-exploration-becoming-a-savvy-scholar-fall-2006/tutorials/}
MIT Open Courseware - Six Flash tutorials explore the scientific publication cycle, primary vs. secondary sources , and online and in-print bibliographic databases; how to search, find, evaluate, and cite information; indexing and abstracting; using special resources (e.g., patents) and "grey literature"; conducting Web searches; and constructing literature reviews. Excellent introduction, includes review questions.

Science Information Tutorial
http://www.lib.uci.edu/services/tutorials/science_info_tutorial/tutorial.html
This graphically appealing series of three tutorials (Creating, Sharing and Finding Information; Science and Engineering Sources and Resources; and Reading, Evaluating and Citing Information) moves quickly and contains a wealth of information. Each section has a self review. The tutorials appear to be more appropriate for students with some science background rather than absolute beginners.

Guide to Library Research in Science: College of Wooster
{http://wooster.edu/library/sciref/Tutor/libraryresearchscience/infolitsci.php}
This series of brief, text-based tutorials includes sections on information literacy, scientific communication, reference sources, organization of library materials, search strategies and techniques, searching library catalogs, finding article citations, understanding citations, finding full text, searching the World Wide Web, borrowing from other libraries, evaluating information and the ethical use of information. Each section begins with an introduction and links to additional resources. Sections have been recently updated as of this writing (2/08).

How to Read a Scientific Paper
{http://www.lib.purdue.edu/help/tutorials/scientific-paper}
This brief web-based tutorial provides a good introduction to the structure of a scientific paper. The example used is basic and applicable to a wide variety of disciplines. Not glitzy but nice interactivity and a solid educational tool.

ANTS (Animated Tutorial Sharing project)
https://dspace.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/43471
Not science specific, but up and coming wiki for high quality tutorials created by librarians - the goal is to collect open source tutorials for online resources, mostly databases. Completed tutorials include Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, CINAHL and PsycInfo. Many other listed await completion or a champion, see the wiki for more . Many types of resources are included, in addition to tutorials using screen capture software. Includes a link to other collaborative sites.

LINK (Library Instruction Knapsack)
http://www.eln.bc.ca/irl/
Hosted by ALPS (Academic Librarians in Public Service), a section of the British Columbia Libraries Association, to support academic librarians in their instructional role and share learning objects to save them time, eliminate duplication and enhance instructional skills. Multiple formats are included, such as animated tutorials, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, pathfinders, quick guides, and exercises. Searchable by keyword and browsable by discipline, each resource is clearly described and requirements for use (usually attribution as many are Creative Commons compliant) are included. Disciplines include Library and Information Literacy (61 resources as of 3/1/08) and Sciences (with 17 sub disciplines - Biology, 188 resources; Physics, 35 resources and Math/Statistics, 46 resources.) Browsing and searching are open; registration is required for submission. This is a rich and growing site and well worth exploring for inspiration and practical applications.

CLUE (Campus Literacy User Education)
http://clue.library.wisc.edu/
A series of five 5-10 minute interactive multimedia tutorials developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries for general instruction in information literacy. Three of the tutorials include quizzes. Text-based versions of the tutorials can be used to scan them.

TILT - Texas Information Literacy Tutorial
{http://tilt.library.skagit.edu/}
The granddaddy of information literacy tutorials - many institutions have adapted this approach to their own tutorials. Organized in three modules (Selecting, Searching and Evaluating) and including an introduction and a follow up section, students can pick their 'current Internet issue' from a short list of scenarios, and then work their way through the tutorial. Quizzes are included, and results can be sent to an instructor to demonstrate a student's participation. Certainly not the only approach, but a classic -- may be downloaded using TILT's Open Publication License to adapt to your institution.

Assessment

The issue of assessment is a vital and complicated one. If done well, you'll know if your lessons are having the effect you want on your students. Done poorly, they'll feel like busy work. The literature about how to do information literacy assessment well is mostly not online. These sites can't help decide on the best tool for your purposes. But, once you know what you need, these should help you find examples. [Anyone want to suggest resources they like for assessment on the wiki?]

NILRC (Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community College)
http://www.nilrc.org/IMLS/default.asp
Links to an information literacy toolkit, including information literacy teaching resources, an assessment tool and standards. Not specifically for the sciences, but useful all the same. See instructions on web site for taking the assessment quiz, which is based on 13 of the ACRL information literacy standards.

