Reference Services Review Special Issue

Publications / Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

In 2017, Reference Services Review will publish a special issue on “Transfer Students and Students in Transition.” Meggan Houlihan, Claire Walker Wiley and I have contributed an article focused on the information literacy research in our systematic review of the LIS literature on international students. The issue will be published in February of 2017, and our abstract is below:

Purpose – This study was designed to explore the library and information science research on international students and information literacy published between 1990 and 2014.

Design/methodology/approach – Systematic review was used to identify and analyze publications from a 25-year period. Three major LIS databases were searched for publications meeting the study criteria, and then manual bibliography searches were performed on all those included.

Findings – Twenty-one of the 23 included publications were articles published in scholarly journals. There was a slight growth in number of publications by year between 1990 and 2014. Most of the research was conducted in the U.S., Australia, or Canada. Surveys and interviews were the most commonly used research methods, and nine of the studies used mixed methods. “Library experience” and “information seeking” emerged as the most common research topics.

Key findings presented in these articles were often related to library and non-library resources, library instruction, language issues, and research difficulties experienced by international students. Author recommendations were generally related to campus collaboration, staff training, assessment, cultural awareness, and library instruction.

Practical implications – The findings of this study will be of value for LIS practitioners who wish to develop or improve information literacy training for the international student populations on their campuses.

Originality/value – Systematic review is a useful and rigorous method that can be of value in LIS research. This paper provides and thorough review and assessment of the original research related to international students and information literacy, and summarizes the resulting recommendations.