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Information Literacy: Information has value

Provides resoures on information literacy standards, handouts, and research guidance to support students' needs at various points through the program.


The information literate student is able to:

  • give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation;
  • understand that intellectual property is a legal and social construct that varies by culture;
  • articulate the purpose and distinguishing characteristics of copyright, fair use, open access, and the public domain;
  • understand how and why some individuals or groups of individuals may be underrepresented of systematically marginalized within the systems that produce and disseminate information;
  • recognize issues of access of lack of access to information sources;
  • decide where and how their information is published;
  • understand how the commodification of their personal information and online interactions affects the information they receive and the information they produce or disseminate online;
  • make informed choices regarding their online actions in full awareness of issues related to privacy and the commodification of personal information. 

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a United States Law (Title 17, U.S. Code), that protects the rights of the creator of a work. The copyright owner has exclusive rights to:

  • reproduce or copy the work
  • prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work
  • distribute the work to the public
  • perform the work in public
  • display the work in public


Information literate learners:

  • respect the original ideas of others;
  • value the skills, time, and effort needed to produce knowledge;
  • see themselves as contributors to the information marketplace rather than only consumers of it;
  • are include to examine their own information privilege.

When to Use Citations

Citations are needed when:

  • Quoting.
  • Paraphrasing someone else's idea.
  • Using statistics.
  • Using someone else's work as a theoretical framework.
  • Relying upon someone else's ideas or interpretation.
  • Strengthening your argument by using experts to support your assertions.

Citations are not needed when:

  • Stating common knowledge that can be found in many sources.  (If you aren't sure if something is common knowledge, err on the side of caution and use a citation.)
  • Expressing your own ideas, opinions or interpretations.


Plagiarism is the appropriation of others ideas as your own. This can be done on purpose or not. Quoting or paraphrasing someone's work but failing to cite it, even by accident, it considered plagiarism. 

If you are ever unsure whether you should cite something you can always ask either your instructor or a librarian but usually when in doubt it is better to cite rather than not.