ACRL Information Literacy - Assessment Issues
{http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/infolit/resources/assess/issues.cfm}
Links from this page include bibliographies for more information, tutorials, as well as pre and post tests. Again, not science specific, but a useful place to start. I'd like to see the URLs for the links updated, as several of the tests are now 404 errors.

Library Instruction Assessment
http://library.usu.edu/instruct/assessment/index.php
A list of simple assessment options from Utah State University including one minute papers, pre- and post-tests, and teaching evaluations. If the concept of assessment is new to you, this is a great introduction to practical tools that you can use in your own instruction.

Chambers Library (University of Central Oklahoma) - Library Instruction Evaluation Form
{http://library.ucok.edu/forms/feedback.cfm}
This is a generic Web-based form, easily adaptable, simple and short. Well worth a look.

ERIC
http://www.eric.ed.gov/
Searching one of the most comprehensive database for education in the English language yielded a number of resources, mostly books and papers about assessment (as a keyword) in science or engineering (also a keyword) and information literacy (as a descriptor phrase). Lots of other possible terms (information retrieval, instructional design, to name a few) to search for in this deep database. Although widely repackaged by vendors, consistent metadata is available for the records and there are some simple publication types to select (or avoid).

Networking

Often the best way to find out what others are doing, what folks are talking about, and to get help, is by talking and listening to your colleagues. Here are a few places where librarians (some in the sciences, but not all) who are concerned about implementing information literacy goals hang out virtually. A related activity is online social networking. Sites like Facebook.com, used ubiquitously today among college age students, can be employed to connect librarians engaged in similar efforts as well as provide a connection point with students.

Discussion lists can be fruitful sources of information and collaboration if chosen and managed carefully. Most are intended for members of a group or organization, but allow anyone to sign up and do simple archive searches of the mailing list. Full of useful facts, strategies and alerts, these can be difficult to search, as you'll have to remember a pertinent fact in order to retrieve the correct message(s). Perhaps the most useful list for information literacy for librarians is ILI-L, the discussion list for members of the Instruction section of ACRL (http://lists.ala.org/wws/arc/ili-l). Other lists are more subject-based but may contain occasional threads on information literacy that are useful to librarians engaged in instruction. Examples include CHEMED-L for chemistry education (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/chemed-l), PAMnet for members of the Physics, Astronomy and Math division of SLA (Special Libraries Association) (http://listserv.nd.edu/archives/pamnet.html), and STS-L for members of the Science and Technology Section of ACRL (http://lists.ala.org/wws/info/sts-l).

Library Instruction Wiki
{http://instructionwiki.org/Main_Page}
The Oregon Library Instruction Wiki, a collaboratively developed resource for librarians involved with or interested in instruction. The Instruction Resources section includes handouts, tutorials, teaching techniques, class-specific web sites. More general content, but great ideas that can be adapted to your own purposes. I liked the teaching idea called "Looking for Love - the Boolean Way!"

Learning Times Librarian Online Community
http://home.learningtimes.net/library
An online community that collects resources and provides networking for the "Blended Librarian" community (described as academic librarians with information technology and instructional skills). Very interactive site, hosts online conferences and workshops, webcasts and podcasts of interest to librarians and education professionals. Recent discussion threads included very useful exchange about subject specific information literacy classes and information literacy is a frequent topic. Free but requires registration to participate.

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki
http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
Section 3.8, Reference Services and Information Literacy, contains sections on Information Literacy and Online Tutorials, with further links to free online resources, blogs and journal articles focusing on information literacy, online tutorials, and additional resources. Some sections have not been updated recently, however, this contains useful information and is deserving of a look. Requires registration and e-mail confirmation in order to contribute.

Current Awareness

These resources aren't all about science or information literacy, but all of these tools will help you see what others are doing and will help you keep up with the newest information. There's so much to keep track of, how can you stay on top of everything? Our suggestion is to use RSS feed readers to automatically update you on information that's been added to sites you read. Web browsers all have them. Others are web based, although that makes them unacceptable for password protected sources. They are also available in some e-mail clients like Thunderbird and Outlook. Let others scan the science and information literacy horizon for you, they'll summarize and highlight on their blogs and web spaces, you just have to read their updates. Organized from the more science specific to the more popular, widely used commercial sites, this will be a growing, changing list of useful resources.

