Information Literacy Survey

The purpose of this survey is to find out:

This survey has two parts:

1. In which course are you answering this survey? (i.e. English 1551)

2. Gender: Female  Male

3. Do you have access to the internet at home? Yes  No

4. Do you consider yourself to be computer literate? Yes  No

For questions 5-9, rank from 1-5 the activities on which you spent the most (5) to the least (1) time when you are on the computer.  (Remember, we're not looking for the most academically impressive answers; we're looking for the most honest answers.  If you have not had access to a computer or you have not engaged in a specific activity, mark it as a "0.")

5. Searching for specific information related to a school or personal task.

6. Communicating in chat rooms or via e-mail.

7. Downloading music, videos, or graphics.

8. Surfing the Internet for enjoyment.

9. Playing games.

For questions 10-14, rank the sources below from the most often used (5) to the least often used (1) in the order you turn to them when you need specific and accurate information. If you generally do not use one or more of the sources listed, mark it as "0."

10. A person with special knowledge, such as a librarian, teacher, or expert in the topic.

11. Reference book, such as an encyclopedia or almanac.

12. General interest magazines, such as Newsweek or Time.

13. Scholarly journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

14. The Internet.

For questions 15-19, which of the following information-related activities have you done during the past year? Check all that apply.

15.   Written a paper which required research.

16. Given a speech which required research.

17. Written a bibliography using a citation format such as MLA, APA, etc.

18. Researched an area of personal interest.

19. Rejected a piece of information because the source was unreliable.

20. A student approaches the reference librarian and says, “This summer was too hot. I wonder if it is because of global warming??What might be the thesis statement of a paper on this topic?   

    It was too hot this summer.

    Global warming is causing the mean temperature of the earth to rise, which could have disastrous effects on the ecology of the planet.

    Did global warming cause abnormal heat around the planet?

    Watch out for giant squid this summer; they now take up more space than humans because of global warming.

    This paper will be about the effects of global warming.

21. Where should you begin your search for information on global warming?

    A book located through MaagNet, the Maag Library online catalog.

    A web site found on the Internet.

    A journal from EBSCO's Academic Search Premier computer database.

    An overview article from the Encyclopedia of Environmental Sciences, copyright 2005.

22. Your friend is searching a database for information for an Environmental Science paper on global warming. Using the search terms global warming, she finds more than 4500 articles. Would you advise her to:

    Use the terms "global warming" AND "climate"

    Start working through all 4500 articles.

    Type the question, "What is global warming?"

    Talk to your relative, who sells air conditioners.

 23. When using the database Academic Search Premier for the first time, you should:

    Type in a subject and see what happens.

    Click on "Online Help" to learn how it works and then perform a search according to the tips.

    Click on "Expert Search" because you are now in college.

    Give up and use the Internet.

24. Which source would have more scholarly worth for a collegiate research paper?

    U.S. News and World Report

    Journal of Medieval History

    The Knighthood, Chivalry, and Tournaments Resource Library (

    The movie Braveheart

25. Is it a violation of copyright to make a copy of Spiderman 2 from a videotape you just purchased? Yes No

26. Pick the best definition of plagiarism.

    The use of someone’s words, ideas or line of thought without acknowledgment.

    Copying out of an encyclopedia without citing a source.

    Incorrect use of footnotes in documentation.

    To copy another’s work word for word.

27. Is it plagiarism to use an outline of a paper found on the web if you have the permission of the creator? Yes No

28. What is the best way to find a scholarly journal article on a given topic?

    Page through print volumes of academic journals.

    Search a general Web search engine like Google or Yahoo.

    Search a print index or periodical database like Academic Search Premier or JSTOR.

    Search the online library catalog

29. Examine the following citation:

Nemes, I. 2002.  Regulating hate speech in cyberspace: Issues of desirability and efficacy. Information & Communications Technology Law. 11 (3):193-221.

This is a citation to: 

    A book

    A journal article

    A portion of a book

30. Examine the following citation:

Kunz, Diane.  “White Men in Africa: On Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible.?nbsp; In Novel History: Historians and Novelists Confront America’s Past (and Each Other), edited by Mark C. Carnes.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.

This is a citation to: 

    A book

    A journal article

    A portion of a book

31. If you need to find out whether Maag Library held the book The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness, which should you search?

    Web search engine like Google or Yahoo

    Online library catalog (MaagNet)

    Periodical database like Academic Search Premier