Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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This study aimed at assessing the difference between perceived and actual IL skills of scientists [research students]. In this descriptive correlational study, two scales were developed using ACRL standards for IL of science and engineering/ technology. A self-reporting scale for the evaluation of perceived IL skills and an MCQs-based tool for testing actual IL skills was administered concurrently among research students (M.Sc. MS/ M.Phil./ Ph.D.) of science disciplines of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore and University of the Punjab (PU) Lahore. The findings revealed that the participants had overstated their perceived IL skills as they had showed poor performance in their test of actual IL skills. Thus, the results of paired sample t-test did not show calibration between perceived and actual IL skills of research students. The study had found the Dunning-Kruger effect on the perceived and actual IL skills of research students. The findings showed insignificant gender differences on perceived and actual IL skills of research students; however, the overestimation was found higher among females than their counterpart male research students regarding both IL skills. Similarly, PU’s research students had performed better than UET’s research students in test of actual IL skills. This is the first study that has tested actual IL skills of research students using an MCQ-based scale in Pakistan. The study has contextualized ACRL standards to identify overestimation between perceived and actual IL skills in science disciplines, i.e. a significant contribution in literature of information science. The outcomes of this study may help the library and information professionals, higher educational institutes, and related organizations to be engaged in teaching, designing and delivering IL instructions and programs. This study may also be helpful for academic researchers in articulating and contextualizing ACRL standards for the assessment of actual IL skills.



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