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ACRL/EBSS Psychology Committee

Companion Document to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Psychology - DRAFT ONLY

Please note the Psychology Companion Document is in draft form. Feel free to review and send comments and suggestions to Julia Eisenstein, Psychology Committee Chair at


The Psychology Companion Document to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is designed to support all those who provide in-person or online information literacy instruction to students studying psychology and/or related fields.

This document aligns with the six frames of the Framework, and details what each frame can mean in the context of information literacy for psychology students. Knowledge practices and dispositions specific to information literacy in the field of psychology are also provided. Each institution will need to determine how and in what context the frames are deployed. APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major (2013) were consulted while developing this companion document, with a focus on Learning Goal 2: “Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking.” Additionally, the ethical standards and guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association are referenced.

Nearly all research in the field of psychology is built upon a corpus of scholarly literature and associated data developed over decades. Therefore, students studying psychology can model core research skills and habits based on practices that are relatively stable. The American Psychological Association emphasizes the importance of approaching psychology as a science and “applying scientific principles more systematically to describe, explain, and predict behavior” (p. 4). As such, this document highlights the importance of finding, evaluating, using, and creating information that is based on scientific methodologies. Topics in psychology are of great interest to the general public and a large amount of non-peer-reviewed information related to psychology is disseminated by various means and formats. Students must diligently investigate and critically evaluate the authority and methodologies of those who create and disseminate information in the field. 

Those providing instruction for psychology students need to recognize that each student will come to the discipline with different experiences, levels of understanding, and motivations. Instruction should be adjusted based on individual student needs and information literacy competency, to effectively support course learning goals or outcomes.