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Assessing disciplinary differences in faculty perceptions of information literacy competencies

Maria Pinto (Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 21 March 2016




Uncovering faculty members’ conceptions of Information Literacy (IL), as well as exploring their perceptions with regard to the importance given to a previously defined set of core IL competences grouped into four categories: searching, evaluation, processing and communication and dissemination. Ascertaining the possible differences among the five knowledge branches (arts and humanities, sciences, social and legal sciences, health sciences, and technical disciplines); and understanding the importance granted to a set of learning improvement initiatives by the faculty. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


The survey was completed by a set of faculty members from the University of Granada (Spain). Data were collected using the IL-HUMASS survey. The research is based on subjective data, first approached from a descriptive point of view. Later, data correlation, analysis and non-parametric tests were used with the goal of finding significant differences of faculty perceptions among the relevant academic areas.


Results suggest that more than half of the surveyed faculty have what the authors define as an Academic Concept of IL. The IL categories of communica\tion and dissemination and searching were graded in significance by the staff as being “very important,” while those of evaluation and processing were assigned a slightly lesser rating of “important.” Results suggest that IL awareness falls into two broad groups differentiated by subject discipline: those from health sciences, social and legal sciences and arts and humanities representing the first group, and sciences and technical disciplines the other.

Research limitations/implications

This approach address the subjective status of faculty concepts in a single university, but also in all knowledge branches. Future research is needed.


This is one of the few papers regarding faculty perceptions of IL.



Pinto, M. (2016), "Assessing disciplinary differences in faculty perceptions of information literacy competencies", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 68 No. 2, pp. 227-247.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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