Knowing how to acknowledge and cite the work of others and assess its validity and value are important components of information literacy — the ability to discover, evaluate and use various types of information from a wide array of sources effectively. Being information-literate is a key component of critical thinking and problem-solving. These resources can help you avoid common pitfalls and become an alert, educated information consumer.

Avoiding plagiarism  |  Citing sources  |  Copyright & fair use  |  Evaluating information sources  |   Citation management tools  |  Information literacy resources for educators

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism — the deliberate or inadvertent use of an information source other than your own without proper credit — is considered a serious breach of academic ethics and integrity. |  IIRP policy statement on plagiarism

Properly acknowledging the ideas and information sources you use in your work is crucial. These resources provide practical advice about understanding and avoiding plagiarism.

Citing Sources

APA style — Key resources

The IIRP uses American Psychological Association (APA) writing style for presenting ideas and data, formatting papers, and citing sources in student assignments and scholarly publications. Learning to use APA style correctly will enable you to credit your sources accurately.

See our APA Writing Guidelines & Help page for additional APA learning tools.

Legal citations

Copyright & Fair Use

The Library promotes compliance with copyright legislation and aids IIRP students, faculty and staff in following Fair Use guidelines.

Copyright law
Fair Use  (Title 17, section 107)

Fair use of a copyrighted work for nonprofit, educational purposes, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright. A limited portion of any work may be used; however, use cannot affect the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Determining fair use is a complex process that involves a four-factor analysis that is critical to any good faith fair use assertion:

  1. Purpose and character of the use — whether it is for commercial or nonprofit educational uses, though not all educational uses are fair use.
  2. Nature of the work being copied — reproducing a factual work is more likely to be fair use than a creative work.
  3. Amount and significance of portion being copied — reproducing smaller portions of a work is more likely to be fair use than large or essential portions.
  4. Effect of the copying on the market for the original — uses which have no or little market impact are more likely to be fair than those that interfere with potential markets.

Acceptable materials usually include:

  • A single article from a journal.
  • A single chapter or less than 10% of a book.
  • Faculty-created materials such as class materials, lecture notes, slide presentations, videos or exams.

Tools

Public Domain | Resources for Copyright-Free Content

Evaluating Information Sources

The ability to determine an information source's relevance and trustworthiness is a key skill for successful researchers. The IIRP Graduate School course, RP 610 Evaluation of Research, teaches students to identify and critique various types of academic literature. The resources below provide additional guidance on assessing other kinds of information.

Identifying scholarly literature
Assessing reliability
Questionable solicitations

Citation Management Tools

These free software packages and browser plug-ins let you create personal digital reference libraries: export bibliographic references and documents from EBSCOhost databases, library catalogs, websites and other sources, organize and annotate them, generate bibliographies and share them with collaborators or colleagues. They include Microsoft Word integration and APA formatting tools. Additional citation and document storage capacity and other functions are available with paid upgrades.  |  More about saving, exporting and emailing EBSCOhost citations

Disclaimer: These links are provided as a convenience; the IIRP is not responsible for the content or functionality of any of these sites. For help, documentation and technical questions, please contact the product's support team directly.

EndNote
Capture, format and share references in a variety of formats. A free web-based version, EndNote Basic, allows you to store up to 50,000 records, organize them into shareable libraries, and automatically format them into a variety of writing styles, including APA; includes integration with Microsoft Word.  |  Exporting from EBSCOhost to EndNote

Mendeley
Powerful reference management package available in web-based or desktop versions. Intuitive interface; extensive support and documentation available. The EBSCOhost Search Results page features the Mendeley widget for easy capture of references.

Zotero
A software download that works with works with your web browser, Zotero features one-click saving of references or articles, automatic downloads of PDFs and webpage snapshots, group libraries for collaboration/sharing, and web access to your data, notes and files. A companion tool, ZoteroBib, lets you build bibliographies without downloading software.  |  Exporting from EBSCOhost to Zotero

Information Literacy Resources for Educators

These tools from the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) can help faculty, teachers and other education professionals understand and incorporate information literacy concepts into curricula and coursework.

ACRL information literacy frames

  1. Authority is constructed and contextual
  2. Information creation as a process
  3. Information has value
  4. Research as inquiry
  5. Scholarship as conversation
  6. Searching as strategic exploration

Tools