May 23, 2022

University of Michigan Library: Results of Engineering Graduate Student Information Literacy Study

From the University of Michigan Library “Tiny Studies” Blog:

In this study, engineering librarians Leena Lalwani, Jamie Niehof, and Paul Grochowski sought to learn from graduate students in the College of Engineering (CoE) how these students could benefit from more instruction on U-M Library resources.


In November 2017, we surveyed engineering graduate students so that we might learn from them how we could better support their academic careers. The survey asked students about their experience with literature reviews, databases used, citation managers, data management, finding funding for research, and knowledge of publishing and copyright. We chose these topics because each represents an area of expertise within the U-M Library.


Results of the survey seemed to support what we believed. For instance, one of our first questions was, “How effective are you at doing a literature review?” Only 25% of respondents rated themselves as either “extremely effective” or “very effective.” We consider the literature review to be a fundamental skill necessary for success in graduate school. It appears that the respondents agree, for when we followed up by asking if respondents were interested in learning to do a literature review search, 85% replied “Yes” or “Maybe.”

Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to Complete Survey Results (To Be Presented at American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference in June 2018)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.