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Library and Information Studies

Pathfinders and Content Curation

What is a PathFinder?



According to The Dictionary for Library & Information Science, a pathfinder is a "subject bibliography designed to lead the user through the process of researching a specific topic, or any topic in a given field or discipline, usually in a systematic, step-by-step way, making use of the best finding tools the library has to offer. Pathfinders may be printed or available online. See also: topical guide.


Related Terms:

Subject Bibliography
A list of resources (books, articles, reports, etc.) on a specific topic, usually compiled by a librarian or researcher with specialized knowledge of the subject to acquaint other researchers with the existing literature (see this example). A retrospective subject bibliography may be selective or comprehensive within a designated period of publication. A current subject bibliography quickly becomes outdated unless updated, usually in supplements. Book-length subject bibliographies may be shelved in the reference section of the library. Compare with reading list.

Topical Guide
A printed or online list or description of the best bibliographic tools and resources available to a researcher for conducting a literature search on a specific topic, presented in the sequence in which they would optimally be used. Also known as a pathfinder. See also: search strategy.

Research Guide

"A Research Guide is simply a webpage created by librarians for library users as an aid to their research. They are widely used by academic and school libraries but also by public and special libraries and archives. Research guides are usually intended to address an audience with a particular and specific information need. They contain instructions, links, and other information meant to help users with a specific research context or task".

Puckett, J. (2015). Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides. Chicago: Association of Colleges and Research Libraries, ALA.

Content Curation

Content curation is the act of continually identifying, selecting, and sharing the best and most relevant online content and other resources (and by that I mean articles, blog, videos photos, tools, tweets, or whatever) on a specific subject to nath the needs of a specific audience". --Ann Handley, TopRank Online Marketing Blog (2011).

Useful Resources

Here are some resources that may be useful:

Curation Tools

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