Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Reuters Digital news report 2019

In June the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published the 2019 Reuters Digital news report. The report is mainly based on responses to an online questionnaire, with research carried out by YouGov in January/February 2019, aiming for quota sampling, and the methodology is explained here. Additionally, they incorporate some results from a qualitative investigation of younger people in the USA and UK "The methodology included tracking actual online behaviour of 20 participants for several weeks, depth interviews, and small group discussions with their friends" (the full report on this is due next month). Key findings include
- "we find only a small increase in the numbers paying for any online news";
- "people are spending less time with Facebook and more time with WhatsApp and Instagram than this time last year... [however] [Facebook] remains by far the most important social network for news.";
- "WhatsApp has become a primary network for discussing and sharing news in non-Western countries" [including with people you don't know];
- "Concern about misinformation and disinformation remains high despite efforts by platforms and publishers to build public confidence" [but varies by country];
- "Across countries over a quarter (26%) say they have started relying on more ‘reputable’ sources of news2;
- There is more news avoidance (especially in the UK "Avoidance is up 3 percentage points overall and 11 points in the UK, driven by boredom, anger, or sadness over Brexit");
- smartphones are growing in importance "with two-thirds (66%) now using the device to access news weekly (+4pp)" and podcasts are an increasing news source, especially with younger people;
- there is an increase in using voice-activated devices for news, but it is still not used that much compared with e.g. smartphones.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Learning Why, Not How: Citing your sources

Another interesting discussion piece from Barbara Fister. I agree about needing to explain why citing things with enough detail and clarity is important - also a recent discussion on the ili-l list highlighted how helping learners to distinguish what kind of thing is in front of them on the screen is important too (notably, recognising when something is a journal article):
Fister, B. (2019, August 8). Learning Why, Not How: Citing your sources matters, but teaching citation just muddies the waters for first-year students [blog post].
Photo by Sheila Webber: good meal, Fish Butchery, Sydney, July 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

Experts, knowledge and criticality in the age of ‘alternative facts’

A special issue of the priced journal Teaching in Higher Education (volume 24 issue 3, 2019) focuses on Experts, knowledge and criticality in the age of ‘alternative facts’: re-examining the contribution of higher education. Articles include:
- Just Google it! Digital literacy and the epistemology of ignorance by Ibrar Bhatt & Alison MacKenzie
- Rethinking the role of the academy: cognitive authority in the age of post-truth by Robert Farrow & Rolin Moe
- Towards a deconstructed curriculum: Rethinking higher education in the Global North by Rafe McGregor & Miriam Sang-Ah Park
Calling out ‘alternative facts’: curriculum to develop students’ capacity to engage critically with contradictory sources by Trudi Cooper
- The truth, but not yet: avoiding naïve skepticism via explicit communication of metadisciplinary aims by Jake Wright
- Understanding the world today: the roles of knowledge and knowing in higher education by Elizabeth Hauke
- Developing student research capability for a ‘post-truth’ world: three challenges for integrating research across taught programmes by Gwyneth Hughes
- The analytical lens: developing undergraduate students’ critical dispositions in undergraduate EAP writing courses by Mark Brooke, Laetitia Monbec & Namala Tilakaratna
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cat, Glenelg, July 2019

Friday, August 16, 2019

Teenage vocabulary and information literacy

A guest post of the CILIP Information Literacy Group's blog, by Sarah Pavey, published in late June: Does the level of teenage vocabulary impact upon their acquisition of information literacy concepts?
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sunset in Glenelg, July 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ignorance management

Two recently released videos from Australia: I must confess that I haven't watched these all the way through, but the bits I sampled looked interesting. "We talk about Knowledge Management but less so about Ignorance Management - and yet there is likely more ignorance in the world. And if knowledge is poorly understood then ignorance is even murkier. For this session, we will cover: The range of ignorances that we all find in organizational life and their impact on us; The benefits as well as the downsides of ignorance; The patterns of human behaviour that lead to ignorance; How we can harness as well as counter ignorance to lead to better outcomes."
Jason Collins:
Matt Moore:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Flat white, Paddington, Sydney, July 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New article: Information Literacy in Food and Activity Tracking

A New article by Pam McKinney and other colleagues here at the Information School:
McKinney, P., Cox, A.M., and Sbaffi, L. (2019). Information Literacy in Food and Activity Tracking Among Parkrunners, People With Type 2 Diabetes, and People With Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Exploratory Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(8):e13652. (open access)
"The aim of this study was to analyze food and activity tracking from an information literacy perspective. An online survey was distributed to three communities via parkrun, and the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Network. The data showed that there were clear differences in the logging practices of the members of the three different communities, as well as differences in motivations for tracking and the extent of sharing of said tracked data. Respondents showed a good understanding of the importance of information accuracy and were confident in their ability to understand tracked data, however, there were differences in the extent to which food and activity data were shared and also a lack of understanding of the potential reuse and sharing of data by third parties. .. Information literacy in this context involves developing awareness of the issues of accurate information recording, and how tracked information can be applied to support specific health goals. Developing awareness of how and when to share data, as well as of data ownership and privacy, are also important aspects of information literacy."
Photo by Sheila Webber: People jogging and walking in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, July 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Reflection toolkit

A really useful resource from the University of Edinburgh: a Reflection toolkit with material both for those doing the reflection and for those facilitating or assessing reflection. Additionally there is a literature review on reflection, and a substantial bibliography. The material was mostly published December 2018/ January 2019
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sculpture (Lisa Slade: the life of stars), Adelaide, July 2019

