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What is Information Literacy: Creation as Process

Creation as 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.

"Information Creation as a Process" Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, Association of College & Research Libraries, 2016.

What is Process-Based Creation?


  • What are the CAPABILITIES and CONSTRAINTS of the creative process?
  • What is the creative process for OTHERS in my field of research? 
  • How can I translate my own creative process into an INFORMATION NEED? 
  • How can I translate information needs into SEARCHING STRATEGIES?
  • Is information valued differently according to its PUBLICATION MEDIUM?

What is Process-Based Creation?


Often researchers spend much time building complex, detailed research hypotheses that are compelling, yet are too constricting.  Instead try:

  • breaking your topic into separate components; research each separately, then aggregate results afterwards
  • work deductively from one basic search component; start with a general theme, then depending on what you find, you can "build" your argument on the general context of your case-study research example based on the information you find.

Some general tips:

  • start using research tools in tandem with creating a hypothesis; use academic encyclopedias as broad information sources to find:
    • key theorists or writers who have researched your topic
  • sometimes the terms that make sense to us individually are not the terms used in broader research circles; use academic encyclopedias as  broad information sources to find:
    • alternate terminologies (key words) that will serve as "keys" to open the doors to your research
  • expect the unexpected! Oftentimes, when using "academic" research databases, the results from your searches are frustrating and seem completely off topic.  Be inquisitive, open-minded and analytical; sometimes the information you don't expect to find is the BEST source.  After all.
    • the essence of creativity is taking two unrelated ideas or concepts and connecting them together to create something new
  • try to learn from your sources; the title of an article you find may initially seem inappropriate (from the wrong time period, geographic region, or demographic group), but read the abstract and scan through it; you may find a key theory that will de-code your own research need.  also remember:
    • that academic papers often feature literature searches and footnotes; so use these to help build a bibliography of sources and to identify key writers on your topic