1. bookTom 6 (2021): Zeszyt 2 (April 2021)
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A Scientometric Study of Digital Literacy, ICT Literacy, Information Literacy, and Media Literacy

Data publikacji: 24 Jul 2020
Tom & Zeszyt: Tom 6 (2021) - Zeszyt 2 (April 2021)
Zakres stron: 116 - 138
Otrzymano: 06 Feb 2020
Przyjęty: 03 Jul 2020
Informacje o czasopiśmie
License
Format
Czasopismo
eISSN
2543-683X
Pierwsze wydanie
30 Mar 2017
Częstotliwość wydawania
4 razy w roku
Języki
Angielski
Introduction

With the emergence of new digital technology, acquiring and using necessary information has become a necessary skill to improve. Digital literacy was first introduced by Paul Gilster (1997), which is “a framework for integrating various other literacies and skill-sets, though it does not need to encompass them all” (Bawden, 2008). As stated in the special issue on data science in the Science (Science staff, 2011), how to make the best use of raw materials for analytics and visualization has become an essential part of digital literacy. Digital literacy is the recognition of the information that learners obtain through a networked medium, in which they are exposed to network computers and experience the cognitive information processing that is similar to reading newspapers and watching the television. It is the skill to exploit the technology for reading, writing, and living in the digital age (Bawden, 2008). According to Martin and Grudziecki (2006), digital literacy has three levels: digital competence in level 1, digital usage in level 2, and digital transformation in level 3. Digital competence includes both lower and higher order thinking skills, from basic skills to analytical skills. Digital usage relates to the application of digital competency to domain-specific areas, and digital transformation occurs when digital usage transforms the domain-specific areas using creativity. These three levels in digital literacy are in line with Gilster's (1997) research, in which learners filter out unrefined information obtained from the Internet and then evaluate and transform the information into knowledge.

Researchers have discussed that digital literacy is interchangeable with other related terminologies. Information literacy, which received significant attention in higher education in the 1990s, and media literacy are regarded as similar to digital literacy. Other relevant concepts include computer literacy, primarily used in the 1980s, in addition to ICT literacy, network literacy, and e-literacy (Bawden, 2008; Koltay, 2011). Of them, media literacy is considered a skill to use and evaluate the information that is obtained from mass media. Along with media literacy, computer literacy and e-literacy are skill-based literacies that have been developed with the emerging technology, which helped propose the need for improving information literacy that assesses and uses the content of information (Bawden, 2001; Martin & Grudziecki, 2006). Moreover, using the plural form, “digital literacies,” was emphasized by Lankshear and Knobel (2008) to discuss diverse policies related to digital literacy. Digital literacies are seen from a wide range of sociocultural perspectives (Gee, 1996; Lankshear, 1987; Street, 1984) as “new literacies” similarly does (Knobel & Lankshear, 2006), enlarging the comprehensive perspectives toward the digital literacy with its educational significance.

Notwithstanding the diversity of similar concepts (Bawden, 2008), digital literacy has been discussed across the education and other sectors in practice. For example, Educational Testing Service (ETS) held an international panel to discuss the relationship between digital literacy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), an emerging concept at that time, and the influence of the growth of the two areas (International ICT Literacy Panel, 2002). From a public policy perspective, the government of South Korea has nurtured the public's digital literacy skills and established a national guideline to improve primary and secondary students’ digital literacy skills (Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development, 2005). Despite the effort, South Korea's digital literacy education is inconsistent with its’ initial policy direction (Lee et al., 2019) as the country ranked highly in digital literacy levels (Dwyer & Hutchinson, 2019; European Commission, 2014) although students’ awareness and interest in digital device utilization ranked at the bottom of the PISA 2015 results (Kim et al., 2017). It is time to identify over 20-year development of digital literacy and to devise educational programs and policies according to digital literacy levels of learners. A systematic analysis of previous studies on digital literacy and related concepts is necessary to review how the areas have developed and discussed so far and suggest ways to improve the fields in practice.

This study aims to investigate the research trends of digital literacy and related concepts in education fields. This paper will adopt scientometrics, i.e. a quantitative investigation of sciences, to mine big-sized bibliographic data and analyze the research patterns and impact reflected in research articles. It will further illustrate intellectual structures and development of the research on digital literacy in education. This paper will address the following questions: a) What topics have been discussed in digital literacy since the year 2000?; b) How have digital literacy researchers collaborated and on which topics?; and c) What publications and journals have been cited frequently and what they have discussed? The adopted methods and tools will be described, and the results will be elaborated along with the implication to improve future research in the fields.

