January 23, 2022

ProQuest Research Companion: A New Interactive Digital Literacy Tool

News from ProQuest today about the formal release of their Research Companion tool. The complete news release is below. First, a few thoughts.

Intro Thoughts

Digital/information literacy is a major issue (if not the most important issue, very close to it) for the library community. Itneeds to be addressed on a constant and consistent basis by the entire library community. It’s a key issue where collaboration across all types of libraries, vendors, etc. could produce great results and give the public a wonderful opportunity to see the value of the 21st Century info pro.

This tool is being marketed at the K-12 and higher ed library markets. Makes sense. However, we think it would also make sense for ProQuest and others who might develop similar products to develop companions/guides for the public library, special library and other markets. In other words, develop tools and resources to assist librarians in their role as lifelong knowledge navigators.

Btw, other research/digital literacy guides already exist.

One example is the Show Me info literacy modules from NoodleTools.

Another example comes from Credo Reference. They are also doing work in this area with their Literati product aimed at the higher ed. community.

Finally, it goes without saying (but we will still say it) these guides, modules, etc. are only tools. They are not a replacement for a knowledgeable information professional.

What’s Next

After we spend some time using this new resource we will share our thoughts in a future post. We also hope to share some background how ProQuest Research Companion was developed.

Full Text of Today’s Announcement Introducing ProQuest Research Companion

ProQuest launched its new cloud-based information literacy solution, ProQuest Research Companion, a one-stop resource that guides high school, community college, and university students through research projects, helping them overcome typical barriers. Easy, intuitive, and informative, ProQuest Research Companion enables students to move through projects such as research papers efficiently, generating better research outcomes and reducing frustration.

“Leveraging several proprietary and highly regarded ProQuest services and technology solutions, Research Companion addresses information literacy challenges unlike any other solution in the market,” said Simon Beale, senior vice president and general manager, ProQuest U.S. Government, Public Library and Schools. “Using data and information intelligence from Ulrichs, Bowker’s Books in Print, eLibrary, and the Summon discovery service, combined with the expertise of ProQuest editorial staff, we deliver unique features and applications that benefit the student and improve research.”

Instructional and reference librarians, media specialists, instructors, and curriculum directors can rely on ProQuest Research Companion as a framework to teach their students important critical thinking skills. For students, automation of the research process enables them to swiftly complete projects and hone their research skills.

ProQuest Research Companion encompasses nine dynamic learning modules that engage students in thinking more critically and creatively about their research. The modules, all of which can be watched or read, guide students through each step of the research process. Clear explanations expressed in a conversational style improve learning outcomes and maximize retention. Research Companion starts with research basics such as finding a topic and looking for information, then goes on to discuss evaluation, citations, revision, and much more.

ProQuest Research Companion also helps students find more enjoyment in their research projects. While the learning modules engage them to think creatively about their projects, the quick tools automate the most basic parts of the research process, allowing students to focus on the areas of the project that interest them the most.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.