Understanding and information fluency

I am interested in the idea of ‘understanding’, and how the information sciences can help promote understanding, rather than simply imparting information or increasing knowledge. I have a long-standing interest in information for creativity and innovation, which has a strong relation to browsing approaches to information seeking, including similarity and dissimilarity analysis. Individual differences in information behaviour, particularly those associated with personality factors, are, in my view, a worthwhile subject for study, as a complement to the more common studies within social groups.

Information and digital literacy is also a long-standing interest, where I mainly focus on the conceptual basis, in particular the more all-encompassing concept of information fluency. I am involved with an Erasmus+ project to develop a MOOC for multi-lingual and multi-cultural information literacy education.

The topics are included in my teaching on courses in information for specific subject domains, and in the foundations of library and information science, at CityLIS.

Examples of my recent publications in this area are:

D Bawden and L Robinson, “A different kind of knowing”: speculations on understanding in light of the Philosophy of Information. Paper presented at the 9th CoLIS (Conceptions of Library and Information Science) conference, Uppsala, June 25 2016

D Bawden and L Robinson, Information and the gaining of understanding, Journal of Information Science, 2016, 42(3), 294-299

P Vilar, A Šauperl,, Z Semlič Rajh, L Robinson and D Bawden, Information competencies of historians as archive users: A Slovenia/UK comparison. Paper presented at the European Conference on Information Literacy, Prague, 12 October 2016.

D Bawden, Being fluent and keeping looking, in Information literacy: lifelong learning and digital citizenship in the 21st century. Communications in Computer and Information Science no. 482. Kurbanoglu, S., Spiranec, S., Grassian, E., Mizrachi, D. and Catts R. (eds.) Berlin: Springer, 2014, pp. 13-18

D Bawden and L Robinson, “An intensity around information”: the changing face of chemical information literacy, Journal of Information Science, 2017, 43(1), 17-24

D Bawden and L Robinson, No such thing as society? On the individuality of information behaviour, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2013, 64(12), 2587-2590

and some older ones, still of relevance

D Bawden, Encountering on the road to Serendip? Browsing in new information environments, in A Foster and P Rafferty (eds.), Innovations in IR: Perspectives for theory and practice, London: Facet Publishing, 2011, pp 1-22

D Bawden and L Robinson, Individual differences in information-related behaviour: what do we know about information styles, in A Spink and J Heinström (eds), New Directions in Information behaviour, Bingley: Emerald, 2011, p282-300

D Bawden and L Robinson, The dark side of information: overload, anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies, Journal of Information Science, 2009, 35(2), 180-191 or link

D Bawden, Information and digital literacies; a review of concepts, Journal of Documentation, 2001, 57(2), 218-259

D Bawden, Information systems and the stimulation of creativity, Journal of Information Science, 1986, 12(5), 203-216

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