Research Skills Competencies

As adopted by the Library Committee in 2008

Ringling College of Art + Design graduates should be able to:

  • Articulate their research needs and identify likely topics
  • Identify synonyms and key concepts related to their topics.
  • Understand the difference between keyword and subject searching, and how each type of search is appropriate according to different types of information needs.
  • Use library online catalogs to find materials (encyclopedias, books, journals, films, etc.) on a certain topic.
  • Decide which types of sources would be appropriate for their research needs.
  • Use Internet search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, effectively to find materials (articles, images, audio, video, etc.) on a topic.
  • Decide which online search techniques (phrase searching, truncation, wildcard, Boolean) would be appropriate for their research needs.
  • Use library databases to find materials (articles, electronic books, sound files, images, etc.) on a certain topic.
  • Evaluate search results to identify whether their research needs are met.
  • Refine a search with new keywords and/or subject headings.  
  • Know how to read a citation and distinguish between books, journal articles, book chapters, websites, etc.
  • Read and select a source’s main ideas.
  • Be able to create a list of sources used or consulted.
  • Evaluate websites for their authority, accuracy, objectivity, coverage, and currency.
  • Organize content appropriately to support purpose and format of the final product.
  • Understand differences between scholarly/academic and popular sources.
  • Understand copyright, intellectual property, and fair use of copyrighted materials with regard to their role as a creative professional.
  • Understand copyright with regard to downloading music, images, software, and videos.
  • Locate information about key artists/designers in their discipline.
  • Locate information about employers or graduate schools in their discipline.