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Faculty Guide to Information Literacy – Health Science: What is Information Literacy – Health Science?

What is Information Literacy – Health Science?

There's little time for in-depth instruction on information literacy given the vast amount of knowledge you have to impart in the regular curriculum. Credo's InfoLit – Health Science helps ease the burden by offering high-quality videos, tutorials, and assessments that cover the basics of health science research and writing and were created in conjunction with medical librarians from Northwestern University. Your library has subscribed to InfoLit – Health Science and it is free for you and students to use, on and off campus.

Throughout this guide you'll find information on how InfoLit – Health Science can help you graduate students who are ready for the rigors of a health science career and a lifetime of related learning. 

InfoLit – Health Science aims to:

  • Help students learn how to find relevant and reliable health science materials in the library and online
  • Formulate appropriate, workable research questions using PICO and other methods
  • Synthesize what they learn into a final product such as a research paper, including citations that are apt for their field

Are you wondering how multimedia can work in health science education? This recent paper by librarians at Deakin University Library outlines their positive experiences with online health information literacy modules; students who used the modules got higher grades and engaged positively with the material, say the authors.

Information Literacy–Core

Some of you also subscribe to Credo's Information Literacy–Core. Please see our related LibGuide, "Faculty Guide to Information Literacy–Core," for details on how the multimedia included in those products can help faculty impart foundational IL skills. For details on subscribing to these products, please contact

Why is Information Literacy Important to Health Science Students?

Information Literacy (IL) refers to the ability to recognize a need for information and to find, analyze, and synthesize related material from books, articles, websites, and more. Your students may already be aware of the basics of information literacy from general education classes. They may even have degrees already and know how to complete relatively advanced tasks such as searching general databases, finding reliable material on the Internet, and creating citations.

While these skills help when studying health science, they are not enough. Students in nursing and allied health fields must be able to conduct research with advanced tools that require a specific skill set to use. They must create citations that match what is needed by the particular discipline they're studying. And, most importantly, they must adopt a rigorous thinking and learning style that will underpin successful careers in highly competitive environments with high-stakes outcomes. 

IL by the Numbers

A 2017 survey of 42,000 students in more than 1,700 courses at 12 major research universities showed that:

  • Retention rates were higher for students whose courses included IL instruction.
  • Students whose courses included IL instruction reported higher average first-year GPAs than those whose courses did not.
  • Students who took IL instruction successfully completed 1.8 more credit hours per year than students who did not.

How Can IL Benefit Faculty?

Students who are information literate are better able to come up with workable topics for their papers, research those topics independently, and write papers that conform to rigorous academic standards.