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Information and Digital Literacies for Doctoral Students: About

This is the course content for the mandatory course for doctoral students at the IOE

Course description

This course focuses on the centrality of the literature review in the dissertation/thesis and aims to develop the information and digital literacy skills of students. 

The learning outcomes for the Information and Literature searching course are underpinned by the findings from the three-year Researchers of Tomorrow (2012) study conducted by the British Library (with JISC).  The study involved 17,000 doctoral students from 70 universities at various stages of their PhDs. The study found that:

1.    Doctoral students are increasingly reliant on secondary research resources (e.g. journal articles, books), moving away from primary materials (eg primary archival material and large datasets). 
2.    Access to relevant resources is a major constraint for doctoral students’ progress. Authentication access and licence limitations to subscription-based resources, such as e-journals, are particularly problematic. 
3.    Open access and copyright appear to be a source of confusion for Generation Y doctoral students, rather than encouraging innovation and collaborative research. 
4.    This generation of doctoral students operate in an environment where their research behaviour does not use the full potential of innovative technology. 
5.    Doctoral students are insufficiently trained or informed to be able to fully embrace the latest opportunities in the digital information environment. 

The findings raise important questions about researcher development and the training provided in research-intensive organisations. The Information and Literature searching course addresses these questions.


Please credit Nazlin Bhimani, Research Support & Special Collections Librarian at UCL Institute of Education if you use or reuse the material on this course.

The IOE Library's 'Information and Digital Literacies Course' for PGR Students

This is the course logo which is an icon showing the different components that make up the information and digital literacies course. The components are 1. Library Anxiety and Expectation 2. Centrality of the Literature Review 3. Historical Inquiry 4. Searching, Finding and Accessing 5. Information Evaluation and Citation Searching 6. Referencing Software, Alerting Services and Social Media

The Core Guides

A number of LibGuides scaffold the learning on this course.  To begin with, use the Getting Started guide to familiarise yourself with the collections, services and facilities at the IOE Library.  Then use the core guides to learn some basic ways to search, find, access, evaluate and reference information: 

And the following specific guides that for the main topics discussed:

Referencing Styles:

Bibliographic Management Software:

Other useful guides include: