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.

Contact person

Dr. Tom Rosman
Head Research Literacy

+49 (0)651 201-2284


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., 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

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

Information literacy as a key to academic success: Results from a longitudinal study.

In A.-K. Mayer & T. Rosman, T. (Hrsg.), In S. Kurbanoğlu, J. Boustany, S. Špiranec, E. Grassian, D. Mizrachi, L. Roy, T. Çakmak (Eds.), Communications in Computer and Information Science: Vol. 676. Information literacy: Key to an inclusive society. Fourth European Conference, ECIL 2016, Prague, Czech Republic, October 10-13, 2016, revised selected papers (pp. 598-607). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-52162-6_59

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

Rosman, T., Peter, J., Mayer, A.-K., & Krampen, G. (2018).

Conceptions of scientific knowledge influence learning of academic skills: Epistemic beliefs and the efficacy of information literacy instruction.

Studies in Higher Education, 43(1), 96-113. doi:10.1080/03075079.2016.1156666


Visiting researchers

  • Dr. Heidi Enwald, University of Oulu, Information Studies
    (December 2014)
  • Dr. Noora Hivonen, University of Oulu, Information Studies
    (December 2014)

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)