Professor Limberg Eminent Visiting Fellow at Curtin University

29 March, 2015

As a further step in the Scandinavian-Australian information literacies research collaboration Professor Louise Limberg visited the Department of Information, Curtin University, Perth, during a fortnight in March. The visit was made possible through Curtin’s Faculty of Humanities Eminent Visiting Fellowship Programme.

Dr Anna Hampson Lundh was delighted to welcome Louise to Western Australia and to continue to work on various projects with her Swedish colleague.

Among many activities at Curtin, Louise gave a public lecture during her visit, summarising core findings from her extensive research career. The lecture, Research on information seeking and learning during 25 years: challenges, lessons and prospects, can be found here.


Professor Limberg presenting at Curtin University

Professor Limberg presenting at Curtin University



New Publications from Chrisitine Bruce QUT

6 March, 2015

Hello everyone,
Latest publications from QUT Research Group.  References supplied by Professor Christine Bruce.
Book Chapters

  • Bruce, Christine S., Partridge, Helen L., Davis, Kate, Hughes, Hilary E., & Stoodley, Ian D. (Eds.) (2014) Information Experience : Approaches to Theory and Practice. Library and Information Science Series, 9. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley , UK.
  • Bruce, Christine, Davis, Kate, Hughes, Hilary, Partridge, Helen, & Stoodley, Ian (2014) Information Experience : Contemporary Perspectives. In Christine, Bruce, Kate, Davis, Hilary, Hughes, Helen, Partridge, & Ian, Stoodley (Eds.) Information Experience : Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Volume 9). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, U.K., pp. 3-16.
  • Bruce, Christine, Davis, Kate, Hughes, Hilary, Partridge, Helen, & Stoodley, Ian (2014) Information Experience : New Perspectives and Research Directions. In Bruce, Christine, Davis, Kate, Hughes, Hilary, Partridge, Helen, & Stoodley, Ian (Eds.) Information Experience : Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Volume 9). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, pp. 315-320.
  • Bruce, Christine, Somerville, Mary M., Stoodley, Ian, & Partridge, Helen (2014) Diversifying Information Literacy Research : An Informed Learning Perspective. In Bruce, Christine, Partridge, Helen, Davis, Kate, Hughes, Hilary, & Stoodley, Ian (Eds.) Information Experience : Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Volume 9). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, pp. 169-186.
  • Gunton, Lyndelle, Bruce, Christine, & Davis, Kate (2014) Information Literacy Research : The Evolution of the Relational Approach.In Du, Jia Tina, Zhu, Qinghua, & Koronios, Andy (Eds.) Library and Information Science Research in Asia-Oceania : Theory and Practice. IGI Global, Hershey PA, pp. 82-101.
  • Stoodley, Ian D., Bruce, Christine S., Partridge, Helen L., Edwards, Sylvia L., & Cooper, Helen (2014) Health Information Literacy and the Experience of 65 to 79 Year Old Australians. In Du, J.T., Zhu, Q., & Koronios, A. (Eds.) Library and Information Science Research in Asia-Oceania : Theory and Practice. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, pp. 102-123.
  • Wijaya, Stevanus Wisnu, Watson, Jason, & Bruce, Christine S. (2014) Migrant worker empowerment in online communities. In Khosrow-Pour, Mehdi (Ed.) Encyclopaedia of Information Science and Technology [Third Edition]. IGI Global, pp. 6503-6513

Refereed Articles

  • Sayyad Abdi, Elham, Bruce, Christine S., & Stoodley, Ian D. (2014) The experience of learning in “The Cube” : Queensland University of Technology’s giant interactive multimedia environment. Informatics, 1, pp. 126-146.
  • Wakimoto, Diana K. & Bruce, Christine S. (2014) Academic librarians’ varying experiences of archives : a phenomenographic study.The Journal of Academic Librarianship.
  • • Harlan, Mary Ann, Bruce, Christine S., & Lupton, Mandy (2014) Creating and sharing : teens’ information practices in digital communities. Information Research, 19(1).
  • • Wakimoto, Diana Kiyo & Bruce, Christine S. (2014) Experiencing archives at universities : archivists, librarians, understanding, and collaboration. Reference Services Review. (In Press)
  • Tucker, Virginia Miller, Weedman, Judith, Bruce, Christine S., & Edwards, Sylvia L. (2014) Learning portals : analyzing threshold concept theory for LIS education. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 55(2), p. 150.
  • Gibbings, Peter, Lidstone, John, & Bruce, Christine S. (2014) Students’ experience of problem-based learning in virtual space. Higher Education Research and Development. (In Press)

New Publications and projects

20 February, 2015

Talja, Sanna & Nyce, James M. (2015) The problem with problematic situations: Differences, between practices, tasks, and situations as units of analysis. Library & Information Science Research.

