January 25, 2022

Journal Article: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Information Literacy”

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Information Literacy


Margaret S Zimmerman
School of Information Florida State University

Chaoqun Ni
University of Wisconsin–Madison, USASource

IFLA Journal
First Published: February 5, 2020
DOI 10.1177/0340035221989367


Information literacy skills are requisite to fulfilling one’s potential and are highly connected to a good quality of life. However, the ways in which information literacy is discussed within the academic canon are largely unexplored, particularly as these conversations take place through different cultural lenses. The ways in which such cultures are grouped often rely on traditional methods of geographic clustering that are increasingly complicated by the disparate internal nature of societies. Using text analysis of a large bibliometric data set, this research is an attempt to examine how scholars around the world discuss information literacy in their publications.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1177/0340035221989367

The authors pulled 3658 records with the exact term “information literacy” from the Scopus database. This data was analyzed for the most frequently employed words and phrases, and grouped by country. The authors then further grouped the countries by their levels of literacy, Human Development Index ranking, the average number of citations per article, and a metric created by the authors that assessed each country’s progress in regard to the Sustainable Development Goals and population health. The results include a discussion of the differences in the ways that scholars from different cultures discuss information literacy, and a number of data visualizations to highlight differences in the data.

Direct to Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.