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Information Literacy: A Conceptual Framework

Information Creation as a Process


Video from the Univ. of Washington Libraries

The processes used to create, distribute, and use information are reflected in the resulting information source and in its actual and potential uses. (paraphrased)




From the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy:

Information Creation as a Process: Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences. 

The information creation process could result in a range of information formats and modes of delivery, so experts look beyond format when selecting resources to use. The unique capabilities and constraints of each creation process as well as the specific information need determine how the product is used. Experts recognize that information creations are valued differently in different contexts, such as academia or the workplace. Elements that affect or reflect on the creation, such as a pre- or post-publication editing or reviewing process, may be indicators of quality. The dynamic nature of information creation and dissemination requires ongoing attention to understand evolving creation processes. Recognizing the nature of information creation, experts look to the underlying processes of creation as well as the final product to critically evaluate the usefulness of the information. Novice learners begin to recognize the significance of the creation process, leading them to increasingly sophisticated choices when matching information products with their information needs.

Assignment Ideas

  • Student will find sources about the same topic in two divergent formats, e.g. newspaper movie review and literary journal movie review or scholarly article and a researcher’s blog. Students will compare and contrast the type of information found in each format, as well as articulate the processes underlying the creation of each format.
  • Have students research the impact of digital formats in scholarly publication, including Open Source initiative.
  • Ask students to transform information they have created in one format to another format, and to write a reflection on what they needed to consider as they went through the process. 

- From Draft 2 of the ACRL Framework, p. 16

Questions about Your Discipline

  • In what types of formats (i.e. journals, conference presentations, popular forums, etc.) can the conversation in your discipline typically be found? Are some formats considered more authoritative? Is there a continuum or hierarchy of formats?
  • Are there any unique information formats used in your field (i.e. patents, performances, etc.)? If so, what is their importance to your discipline?
  • What counts as evidence in your discipline? Where do you find that evidence? How is it normally presented? What would you use it for – or, why is it important to someone in your discipline?

From Miller, S. D. (2016, May 20). Information Literacy in the Disciplines. Workshop presented at Thinking with Sources in the Disciplines, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.