Production-centered information literacy: Connecting with peers through citation management

Cluster_with_immature_grapes

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit of information literacy education, teaching students how to make a functional container for research discoveries.  I call it a container in the classes I teach.  A citation management tool such as Zotero, Endnote, Refworks, or others allow students to MAKE a personal database of metadata records and full-text documents which can be turned into formatted bibliographies and other outputs. If we were going to demonstrate connected learning principles with students making citation collections, I would have to give the advantage to Zotero, a non-commercial product with considerable support from educational foundations.

To me, at least, the connected learning factor giving Zotero the big advantage is the easy ability to share citation collections and allow users to collaborate in building a shared container of information. Zotero actively facilitates groups for peer collaboration,  providing a variety of group options:

From https://www.zotero.org/support/groups

Private Group;

  • Private groups provide a means of collaboration among group members without creating any public face for the group online.
  • Only group members and users invited to join the group are able to see the group’s page.
  • Private groups are completely hidden from group searches. They are not shown on members’ public profile pages and will not appear in search engine results.
  • If administrators enable file sharing, group members can access and share files in addition to references.

Public, Closed Membership

  • Closed-membership groups are useful for creating a controlled group environment with a public presence. This allows a group to publicly present its work and sources, or develop new membership in a controlled fashion.
  • Anyone can view the group page, but the only way to join the group is by invitation or by requesting an invitation.
  • If the group has a library, administrators can choose to show or hide the library from non-members.
  • If administrators enable file sharing, group members can access and share files in addition to references.

Public, Open Membership

  • Open public groups are useful for the broadest discussion and collaboration.
  • The group page is public, and anyone who wants to can join instantly.
  • If the group has a library, administrators can choose to show or hide the library from non-members.
  • Open public groups do not allow file sharing.

I once taught a graduate school class exercise using Diigo for a assembling group knowledge.  At that time I didn’t know it was also an easy fit into the Connected Learning paradigm.  More about Diigo in a future post.

So for those of you creating #ccourses, think about that citation management lecture your librarians bring to your classroom  and how students working in groups could build collections of discoveries and share them using a Zotero group.

 

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One thought on “Production-centered information literacy: Connecting with peers through citation management

  1. I use Zotero. When I show it to serious undergrad researchers they get a weird angry look as if to say, “Why didn’t I know about this before?” A legitimate question that I am happy to see you are working to resolve. Thanks.

    For beginning researchers I use curation containers like Scoop.It and Storify both of which I think have a desperate need for group annotation in their free models.

    If someone would add an easy to use annotation system to the front end (one like Diigo) then Zotero would mop up the floor with the proprietary systems like Mendeley and Papers. Devoutly to be wished. Love the open of Zotero, love the developer community, but love it most as a database with tag filtering. Awesome as a database. And of course as a shareable space? Unparalleled in depth and across browsers. BTW, you can annotate pdf’s in Diigo now in their latest pay iteration.

    Like

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