May 16, 2022

Research Article: “More Than Lip Service: Identifying A Typology of “Social Justice” Research in LIS”

The article linked below was recently published by the The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI) in a special issue titled, Methodologies for Researching Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in LIS.


More than Lip Service: Identifying A Typology of “Social Justice” Research in LIS


Joseph Winberry
University of Tennessee


The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI)
Vol 5 No 2 (2021)
DOI: 10.33137/ijidi.v5i2.34806


Social justice is increasingly identifiable within library and information science (LIS) research and practice. However, numerous scholars have raised the concern that social justice has been commodified in order to benefit the powerful and therefore the possibility of actual and constructive change has been minimized in numerous cases. In response, this researcher undertook a literature review of self-identified “social justice” research in 2 large academic databases—Library Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) and Library and Information Science Source (LISS)—in order to identify the types of social justice research in LIS. The result of the review identified 247 records and included results from peer reviewed journals, books, and conference proceedings from which a typology of 2 research types (e.g., knowledge and practice) and 8 sub-types (e.g., metatheoretical, theoretical, ideational, methodological, empirical, narrative, professional, and pedagogical) was identified. Identification of this typology is helpful for organizing existing social justice research within LIS, assisting in the examination of connections between theories and methods, and contributing to a broader goal of arguing that social justice is an emerging sub-discipline within LIS. Future research is needed to grow this typology and increase research in areas that remain understudied such as LIS-centered metatheoretical, theoretical, and methodological social justice research.

Direct to Full Text Article
45 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.