Research literacy and User-Friendly Research Support

Aims and scope

The aim of our research is to support research literacy and evidence-based thinking in both (future) scientists and laypeople. For this purpose, we explore the development of competencies and beliefs which are needed to adequately evaluate and use scientific information:

  • Which knowledge and skills do people need to draw valid conclusions from existing scientific evidence?
  • How good are people at weighing contradictory evidence from multiple sources?
  • How do peoples’ epistemic beliefs, i.e., their ways of thinking about the nature of knowledge and knowing, shape their understanding of research?

The results of these studies are used to design research infrastructures which support people in finding and evaluating scientific information. Additional effort focuses on fostering the acquisition of research literacy and epistemic beliefs by means of online and face-to-face interventions.


2017: ZPID Symposium
"Health literacy across the lifespan"

2015: ZPID Symposium
"Thinking about science - epistemological beliefs"

2014: ZPID Symposium
"Information literacy in higher education"

Selected publications

Rosman, T., Mayer, A.-K., Merk, S., & Kerwer, M. (2019).

On the benefits of ‘doing science’: Does integrative writing about scientific controversies foster epistemic beliefs?

Contemporary Educational Psychology, 58, 85-101. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2019.02.007

Wedderhoff, O., Chasiotis, A., Rosman, T., & Mayer, A.-K. (2018).

Unveiling the subjective perception of health information sources: A three-dimensional source taxonomy based on similarity judgements.

Frontiers in Communication, 3(57). doi:10.3389/fcomm.2018.00057

Kerwer, M., & Rosman, T. (2018).

Mechanisms of epistemic change: Under which circumstances does diverging information support epistemic development?

Frontiers in Psychology, 9(2278). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02278

Rosman, T., Mayer, A.-K., Kerwer, M., & Krampen, G. (2017).

The differential development of epistemic beliefs in psychology and computer science students: A four-wave longitudinal study.

Learning and Instruction, 49, 166-177. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.01.006

Rosman, T., Mayer, A.-K., & Krampen, G. (2016).

A longitudinal study on information-seeking knowledge in psychology undergraduates: Exploring the role of information literacy instruction and working memory capacity.

Computers & Education, 96, 94-108. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2016.02.011


Visiting researchers

  • Dr. Eva Seifried, Heidelberg University
    (June 2018)
  • Claudia Bollig, Cochrane Germany
    (December 2018)
  • Dr. Kai Nitschke, Cochrane Germany
    (December 2018)

Cooperation projects (selection)

The effects of epistemic beliefs on the perceived practical value of general pedagogical knowledge in teacher education:

Dr. Samuel Merk (University of Tübingen), Dr. Jürgen Schneider (University of Tübingen), Julia Ruess (HU Berlin), Dr. Marcus Syring (LMU München)

Differential changes in teacher education students' epistemic beliefs in the context of a research-oriented seminar:

Dr. Myriam Schlag (University of Mainz)

Psychology-specific epistemic beliefs across various academic fields:

Dr. Eva Seifried (University of Heidelberg)

Blended Learning of Information Literacy (BLInk) – Learning materials

The BLInk instruction program was developed during the project BLInk (2012-2015). Participants learn how to search, access, and evaluate psychological information using scholarly databases, web search engines, and other online resources. The learning materials are available online.

As a large proportion of the materials contains information specific to the situation at German universities, the learning materials are provided in German language. At this stage, there is no English language translation available.

Short description (English language)

BLInk manual (German language)

Online learning materials (German language)