Examples of web based, platform independent web based RSS feed readers are:

Internet Scout
http://scout.wisc.edu/
The Scout Report is a weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators. Register for weekly receipt of their list via e-mail for a regular treat on Friday morning. Archives are searchable from 1994 to the present. A search on information literacy turned up 47 results, some familiar sites such as ALA and the TILT tutorials, and some unfamiliar and fairly off-topic.

Evil Mad Scientist
http://evilmadscientist.com/
Part blog about geeky, techy things, part science fair. Weekly projects posted on Wednesdays include how to make a simple motor, how to use LEDs and Legos for decorations, and how to play with your food. I especially appreciated the detailed instructions about how to cook a hot dog by electrocuting it.

Technorati
http://technorati.com/
For tracking blogs and "tagged social media." Search millions of blogs here. Use the search box and you'll get a list of posts on those search terms, blogs about that search, even a chart showing you how often your search words were used in blogs in the past month. Now also tracking tags, photos and video. Click on the authority link to see who is referring to the blog or post in question. To have the search consider authority, go to the companion site: http://search.technorati.com/

De.lic.ious
http://del.icio.us/
This is where tagging, or the popular use of keyword classification, really got popular. Share your bookmarks with the world, keep yours all in one place, see how folks classify their bookmarks. Allows the world to try to classify cool things using keywords, utterly ignoring hierarchical thesauri, metadata standards and controlled vocabulary. Unlike Library of Congress Subject headings, its flexibility allows it to change quickly, as interests move and words invented.

Image Collections

We all know the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that benefit may be even greater in instruction. The right image at the right time can produce the sought-for Eureka moment for your students. The topic of freely available science images has been covered very thoroughly by Alpi in the 2001 ISTL webliography "What You See Is What You Get: Science Images on the Web." Therefore we will add only a few sites that may be useful, such as Google Images, and update some information such as that for BioDidac, below.

BioDidac: A Bank of Digital Resources for Teaching Biology
http://biodidac.bio.uottawa.ca/
Searchable collection of biological images that can be used for educational purposes with proper attribution. Sections include eubacteria, protista, fungi, plantae, animalia, human biology and histology. New material has not been added since 2001, and when asked to verify this, Professor Antoine Morin stated that, "Funding has been terminated so production of new material has ended. However, material will remain accessible for the foreseeable future and we could integrate material produced elsewhere."

Getty Images
http://www.gettyimages.com/
A site that tries to organize stock images, a large collection of images of all kinds. Be sure to search for images that are royalty free, unless you have the money to pay for ones that cost. Use the Advanced Search and specify "royalty free" collections in the Creative Images section. You must be registered for an account to download or purchase images.

Google Images
http://images.google.com/imghp?tab=oi
A search in Google Images can yield staggering numbers of images. For instance, a search on 'scientific publication cycle' returned 167,000 images. Images can be viewed in their original context, so that copyright status and permissions may be verifiable. A useful place to search for a variety of science images, including diagrams, flowcharts and photographs.

Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/
You're at the whim and mercy of tags and quirky photo titles. But, a search on human biology produced 665 results, some of them possibly useful, fungi got over 92,000. No guarantees that identification is correct, but lovely images all the same. The images are supposedly posted by the person with the copyright to do so, and reusing them for education purposes should be fair use. However, this may depend on your institution's interpretation of the law.

Other Resources

Sense about Science: Making sense of science stories
{http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/PDF/ShortPeerReviewGuide.pdf}
Brochure explaining peer review and how to evaluate science information.

R esearch Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog (William Badke)
{http://acts.twu.ca/Library/textbook.htm}
Third edition available in print, abridged second edition available online. Well regarded textbook written by a librarian, helpful information for developing teaching strategies.

Communications in Information Literacy
http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php/cil/
A electronic, refereed, open access journal that is "dedicated to advancing knowledge, theory, and research in the area of information literacy." Published by the National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL) at least twice yearly, this journal has articles of interest to all instruction librarians, and is worth adding to your reading list. One discussion list participant described it as a replacement for Research Strategies, an Elsevier journal with IL focus that ceased publication in 2005.

References

Alpi, K.M. 2001. What you see is what you get: science images on the web. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 31 [Online]. Available: http://www.istl.org/01-summer/internet.html [Accessed: August 9, 2008].

Information literacy competency standards for higher education. 2000. [Online]. Available: {http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm} [Accessed: April 28, 2008].

Information literacy standards for science and engineering/technology. 2006. [Online]. Available: {http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/infolitscitech.cfm} [Accessed: April 28, 2008].

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