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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

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.

Research within political science, policy studies, international relations, and related disciplines is produced by organizations in formats beyond traditionally accepted publications like books and journals. Governments, research institutes, and intergovernmental organizations are prolific creators of information that contribute to the scholarly conversation. The information produced by individuals and organizations engaged in political scholarship are essential voices in the conversation—providing perspectives from policymakers, businesses, governments, organizations, scholars and individuals.

Researchers should seek out these voices, including social media, datasets, blogs, and more, when identifying contributions to scholarship. When engaging with these alternative forms of scholarship, researchers should consider how the information contributes to generating an understanding of a topic, rather than a binary truth versus falsehood. As consumers of information and participants in the political process, researchers have an active role in the scholarly conversation and the research they produce adds to the overall quality and continuation of the conversation..

Evidence of Frame in Action

  • Identifying and following hashtags on social media surrounding debates and current/past events in order to understand the rhetoric related to that event or debate.
  • Accessing the Congressional Record to read hearings and language in bills to answer a question about how the requirement for individualized education plans became a required national policy.
  • A researcher accesses a local newspaper's archives from the 1940s to understand how Nazism in Germany was reported then and compares it to reporting on white nationalism in particular United States newspapers today.

Sample Learning Goals

  1. ​Recognize that in political science and related disciplines, there are relevant conversations taking place outside of academic journals. (D2, D4)

  2. Investigate the role of various sources in different forms of "conversation" (scholarly, popular, etc.) within political science related disciplines in order to determine useful entry points to the scholarly conversation. (KP2)
  3. Recognize that scholarly conversation within a discipline (e.g. political science) is about generating understanding as opposed to seeking “the truth.” (KP7, D5)
  4. Identify the contributions that different types of information sources (e.g., bylaws, social media posts, and datasets) make to disciplinary knowledge. (KP5)
  5. Use the scholarly literature and other relevant sources in political science and related disciplines as the body of evidence upon which a research question may be constructed. (D7)