It is expected that instruction in information skills (formerly known as bibliographic instruction) will be an important function of libraries in the “information society”. Describes a model for teaching the core informational skill of library‐based literature searching (information retrieval). It centres on a flow chart of the main stages in a systematic search: create set of search terms; formulate logical search statement; estimate parameters of search; search information sources; and record and evaluate references. The flow chart is flanked by two columns. One contains conceptual frameworks which illuminate aspects of the search process, such as the information chain and QRAQ (quantity, relevance, authority and quality), a simple schema for evaluating bibliographic references. The other column identifies library tools and services which can assist the end‐user at various stages of a search, such as search analysis and bibliographic instruction. The model was developed primarily in an academic, health sciences environment, but operates at a sufficiently high level of generality to be of wide applicability in information skills programmes.
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