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Library Tutorials: Information for Academics


This is an Information Literacy Programme on offer from UCC Library.  It is presented as a Teaching Menu which is available to academic staff to book for their students. 

Booking: Contact your College Liaison Librarian

Teaching Menu

It consists of 5 units incorporating different levels of complexity using a scaffolding approach.  Each unit has its own Aim and Learning Outcomes. The format of delivery is outlined in a set of Lesson Plans.

Programme Aim: To introduce students to a suite of escalated research strategies to support their learning and prepare them for "active citizenship".

Programme Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to

  • Understand their information need
  • Identify & utilise appropriate research tools
  • Think critically & independently
  • Evaluate information & recognise "fake news"
  • Identify ethical issues & understand Academic Integrity

Information Literacy Explained

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (American Library Association)

Information Literacy Skills facilitate students to navigate data and turn this into knowledge.

Searching - Lesson Plans

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Academic Integrity - Lesson Plans

Introduces the concept of Plagiarism & Referencing.

This is self-directed learning - students are required to read all the content of this guide and assess themselves before attending the class on Ethics.

This is an advanced session.  Students are required to study the information in Academic Integrity before attending this class. 

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UCC has a site license to EndNote and it is installed on all student and library PCs. Training takes place on a regular basis. Email for details. 

Using the Web Effectively - Lesson Plans

Web search tricks: make Google work for you

This is a Level 1 (Beginners) 50 minutes Face to Face/online Generic Session to provide some tips on how to search the Internet effectively for your assignment.

Is there life after Google? How to be a better online researcher.

This is a Level 2 (Intermediate) 50 minutes Face to Face Generic Session to help you understand how the quality of your search terms determine the quality of the information you find and to provide tips on how to search effectively for your assignment.

Use the Web Effectively (Critical Appraisal).

This is a Level 3 (Advanced) 50 mins Face to Face Generic/Specialised Session to provide an overview of web resources for research and networking; to examine the importance of critical thinking skills and critical appraisal of the information you find.

Evaluating Research Resource Results (Citation Analysis).

This is a Level 4 (Expert) 50  minutes Face to Face Generic/Specialised Session. In this session we will provide an overview of web resources for research and networking; how to examine the importance of critical thinking skills and to consider the use of an analytical framework within which to evaluate the information you find.

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Keeping Up To Date - Lesson Plans

It is vital when undertaking research to keep up to date with the latest developments in your area of interest. The sheer volume of information available can make this a challenge. There are a range of evolving current awareness services and tools available to help you keep up-to-date quickly and conveniently, and the choice of which fits in best with your own workflow.

Academic databases allow you to run and create the following:

  • Save and re-run searches on citation databases e.g. Ebsco Databases, Web of Science, Scopus
  • Search alerts - alert automatically searches the last update to the database, and then sends all relevant results to you by e-mail e.g. Ebsco Databases, Web of Science, Scopus
  • Citation alerts – receive an email when someone cites an individual article or articles on a topic that you have found on a database e.g. Ebsco Databases, Web of Science, Scopus

Good …

  •  For keeping up to date with multiple journals with multiple publishers
  •  You can see who is citing papers you (or someone else) have authored
  •  Saves time by running searches routinely for you
  •  You can access full the text from the email that is sent to you



By subscribing to a table of contents (ToC) alert for a journal you will receive an e-mail with the table of contents each time a new issue is published.

Other services such as ZETOC (UCC Library have a subscription)  provides Z39.50-compliant access to the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents (ETOC). The database gives access to over 30,000 journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers. Zetoc covers every imaginable subject in science, technology, medicine, engineering, business, law, finance, the arts and humanities. The database covers the years from 1993 to date and is updated daily. A list of journal titles covered by Zetoc also provides the ISSN, latest issue and date loaded.

JournalTOCs is a Current Awareness Service (CAS) where you can discover the newest papers coming directly from the publishers as soon as they have been published online. its is free service for individual users  JournalTOCs pulls together a database of Table of Contents (TOCs) from scholarly journals and provides a convenient single "one stop shop" interface to these TOCs.

Watch this short video giving context about how RSS feeds work. 

To receive RSS Feeds you will need to use a Feed Reader. A Feed Reader allows you to grab the RSS feeds from a variety of websites and displays them for you to read and use.

Popular Readers include:

Digg Reader

Once you have an RSS Reader you can subscribe to receive the latest content from sites that interest you. Examples include specific sections of newspapers or websites, journals, searches you have performed in databases and more. Look out for the  orange RSS icon  - and follow these instructions to add the feed to your reader:

Navigate to the site that you wish to subscribe to and locate the RSS icon.Thumbnail   If you are having trouble locating the icon, then check the location bar of your browser (where the web address appears) or scroll to the bottom of the page and look for a link to the site's RSS feeds.  Some sites, e.g. PLoS, Harvard Business Review,  have multiple feeds.
Right click on the icon and select "Copy Link Location".  Paste this link (URL) into the  Add Feeds section of your RSS reader.

Social Networking Sites include: Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare....

The Student Guide to Social Media from the Leeds University Library, The University of York Library, The University of Manchester Library

Social Media: A guide for researchers. RIN (Research Information Network)

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Liaison Librarians for your Discipline

Claire O'Brien
Claire O'Brien
Arts & Celtic Studies

Virginia Conrick
Virginia Conrick
Business & Law

Donna Ó Doibhlin
Medicine & Health Services

Richard Bradfield 
Richard Bradfield
Research, e-Learning, Digital Supports

Anita Wilcox 
Science, Engineering & Food Science.

Catherine Clehane-Power
Catherine Clehane-Power
Social Sciences, Adult Continuing Education

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