Medical Degree students' use of information: From writing and citing to evidence assessment

Research output: Working paper


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess information literacy performance of students doing their master thesis at 5th year the Medical Degree Programme, Lund University, Sweden. The study investigates if there is a difference in performance between library class participants and non-participants.

Method: A case-control approach with rubrics assessment was used to assess students’ information literacy performance in 26 selected master theses. 13 theses were selected from class participant group, and 13 theses from the non-participant group in a blinded process. The rubrics were based on the formal assessment rubrics of the course. Rubrics related to information literacy learning objectives and class content was further developed with more detailed indicators. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used for statistical analysis.

Result: The case group usually outperformed the control group, with a few exceptions (p=0,650). The use of original articles and presenting all references in the reference list was equal among the groups. In using adequate number of references, using sources relevant to aim, using evidence hierarchy, synthesizing references with results and using Vancouver style correctly the case group performed better. In using references for method description and using previous references in the discussion the control group performed better.

Conclusion: Students need more support in selecting high quality references, using references to describe methods, the importance of referring to all sources and to use the Vancouver style correctly. The results of the study will be used to develop the library instructional classes further.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Learning
  • Pedagogical Work
  • Pedagogy
  • Information Studies
  • Medical and Health Sciences


  • information literacy, rubrics assessment, medical students
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLund University
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

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