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A comparison of UK academics' conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines: English and marketing

Webber, S. and Boon, S.J. and Johnston, B.R. (2005) A comparison of UK academics' conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines: English and marketing. Library and Information Research News, 29 (93). pp. 4-15. ISSN 0141-6561

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Abstract

The authors aim to present and compare findings from a phenomenographic investigation into conceptions of information literacy in two populations: academics in English and Marketing disciplines teaching at British universities. These were chosen as examples of, respectively, soft-pure and soft-applied disciplines.We begin by defining information literacy and briefly setting our research in context. We explain the nature of research using the phenomenographic approach, and describe our sample and methods. We present firstly, the four qualitatively different conceptions of information literacy held by the English academics, and then the seven conceptions held by the Marketing academics. Key differences between the conceptions held in the two disciplines are discussed, in particular relating differences to characteristics of soft-pure and soft-applied disciplines. The authors conclude that study of the differences between the conceptions held by the two disciplinary groups can illuminate and guide information literacy initiatives.