Who Wrote This and Why Should I Care? Evaluating and Understanding Information in a Business Context

In the classroom and in the business world alike, the ability to evaluate information for context, credibility, and accuracy is valuable for success, whether that means getting a good grade on a research paper or making a pivotal financial decision that will affect your company’s future. In order to successfully analyze information sources, users must know what to look for, and how to look at it. What goes into the writing of a news article, a business report, or a press release, and how do these documents differ from one another? How do reporters, analysts, and other writers evaluate the sources they use to prepare a piece of information that you will use? How do businesses evaluate and use information, and what are the costs and benefits to businesses of accurate information evaluation?

A panel of experts from journalism, education, and business will convene at Bentley University on Wednesday, October 26, to discuss these questions and many others related to the production, evaluation, and use of information sources. Sponsored by the Bentley Library, the panel will take on a topic that is always timely but is of particular concern as electronic resources become increasingly ubiquitous.

Please join us in LaCava 305AB at 6:00 pm for light refreshments, with the discussion getting underway at 6:30 pm.

“Who Wrote This and Why Should I Care? Evaluating and Understanding Information in a Business Context”

Organized and Sponsored by the Bentley Library


Dan Kennedy, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, Northeastern University

Elizabeth LeDoux, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Media and Culture Program at Bentley University

Cynthia Robinson, Research Director, Bain Capital


Chris Beneke, Associate Professor in History and Director of the Valente Center for Arts and Sciences at Bentley University


Library’s Tutorials Chosen as PRIMO “Site of the Month”

Earlier this year, the library’s Research Essentials tutorials were chosen for inclusion in PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online), a database of online tutorials and other instructional resources, maintained by the Association of College and Research Libraries. The library’s tutorials were recently featured as PRIMO’s May 2011 Site of the Month, for which reference librarian Elizabeth Galoozis, who created the tutorials, was interviewed. You can find the interview here.

PRIMO reviews materials twice a year for selection; the list of the other seven projects accepted during Fall 2010 can be found here, and includes projects from everywhere from Sacramento City College to the University of North Carolina. PRIMO’s goal is to showcase high-quality online learning resources; the PRIMO committee “hopes that publicizing selective, high quality resources will help librarians to respond to the educational challenges posed by still emerging digital technologies.”

The publicly posted Research Essentials tutorials are versions of three tutorials created for students taking GB112, and cover concepts of company and industry research. If you’d like a refresher or introduction on how to use the library’s resources to conduct company and industry research, take a look!

Library Instruction: Give Student Research a Boost

Last year, the library delivered 260 instruction sessions, tours, and workshops. Here’s what some faculty had to say about them:

“Students are surprised to learn how the databases improve their access to information, and this is revealed in the quality of the bibliographies they turn in.”

“Students have taken much more time and care in their research and have made better use of integrating it into their papers as a result.”

“Students have told me that they are no longer feeling intimidated about contacting a librarian for help.”

As you plan your syllabus, consider including library instruction if you require your students to do research. Library instruction covers such concepts as:

  • evaluating online information
  • developing search strategies
  • attributing sources
  • and other research- and information-related skills.

Traditionally, faculty have brought students to the library for a class period when they are beginning their research. This is just one way librarians can collaborate with faculty to help students become better researchers and users of information. Just let us know how you’d like to join forces to help your students become more information literate, by contacting Liz Galoozis, Coordinator of User Education.

To schedule a research instruction session, use our Library Instruction Request form, which now includes the option to upload an assignment and/or syllabus. (For details and policies, click on “Schedule a Research Instruction Session” on the library’s home page.)

And to learn more about library instruction and information literacy in general, visit our Information Literacy and Instruction research guide.

October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month

President Obama has declared October 2009 to be National Information Literacy Awareness Month. His official proclamation states:

“An informed and educated citizenry is essential to the functioning of our modern democratic society, and I encourage educational and community institutions across the country to help Americans find and evaluate the information they seek, in all its forms.”

Want to talk to an expert on finding and evaluating information? Contact a reference librarian! We can help you, as the president puts it, “separate truth from fiction and signal from noise.” Faculty, use this form if you’d like to request a research instruction session for your class.

For more information, check out our online research guide on Information Literacy and Instruction, or  the website of the National Forum on Information Literacy.