To better use it in my teaching I have spent extra time with OneSearch, the library’s discovery tool. Such tools show us how searching is strategic (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015). Strategy does not preclude surprises, though.
On July 11 I searched for recent scholarly items on portfolios and media education. Limiting for scholarly & peer-review brought my list of 175, 987 results down to 26, 304. Then I limited for the discipline of journalism & communications: my list went down to 620 items. Finally I limited for the date range of January 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016. I ended up with 58 results.
Despite my strategic use of limits I still encountered surprises. When I tried to replicate the search, I ended up with 14 results instead of 58. Then I noticed that I had accidentally limited the date to the 2016 results. In this case a surprise reminded me to remain mindful.
I found among my results a relevant, but unexpected, article about digital badges (Devedzic & Jovanovic, 2015). After the second keynote at the May Faculty Institute I found this article interesting. Thus strategy still leaves room for serendipity. The ACRL Framework includes “inquiry, discovery, and serendipity–emphasis mine (2015, Searching as Strategic Exploration section).”
Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website:
Devedzic, V., & Jovanovic, J. (2015). Developing open badges: A comprehensive approach. Educational Technology Research and Development,
63(4), 603-620. doi:10.1007/s11423-015-9388-3