Centre for Social Informatics staff contribute to new paper on the study of workplace information literacy

Peter Cruickshank Bruce Ryan

Peter Cruickshank and Dr Bruce Ryan

My Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Dr Bruce Ryan and Peter Cruickshank have recently contributed to new paper on methods for studying workplace information literacy. The manuscript is now available as a pdf download from the Edinburgh Napier repository.

Entitled ‘Workplace information literacy: measures and methodological challenges’, the work on the paper was led by Professor Gunilla Widén of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics, Information Studies at Åbo Akademi University. The other co-authors are Gunilla’s former colleague Dr Farhan Ahmad (now at the University of Turku) and Dr Shahrokh Nikou, who works alongside Gunilla at Åbo.

In the paper, the five authors discuss the quantitative measurement of information literacy in the workplace. They make reference to three case studies to provide recent examples of the study of workplace information literacy using quantitative methods. In particular, they  drawing attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the application of the quantitative approach in these studies. From this analysis, the authors draw five conclusions:

  1. Workplace information literacy can be measured using quantitative data to highlight the connection between information literacy and work activities.
  2. Findings from information literacy research drawn from the analysis of quantitative data can validate findings from qualitative data.
  3. When investigating workplace information literacy using quantitative methods, it may be advisable to do so with a focus on just one aspect of information literacy.
  4. Using quantitative workplace information literacy measures allows for understanding information literacy on a larger scale, and in combination with outcome factors.
  5. Workplace information literacy research benefits from research design that uses multiple methods.

The paper is currently in press. It will be published later in the year in Volume 15 issue 2 of the Journal of Information Literacy.

Widén et al (2021) abstract

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