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Recent articles: infolit and information behaviour of nurses; adolescents; students in Malaysia and South Africa

- Mohammed, A., & Haliru, Z. A. (2019). Exploring the postgraduate students’ perceptions, usefulness and effectiveness of information literacy skills at University of Malaya library. International Journal of Library and Information Science, 11(4), 23-34. (open access)
- Kwafoa, P. N. Y., Anhwere, B. K., & Manu, A. E. (2019). Use of electronic resources by postgraduate students in University of Cape Coast. International Journal of Library and Information Science, 11(2), 7-13. (open access)
- Lee, A., Alving, B. E., Horup, M. B., & Thrysoee, L. (2019). Information retrieval as a part of evidence-based practice: Retrieval skills, behavior and needs among nurses at a large university hospital. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research.(early publication) (I think this is priced) - results of a survey of nurses in Denmark "The most used electronic resources for retrieval of healthcare information were the local intra-net and Google, while bibliographic databases were used to a lesser extent.... Significant differences in competences and use of bibliographic databases were found between nurses who had graduated before and after an educational reform in 2011."
- Park, E., Kwon, M., Gaughn, M., Livingston, J. and Chang, Y-P. (2019). Listening to adolescents: Their perceptions and information sources about e-cigarettes. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 48, 82-91. "adolescents receive information about e-cigarettes from advertisements, family members, their peers, social media, and internet." (priced)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Darling Harbour, Sydney, July 2019

Friday, August 09, 2019

Global Media and Information Literacy week conference

Registration is open for the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy week (in fact it takes place a few weeks before MIL week itself). The conference is in Gothenburg, Sweden, 24-25 September plus on 26 September the Youth conference. It is free of charge and the theme is Media and Information Literate Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered. Registration closes on 31 August: I think what happens then is that if too many people have registered they will ask people to confirm, and the first people to confirm get the places. The programme is not released yet. I will be presenting at the conference (with Bill Johnston) on: Transformational Media and Information Literacy learning for adult citizens: “this street is full of heroes”.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Presentations (in German or English): infolit of engineers, business etc.

- From the IATUL seminar in Munich, December 2018 (presentations and recordings: some in English, some in German). Includes presentations on information needs of small business and of manufacturing companies, and of the hospitality industry; information skills for apprentices; Information literacy in the healthcare sector and in engineering. Go to
There are also proceedings of the information literacy strand of the IATUL conference (in English) at, for example Engineering graduates at work: Reality check for information literacy by Caroline Leiss and Pia Ludwig

- From the Bibliothekartag 2019 (all in German) numerous presentations (includes presentations on: a "didactics wheel" checklist for teaching; digital literacy; the information literacy of new engineers; developing an academic writing workshop; education for digital humanities) and (winning infolit posters)
Photo by Sheila webber: approaching Sydney, July 2019

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

7 Things You Should Know About Digital Badges

The latest in EDUCAUSE's 7 Things series is 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Badges. Like all these documents, it is a 2-pager with links.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Online trust, fact-checking, disinformation

A report, a research project and a conference, around the theme of the credibility of online information:
(1) Full Fact. (2019). Report on the Facebook Third Party Fact Checking programme Jan-June 2019. Full Fact (the independent fact checking organisation) have been employed by Facebook to check up on the validity of items flagged as questionable on Facebook. They have also been developing a set of categories to tag those items once examined. The report explains what they have been doing, and reports on what they found. "We joined the programme in January in a bid to help tackle misinformation online. When we signed up to the project we committed to regular reporting to ensure our transparency, openness and impartiality was protected. This report is the first in a series of reports that will provide insight into the nature of misinformation on social media and to assess how effectively the project is tackling it." Go to (description) and (report)

(2) The Conference on Truth and Trust Online (TTO) takes place October 4-5 2019 in London, UK. The aim is "to bring together all parties working on automated approaches to augment manual efforts on improving the truthfulness and trustworthiness of online communications. Truth and Trust Online is organised as a unique collaboration between practitioners, technologists, academics and platforms."

(3) Social Media, Online Disinformation, and Elections: A Quantitative, “Big Data” Perspective is a research project where they "use large-scale text analysis with the GATE open-source platform (aka AI or more specifically, natural language processing) to gain valuable quantitative insights from large volumes of social media content, and thus, help answer important open questions". This is based at my own university, the University of Sheffield, UK, but in a different department. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: e-scooter, Adelaide, July 2019

Friday, August 02, 2019

Open access: International Handbook of Health Literacy

Recently published on open access:
Okan , O., Bauer , U., Levin-Zamir, D., Pinheiro , P. & Sørensen, K. (eds). (2019) International Handbook of Health Literacy : Research, practice and policy across the lifespan. Bristol: Policy Press.
This is a substantial and rich publication of 45 chapters, addressing issues of definition, policy, equity and much more.
Photo by Sheila Webber: sunset, Glenelg, Australia, July 2019

Thursday, August 01, 2019

An interview with Lewis Li, Information Instruction Librarian

Just published, a longish interview with a Hong Kong librarian who has information literacy as a key part of his job; in the relaunched open access magazine of CILIP's International Library and Information Group:
Evolution of One-on-one Research: Consultations in the Age of the Internet: An interview with Lewis Li, Information Instruction Librarian, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Focus on International Library and Information Work, 50(1), 17-26. (this link was also given)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Manly, July 2019