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Data literacy: in search of a name and identity

Tibor Koltay (Department of Information and Library Studies, Szent István University, Jászberény, Hungary)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 9 March 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The role of data literacy is discussed in the light of such activities as data a quality, data management, data curation, and data citation. The differing terms and their relationship to the most important literacies are examined. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

By stressing the importance of data literacy in fulfilling the mission of the contemporary academic library, the paper centres on information literacy, while the characteristics of other relevant literacies are also examined. The content of data literacy education is explained in the context of data-related activities.

Findings

It can be concluded that there is a need for data literacy and it is advantageous to have a unified terminology. Data literacy can be offered both to researchers, who need to become data literate science workers and have the goal to educate data management professionals. Several lists of competencies contain important skills and abilities, many of them indicating the close relationship between data literacy and information literacy. It is vital to take a critical stance on hopes and fears, related to the promises of widespread ability of (big) data.

Originality/value

The paper intends to be an add-on to the body of knowledge about information literacy and other literacies in the light of research data and data literacy.

Keywords

Citation

Koltay, T. (2015), "Data literacy: in search of a name and identity", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 71 No. 2, pp. 401-415. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-02-2014-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited