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FIT3123 Information access - Semester 1, 2011

This unit introduces students to the major categories of information resources in all media and how they are accessed through a variety of common user interfaces from anywhere in the world. The process of satisfying these needs through the reference interview and the application of skilled search strategies is explored. The ways that information resources are procured by libraries and e-repositories through purchase or licensing, and supplied to users on a cost-effective, efficient basis are examined. Access and authentication, intellectual property law and professional duty of care are described.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Caulfield (Off-campus)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lecture/wk, 1 hr seminar/wk


Teaching and learning includes a weekly two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. Additionally, each student should spend a minimum of 8 to 12 hours for personal study every week and should allocate up to 5 hours per week in some weeks for use of a computer, including time for newsgroup and discussion.

Unit Relationships


FIT5015, IMS3616, IMS5016, LAR3650, LAR3652


Completion of 36 credit points at level 1 or equivalent

Chief Examiner

Steve Wright

Campus Lecturer


Tom Denison



Andrew Dixon

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • implement decisions about applying organisational policies for reference and collection services, justify the principles of collection management strategies, and evaluate them;
  • manage networked access for users in the case of electronic resources;
  • develop information literacy programs; and
  • select the best source of knowledge for a practical information need.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Assignment 1 25% Tuesday 5 April 2011
    Assignment 2 Collection Development 25% Tuesday 24 May 2011
    Examination 1 50% To be advised

    Teaching Approach

    Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
    • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
    • Graded assignments with comments

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11 Students will need to familiarise themselves with the information contained in this unit guide as well as materials on the unit website (eg lecture notes and tutorial activities) No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0.
    1 28/02/11 Unit outline. First assignment. Information Literacy.  
    2 07/03/11 Nature of knowledge; basic factual sources. Overview of Reference Services.  
    3 14/03/11 Common Information Seeking Practices  
    4 21/03/11 Information Seeking â Well-structured databases.  
    5 28/03/11 Information Seeking -- The Internet.  
    6 04/04/11 The Reference Interview. Assignment 1 due
    7 11/04/11 The reference process and end users. Evaluation of services.  
    8 18/04/11 Collection Management Principles.  
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11 Collection Development/Management policies.  
    10 09/05/11 Selection Principles and Tools.  
    11 16/05/11 Document Delivery and Co-operative Schemes.  
    12 23/05/11 Evaluation of collections. Assignment 2 due
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC.

    *Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
    • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

    Assessment Tasks


    • Assessment task 1
      Assignment 1
      Students will compare and contrast two methods of information provision, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each.
      Criteria for assessment:
      • All components of the assignment are well covered.
      • The set questions are all answered.            
      • Covers issues relating to future changes.
      • Balances co-operation and competition.
      • Treats information literacy seriously
      • Demonstrates real effort to engage audience.
      • Balanced, professional, and uses evidence well.
      • Demonstrates analytical, logical thinking, and not just summary description.
      • Keeps to correct length.
      • References and citations according to recommended style.
      • Uses 10 scholarly references. 
      • Uses Library electronic databases for scholarly 5 citations.
      • Uses academic language, vocabulary and grammar well.
      Due date:
      Tuesday 5 April 2011
    • Assessment task 2
      Assignment 2 Collection Development
      Students will write an evaluation of collection development strategies in the digital environment. The essay is to take the form of a journal article.
      Criteria for assessment:
      • All components of the assignment are well covered.
      • The style is for a journal article.
      • Does the article address how libraries are transforming themselves to better serve the knowledge society?
      • Is the broad topic narrowed and adapted?
      • Is there a focus on collection management?
      • Is there exploration of current issues connected with the core functions of collection management?
      • Demonstrates real effort to engage audience.
      • Balanced, professional, and uses evidence well.
      •  Demonstrates analytical, logical thinking, and not just summary description.
      •  Adopts article structure: including abstract, introduction, findings, conclusions, recommendations.
      •  Keeps to correct length.
      •  References and citations according to recommended style.
      • Uses 10 good scholarly references.
      • Demonstrates how the conclusions are arrived at.
      • Uses academic language, vocabulary and grammar well.
      Due date:
      Tuesday 24 May 2011


    • Examination 1
      3 hours
      Type (open/closed book):
      Closed book
      Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
      held in normal exam period

    Assignment submission

    Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website:
    You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


    Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

    Key educational policies include:

    Student services

    The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to or the library tab in portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis