In response to a need for ‘consideration of the conceptual overlap between information seeking and information literacy’ (Julien & Williamson, 2010), this chapter explores their development. Since the 1960s there has been an ongoing stream of research called ‘information behaviour’ (IB). This has taken various forms and shifted its focus in terms of the topic studied and epistemological orientation. Since the 1990s there has been another stream of parallel research focusing on people’s information capabilities called ‘information literacy’ (IL). Both concern the interaction and experience of a person or a group with information. The former focuses on the social, psychological, behavioural and environmental aspects of people’s IB. The latter focuses on the person and the capabilities they need to interact with information which may be studied from a social, psychological, behavioural and environmental perspective. IB has traditionally placed an emphasis on observed or recorded information seeking, within a broad context of factors that may affect behaviour. In contrast, IL research places greater emphasis on specific cognitive and behavioural processes associated with information seeking and use. Both IB and IL throw light on people’s information experience. Over time, shifts in focus have been associated with changes in epistemological orientation. We now see a rich array of approaches for investigating people’s IB and IL. This reflects the multifaceted nature of these domains, that is social, organisational and individual. This chapter charts the relationship between these two fields of research and highlights their complementarity.
Hepworth, M., Almehmadi, F. and Maynard, S. (2014), "A Reflection on the Relationship between the Study of People’s Information Behaviour and Information Literacy: Changes in Epistemology and Focus", Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 51-65. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1876-056220140000010018Download as .RIS
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