E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship has an interesting article titled Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Effect of Library Instruction on the Quality of Students’ Term Papers. It is by Susan Hurst and Joseph Leonard. It is in the Spring 2007, v.8 no.1 issue.
The authors report the results of a study which used citation analysis of students’ term papers to determine the effectiveness of a library instruction session. The research was conducted during the 2004-2005 school year. In each semester, two sections of the same class received a library instruction session, while the third section of the class did not. Bibliographies of the students’ term papers were then examined to determine if the numbers and types of sources cited differed between the two groups. Library instruction was determined to be effective, in that students receiving library instruction were significantly more likely to cite journal articles and other scholarly resources than those students not receiving the library instruction.