How should we define the context for our research when we study how people come to possess something that can be called expertise? When we want to understand how and under what conditions people become skilled in information filtering, finding, and sharing? Information literacies researchers agree that information activities should always be studied within the work and everyday life contexts where these activities take place. But researchers are interested in studying different information skills challenges. Some choose to concentrate on what happens when a person must come up with sources, or interact with an information system. Some want to follow how people set out to solve a specific type of task. Some are more interested in the specifics of a situated activity setting or domain where information exists and is applied by those with appropriate competences and tools.

The concepts of situation, task and practice are frequently used in studies of information use in work and everyday life. As analytic concepts, these concepts are not interchangeable: they originate from divergent intellectual traditions and give rise to different kinds of research problems and programs. Explaining how exactly the underlying assumptions of person-in-situation studies, task-based studies, and practice-based studies differ, is the goal of this paper. We argue that there is a long line of research that decontextualises the knower and ignores the potentials for knowing and learning which a specific activity environment represents. We suggest that situations and tasks be understood not as key analytical concepts, but as elements of a situated activity setting, a practice.

Another paper we (Nyce, James M., Talja, Sanna & Dekker, Sidney) have been working on is called “When Ghosts Can Talk: Informant Realities and Ethnographic Policies.”

Sometimes, when conducting fieldwork, we as researchers encounter situations in which we perceive that our informants accept as truthful claims or ideas that in our view are fallacious or even ridiculous. If we wish to maintain the stand that as researchers, our task is to understand the cultures and knowledges of those we are studying, how can we write intelligently when people refer to things like ghosts, witches, or magic, as information sources or explanations for events? Generally, researchers find a strategy which allows them to give the “supernatural”, in our terms at least, a natural explanation. This article pins down the range of strategies researchers use for dealing with refractory categories and events like ghosts and other “non-existent things.” We could and should use these testimonies to widen our understandings and reportages. Our education and the genres of writing available to us as scholars can seriously limit what we feel able to report and how. Even if we feel unable to take on radically different epistemologies and ontologies, we can at least use informants’ accounts to more deeply understand the taken for granted truths and reportages of our own culture.



4 November, 2014

The 2nd ECIL (European Conference on Information Literacy) conference took place in Dubrovnik 20-23 October 2014, a true international event attracting some 500 delegates from 59 countries. Altogether there were over 100 speakers in various capacities from keynotes by professors Mike Eisenberg and David Bawden, to invited speakers Tefko Saracevic, Louise Limberg, Maria Carme-Torras, Andrew Whitworth, Ross Todd, Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston, to the presentation of papers in various formats as well as workshops, poster sessions, PechaKucha and panel sessions. The whole conference was well organized under the auspices of Serap Kurbanglu from Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University, Istanbul (last year’s conference) and Sonja Špiranec from Department of Information and Communication Sciences of Zagreb University.

Various thought-provoking views of the notion of Information Literacy came out in keynote talks as well as in talks by invited speakers, e.g. “the Big Six” (Eisenberg), “information fluency” (Bawden), radical IL (Whitworth), IL as a boundary object between information needs seeking and use and learning research (Limberg), IL as collaborative inquiry (Todd), IL as MIL (Unesco/Carme-Torras), and IL as a discipline in its own right (Webber & Johnston). These varying and sometimes contradictory views of IL led to lively discussions on the concept. One interpretation of this is that information literacy is no longer an interest solely within librarianship but has reached out into other professional, political and disciplinary fields of education, political science, sociology, economics, philosophy, etc. At the same time the majority of papers presented by conference delegates were authored by practicing (academic) librarians with an overall interest in various ways of teaching information literacy. The extended interests in information literacy among actors from various fields hold a potential for interesting new alliances in future research and practice related to information literacy.

