Skip to Main Content

Information Literacy: Home

What is Information Literacy?

"Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner" (CILIP, 2016).

So basically knowing where to look for information for your assignments,how to look for it, how to evaluate it and then how to cite and reference it. These are all very important skills for academic study.

Should you need any help with finding information or referencing please drop into the library to see a librarian or book a 1:1 with them. Click here to book


CILIP(2016)Information literacy. Available at: (Accessed: 1 September 2016).

What is referencing?

Fundamentally, referencing is the process of acknowledging the sources you have used in writing your essay, assignment or piece of work. It allows the reader to access your source documents as quickly and easily as possible in order to "verify the validity of your arguments and the evidence on which they are based" (Pears and Shields, 2013, p.1).

Why reference?

Referencing is very important to avoid Plagiarism. "Plagiarism is a term that describes the unacknowledged use of someone's work...using the words or ideas of others without referencing your source would be construed as plagiarism..." (Pears and Shields, 2013, p. 1). It is an academic crime and theft of intellectual property.

Which System?

The most widely used system of referencing in academic institutions is the Harvard referencing Style. Whilst this is a common system it is important to understand that there will be variations from institution to institution. Therefore it is very important to use your institutions own Harvard Referencing guidelines. The guidelines set out in this guide are based upon the University of Suffolk Harvard Referencing Guidelines and the following book. Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

For lots more information on referencing have a look at the referencing page and guides.

How to search for information

Powerpoint below explains a bit about how to search for information. The main thing to remember is that you choose resources that are VALID and RELIABLE.