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Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy

Example lessons, bibliography, and other supporting documents for the ACRL Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy Roadshow.

Foundations of the Intersections

These two documents set the foundations for the intersections. Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment  (the Intersections White Paper) was published in 2013 by the ACRL. Then, the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was adopted in January of 2016.

Even prior to their publication, librarians considered how information literacy and scholarly communication overlap. Knowing scholarly communication practices helps researchers to understand how information in their field is produced and disseminated. Conversely, researchers with a critical and holistic understanding of information production are well prepared to share their own work and enter scholarly conversations. The White Paper surveyed the connections between scholarly communication and information literacy and articulated these key ideas.

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education examines what it means to be an astute user of information at any stage in the research process. It is a thoughtful and flexible document, and includes many topics that also fall under scholarly communication.  The frames include:


  • Authority is constructed and contextual
  • Information is a process
  • Information has value
  • Research is inquiry
  • Scholarship is a conversation
  • Searching is strategic exploration

Within these major frames are peer review, dynamic formats, intellectual property, representation, access, privacy, dissemination, and cost. In short, we have a lot to work with at the intersections.

White Paper Points

The economics and distribution of scholarship are changing. Traditional publishing structures are challenged as greater dissemination is both possible and expected.

Publishing is pervasive. Students not only use scholarship, they create knowledge in myriad, new forms. Digital publishing necessitates digital literacies so that scholars can navigate non-textual content, data, new technologies, and complex rights issues.

Information literacy is nuanced. It is not simply pointing and clicking in databases. It requires understanding a large context of information creation, ownership, dissemination, and impact.

Librarians have new roles. Some specialize in data, scholarly communication, assessment, publishing, or openness. Others, such as liaisons, see scholarly communication topics added to their job descriptions . . . and especially their teaching. The White Paper makes these points about all academic librarians regardless of their job titles:

“All roles in an academic library are impacted and altered by the changing nature of scholarly communication and the evolution of the dissemination of knowledge.”


“Every librarian in an academic environment is a teacher.”


Putting it All Together

Come to the Intersections workshop prepared to explore these concepts. We start with the premises that every librarian is affected by changes in scholarly communication system and every librarian is a teacher. From there, practices at the intersections will vary with each librarian’s role, audience, and communication style. So bring your unique expertise and personality. Develop an action plan to foster the intersections at your institution. We look forward to working with you!