May 20, 2022

Journal Article: “What Academics Really Think About Information Literacy”

The following article was recently published by The Journal of Information Literacy.


What Academics Really Think About Information Literacy


Deborah Stebbing
Anglia Ruskin University

Jane Shelley
Anglia Ruskin University

Mark Warnes
Anglia Ruskin University

Carol McMaster
Anglia Ruskin University


Journal of Information Literacy
Vol 13 No 1 (2019)


This research project arose from a need to ensure librarians and academics work together to support student information literacy (IL) development, aligned to the Anglia Ruskin University learning and teaching strategy, and specifically to improve librarians’ understanding of how academic staff view IL and consider their perceptions and expectations within different disciplines.

A literature review found a limited number of studies which considered academics’ point of view and few were concerned with discipline (faculty) differences. We took a qualitative approach to this research, using semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of participants drawn from nursing subjects and business subjects in a post-1992 university in the United Kingdom. The research questions asked about academics’ perception of IL, the impact of their discipline on IL and their view of the ideal information literate student. Six key areas of concern emerged around the teaching of IL: students transitioning into higher education, developing evaluation skills, the significance of the undergraduate major project and discipline differences, the information landscape and the perceived need for preparation for IL at work. The article discusses the findings, difficulties surrounding students achieving adequate IL and considerations for future practice in delivering focused IL support.

Direct to Full Text Article
25 pages; PDF

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.