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Companion Document to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Politics, Policy and International Relations

This guide was developed to accompany the Companion Document to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Politics, Policy and International Relations.

Frame Description

Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

Research in political science, policy studies, international relations, and related disciplines draws on a wide variety of primary and secondary source material, including: quantitative and qualitative data statutes, case law, regulations, and other official documents; gray literature; products generated by news organizations; speeches and written statements; the writings of political theorists; and scholarly publications.

The intentions of and constraints on information creators dictate the content and existence of primary source material research draws. These factors influence the type of research that is feasible and the conclusions researchers can draw, and through them the content of published research and the subsequent scholarly conversation.

The expertise, methods, and interpretation of the researcher are factors in the scope and content of published research. Considerations that influence the process of generating scholarly information include the availability of primary source material, the availability of funding for research and stipulations on the funding, and the potential effect of a publication on a researcher’s prospects for professional advancement.

Evidence of Frame in Action

  • A polling organization’s survey methods will influence its polling data and any research that relies on those data.
  • Research on crime using only official crime statistics will incorporate the social, political, and economic biases that affect law enforcement decisions about where and whom to monitor and whether to make arrests and prosecute individuals; and by the decisions of juries and judges about whether to convict and how to sentence an individual.
  • A researcher writing on Machiavelli’s The Prince is using an English translation edition of the work. The translator’s decisions on how to convey the work into English will affect the researcher’s understanding of the work and thus what is produced.

Sample Learning Goals

  1. Articulate the structural power and limitations of social media, data, and other non-traditional sources. (KP4, KP6, D3-4)
  2. Identify the political, social, economic, and legal perspectives that may have an impact on how viewpoints and positions are represented. (KP3, KP6, D4)
  3. Identify the characteristics of various types of government information, such as reports, data, news, blogs, bills, Congressional hearings, laws, and agency websites. (KP3, D3, D6)
  4. Recognize the motivations of the source of raw data and information, and of the individuals and organizations who transform it into a presented product. (KP4, D1, D5)
  5. Examine how research design and influences on scholarly communication affect published products in raw data and scholarship. (KP3, D1)
  6. Identify techniques of information presentation that affect perception of authority. (KP4, D4-5)
  7. Document the steps one uses to transform raw data and information into a presented product. (KP7, D2)