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Infodemic surrounding COVID-19: Can LIS students recognize and categorize “problematic information” types on social media?

Shamima Yesmin (Institute of Information Sciences, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali, Bangladesh)
S.M. Zabed Ahmed (Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 6 September 2021

Issue publication date: 19 January 2022




The purpose of this paper is to investigate Library and Information Science (LIS) students’ understanding of infodemic and related terminologies and their ability to categorize COVID-19-related problematic information types using examples from social media platforms.


The participants of this study were LIS students from a public-funded university located at the south coast of Bangladesh. An online survey was conducted which, in addition to demographic and study information, asked students to identify the correct definition of infodemic and related terminologies and to categorize the COVID-related problematic social media posts based on their inherent problem characteristics. The correct answer for each definition and task question was assigned a score of “1”, whereas the wrong answer was coded as “0”. The percentages of correctness score for total and each category of definition and task-specific questions were computed. The independent sample t-test and ANOVA were run to examine the differences in total and category-specific scores between student groups.


The findings revealed that students’ knowledge concerning the definition of infodemic and related terminologies and the categorization of COVID-19-related problematic social media posts was poor. There was no significant difference in correctness scores between student groups in terms of gender, age and study levels.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time an effort was made to understand LIS students’ recognition and classification of problematic information. The findings can assist LIS departments in revising and improving the existing information literacy curriculum for students.



This research was not funded by any source.


Yesmin, S. and Ahmed, S.M.Z. (2022), "Infodemic surrounding COVID-19: Can LIS students recognize and categorize “problematic information” types on social media?", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 3-15.



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