INF 8160: Advanced Online Searching

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): INF 6120

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

This course is intended for librarians, information specialists and library and information science students who have completed the general reference course, Access to Information, INF 6120. The course presents applied information retrieval theory and practice as the foundation for information services. It provides an overview of present-day licensed online resources in various fields. It focuses on the design and structure of tools used for answering questions and satisfying subject interests for various clienteles. It emphasizes techniques for building effective strategies for searching large-scale retrieval systems. It provides opportunities to compare search engines and to evaluate retrievals. Advanced search techniques—with an emphasis on user needs—will be featured.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate theoretical understanding of and basic competencies in evaluating, selecting and organizing information sources
  • Demonstrate theoretical understanding of and basic competencies in retrieval, dissemination, utilization and evaluation of information sources
  • Demonstrate familiarity with interactive searching of the most widely used professional online information systems
  • Perform reference interviews, develop search strategies, perform searches through the translation of search questions into queries that will utilize licensed databases
  • Apply basic competencies and knowledge that are essential for providing, managing and designing information services in a variety of information environments
  • Demonstrate basic competency in the latest specialized information technologies
  • Organize information by using bibliographic software and cite, according to various citation styles, reference sources from which requested information is retrieved

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Assignments, consisting of lecture-related search problems using licensed databases, production of instructional tutorials for user training, compilation of pathfinders, group work and presentations, assisting faculty members with their research consisting of searching a variety of databases suitable to the client’s research needs, conducting in-person reference interviews to determine the client’s information needs, submitting the final deliverable in a timely and professional manner.


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 8/13

Updated: 10/22