The “Research Smarter” resource sheets have been produced by the CILIP Information Literacy Group and TeenTech under a Creative Commons license, which means that they are available to all schools to download from this website and to adapt and use with their own pupils to help support the delivery of any topic or activity that requires information literacy skills.
But if you simply rush into your project:
- How will you know what has been developed already?
- Perhaps someone else has had your idea?
- Perhaps someone else has already conducted some research into your area of interest?
- Perhaps there is a new development that would really help you
Creativity & intellectual property laws
These rules are called intellectual property laws and they don’t just apply to finished commercial products, they apply to anything that anyone creates that is original. They are important to understand if you want to sell your ideas or your creative work but they are also equally important if you want to give your work away.
One way of doing this is by performing the CRAAP test on your sources.
Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose.
Be smart and reduce this number to get exactly what you want from your search.
Think about the intended customer and their needs.
If you do not know what they want, you need to do some research to find out.
Most of you will be used to completing tasks set by your teacher, who will give you a question to answer, tell you when to do your research and tell you where to look for your answers. You then discuss and write your answer. Job done!
For TeenTech, the expectation is that YOU will drive the project.
This means deciding what questions you need to have answers for, and when and how you will do your research. Reading reports, articles and opinions often provides answers – but often as you learn more about your topic, it leads you to more questions that need to be answered.
To get information and opinions that will be useful for your project, you will need to write your questions carefully. You need to be aware that the same question written in different ways might get different answers.
The best questionnaires are easy for the users to understand and also provide the researcher with answers that are easy to analyse. It is important that you consider what information you need to collect right from the start.
- To show what you have read and found (or referred to). This allows the judges to see how widely you have researched, and the range and type of sources (documents and/or people) that you have used
- To show that you are aware of current developments in your field
- To show that have acknowledged other people’s work and have avoided plagiarism (or copying ideas).
What are the differences between them?
- Each engine has their own index, or collection, of sites that they look through. Different engines have different formulas, or ways, of searching through the information
- Some engines are specialised, meaning that they only look for certain types of information in specific places on the internet.
Spend some time thinking!
A really important process that you need to start with is thinking as widely as possible. You and your team members need to generate lots of ideas so that you have a good basis to use to focus in on your final project.
All of these works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
The resource sheets are also available to download from the TeenTech website.
They were created by the following colleagues on behalf of the CILIP IL Group:
- Rebecca Jones, Learning Enrichment & Support Co-ordinator, Malvern St James, Malvern
- Darrly Toerien, Head of Library & Information Services, Oakham School, Rutland
- Darren Flynn, Information Literacy Lead, Dixons Allerton Academy, Bradford
- Sarah Pavey, Independent trainer and consultant to school libraries
- Caroline Roche, School Librarian, Eltham College
- Carol Webb, Forest Hill School, London
- Chris Morrison, University of Kent, Copyright and Licensing Compliance Officer
If you have any queries or feedback about these resources, please email the CILIP IL Group.