The issue of the relationship between research and practice in information literacy was the topic of a panel by Sheila Webber, Ola Pilerot, Louise Limberg and Bill Johnston. Rich material from the ECIL conference is available at http://information-literacy.blogspot.se/2014/10/an-ecil2014-roundup.html

Next year’s ECIL conference will take place in Tallinn, Estonia, 19-22 October, http://ecil2015.ilconf.org/

Louise Limberg and Ola Pilerot


Book launch

30 September, 2014

The Information Studies Group (ISG) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia recently held an official book launch for Information experience: approaches to theory and practice.  The edited book introduces and explores the concept of ‘information experience’; which is a complex, multidimensional engagement with information.

Authors from all around the world where invited to contribute chapters on any aspect of information experience, for example conceptual, methodological or empirical. The authors were invited to express their interpretation of information experience, and in so doing to contribute to the development of this emerging concept.

The book has therefore become a vehicle for interested researchers and practitioners to explore their thinking around information experience, including relationships between information experience, learning experience, user experience, and similar constructs. It represents a collective awareness of information experience in contemporary research and practice.

Further information on the book can be found here.

Professor Christine Bruce presenting the book on the 23 September 2014

Professor Christine Bruce presenting the book on the 23 September 2014


Congratulations to three new PhDs

30 September, 2014

The Information Studies Group (ISG) at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia is excited to have had three doctoral students undertaking studies in the area of information literacy.

Dr Christine Yates used phenomenography to explore the experience of health information literacy. The study’s findings identified seven categories that represented qualitatively different ways in which people experienced health information literacy, and provide new knowledge about people’s engagement with health information for learning in everyday life. The study contributes to consumer health information research and is significant to the disciplines of health and information science. Her dissertation “Informed for health: exploring variation in ways of experiencing health information literacy” is available here

Dr Faye Miller explored early career academics’ experiences in using information to learn while building their networks for professional development. A ‘knowledge ecosystem’ model was developed consisting of informal learning interactions such as relating to information to create knowledge and engaging in mutually supportive relationships. Findings from this study present an alternative interpretation of information use for learning that is focused on processes manifesting as human interactions with informing entities revolving around the contexts of reciprocal human relationships. Faye’s dissertation ‘Knowledge ecosystems of early career academics: a grounded theory of experiencing information use for learning in developmental networks’ is available here

Dr Nicole Johnston investigated the information literacy experiences of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students in a higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  She used phenomenography to investigate how EFL students’ ‘used information to learn’ (ie. information literacy). The study revealed that EFL students’ experienced information literacy across four categories and had varying experiences of information and learning. The research also showed that EFL students’ faced a number of challenges and barriers due to language that impacted on their experiences of reading, understanding, accessing and translating information. Nicole’s dissertation, ‘Understanding the information literacy experiences of English as a Foreign Language students’ is available here

ISG is an information research team with a multidisciplinary focus crossing the boundaries of information, learning and technology. It has built a strong international profile for its innovative application and development of qualitative research methods. Further information on ISG can be found at their Facebook page. You can also follow ISG on Twitter.


CoLIS8 Update

11 October, 2013

On the 21 of August, iilresearch organised the Information Literacies Track at the Eighth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS8) at the Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen University.

The track opened with a panel on Conceptions of Information Literacy: Current Theoretical Trends where Professor Louise Limberg, Professor Helen Partridge, Professor Olof Sundin, and Professor Sanna Talja discussed the concepts of information literacies, information experience, literacy, and information practices. The panel was chaired by Anna Hampson Lundh.

Ten papers were presented in three different themes: Theoretical perspectives and methodology in IL research, Information Literacy Practices, and Information Literacy Education. A discussion on some of the interesting issues discussed can be found in Isto Huvila’s blog.

The Audience’s Best Paper Award went to Nicole A. Cooke’s and Merinda Kaye Hensley’s paper “The Critical and Continuing Role of LIS Curriculum in the Teacher Training of Future Librarians”. All papers are published in Information Research.

We want to thank all participants who were involved in making the track a success. We hope that you would like to join us again at CoLIS9.