ReSource: Transforming Reading and Source Criticism in Digital Cultures

All Library and Information Studies departments at Swedish higher education institutions are included in ReSource. The coordinator is the Swedish School of Library and Information Science (SSLIS) at the University of Borås. Further participating institutions are Linnaeus University, Lund University, Södertörn University, Umeå University, and Uppsala University.

Research themes

The doctoral projects and courses offered relate to one or more of the following four themes.

(Dis/mis)information, changing information infrastructures, and source criticism

This theme addresses the challenges of media and information literacy in digital environments, including the increasing involvement of algorithms, AI, the increasing instability of (scientific) evidence, individualisation, and commercial platforms. The theme contributes a critical perspective to calls for more media and information literacy in response to the current information crisis and the role of libraries and schools in this context. The theme examines how the changing information infrastructure is implicated in the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy ideologies.

Current and historical informational reading practices

Informational reading (or efferent reading) is the basis for source criticism but is rarely the focus of traditional reading research. This theme highlights informational reading as a reading practice and puts current concerns relating to both informational and experiential reading in the larger historical context that is often missing in current debates. This is done through the study of the expectations placed on people’s reading practices during different historical periods, all perceived as characterised by rapid technological change and development.

Libraries as institutional settings for promoting informational reading and source criticism

This theme analyses the role of public and school libraries in the promotion of informational reading and source criticism. These types of libraries, as social institutions for knowledge, culture, education, and life-long learning, have long provided a focal point for magnifying contemporary challenges, changes, and demands related to the information crisis. In these institutions’ promotion of informational reading and source criticism, the professional expertise of librarians is a key asset. This theme provides much-needed analyses of the professional and institutional roles developing in relation to new conditions for informational reading and source criticism.

The credibility and trustworthiness crisis of research

Higher education institutions are established institutions for credible information/knowledge. The crisis of information is, in a sense, a failure of research-based institutions to communicate both knowledge and credibility to a wider audience. This theme addresses the challenges of popularising research on the Internet, in popular journals, and in discussions with politicians, journalists, and influencers, in Sweden and globally. This research theme builds on a long tradition within the library and information studies sub-field of scholarly communication and provides critical perspectives on the production and dissemination of research-based credibility and trustworthiness in the 2020s.