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Using Course Syllabi to Assess Research Expectations of Biology Majors: Implications for Further Development of Information Literacy Skills in the Curriculum

Association of College and Research Libraries
Publication Date
  • Biology


This article describes an analysis of course syllabi from selected courses in the biology curriculum at Iowa State University. The purpose of this research was to learn about the numbers and types of information literacy assignments given to students majoring in biology. Overall, the most common assignment type for biology majors was a lab report or lab exercise. Very few course syllabi mentioned the library as a useful resource for completing assignments. Only a few assignment directions recommended specific indexes such as Biosis Previews or Web of Science. Suggestions for improving the content of course syllabi and additional ideas about the further development of information literacy skills in the biology curriculum are discussed.

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