Methodology
Data collection

The data for this study was downloaded from the WoS. The articles were retrieved by using the Boolean search method with the four keywords with “OR” between them: “digital literacy,” “ICT literacy,” “information literacy,” “media literacy.” These keywords were selected based on previous studies (Ahn, 2017; Koltay, 2011). More specifically, “digital literacy,” “information literacy,” and “media literacy” were selected since they were prevalently used keywords, according to Koltay (2011). “ICT literacy” was additionally included as it was adopted in the Korean national guideline (Ahn, 2017). Other related keywords (e.g. e-literacy and computer literacy) may be counted; however, we only focus on the four selected keywords in the present study since they are prevailing concepts. The publication period of the downloaded articles ranged from the year 2000 to the date the data was downloaded, November 13th, 2018. A total of 3,424 articles were retrieved. Of them, journal articles in education-related sections (education educational research, education scientific discipline, psychology educational, and education special) were chosen for the analysis in this research. After the selection process, the final dataset had 728 journal articles with a total of 22,570 references.

Data analysis

Scientometrics is a scientific method to quantitatively measure research influence (Garfield, 2006). The present study retrieved journal articles and investigated the articles as well as the publications cited in them in terms of keyword, co-authorship, and cluster.

Three different types of keywords (author keywords, topic keywords, and co-occurring keywords) were examined. First, author keywords were determined by the authors of the articles. Second, topic keywords were suggested by the WoS to illustrate the research topics of the articles reviewed. That is, while author keywords are the terms that the authors of the articles indicate commonly below the abstracts of the articles, topic keywords are the terms that the WoS determines by using an algorithm to explore the reference and bibliographic information (Clarivate, 2020). We included both author and topic keywords in our data analysis due to the different coverage of each. Third, keywords that co-occur in the same articles were analyzed to discover research themes and clusters.

VOSviewer version 1.6.9 (CWTS Leiden, 2018) was used to analyze the co-occurring keywords through natural language processing algorithms. For the cluster analysis of the co-occurring keywords, the unified approach of mapping and clustering methods was adopted to categorize the clusters based on similar content and topics and illustrate the weighted cluster network according to the strength of the association between the keywords (Waltman, van Eck, & Noyons, 2010). The keywords that have links with other keywords (co-occurrence) and the clusters of those keywords will be underlined in this paper by the strength of linkage, which shows the frequency of the co-occurrences. Also, a list of the individual keywords that have the most links with other keywords will be presented (van Eck & Waltman, 2014).

VOSviewer version 1.6.9 (CWTS Leiden, 2018) was also utilized to figure out the co-authors and their clusters based on the information about author name, organization, and country/region (van Eck & Waltman, 2020; Waltman, van Eck, & Noyons, 2010). Each cluster had authors who produced at least one research article and collaborated multiple times (Palmblad & van Eck, 2018).

Co-citation analysis (Marshakova, 1973; Small, 1973) was conducted to investigate the structures and research themes of the co-cited publications. Using CiteSpace version 5.1.R2 (Chen, 2017), the clusters’ themes were named based on the keywords designated by the authors of the collected articles and the WoS. The size of each cluster was proportional to the number of co-authored publications. The year of the creation of each cluster was when the first co-citation occurred.

Results
Journals

“Comunicar” (108 times) was the journal where research articles on digital literacy were published most frequently (Table 1). This journal published over 1,770 articles on educommunication (education and communication) and ICT over the past 25 years (Comunicar, 2018). Other journals on the list were related to literacy (e.g. “Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy,” “Literacy”) and information, media, computers, and technology (e.g. “Computers and Education,” “Learning Media and Technology”). Journals that converse about science, nursing, health, and English education were also listed.

Journals in which articles on digital literacy were published the most.

Rank Journals Occurrence
1 Comunicar 108
2 Computers and Education 59
3 Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 38
4 Journal of Chemical Education 27
5 Learning Media and Technology 25
6 Literacy 17
7 British Journal of Educational TechnologyEducational Technology and Society 14
9 Nurse Education Today 12
10 English Teaching: Practice and CritiqueReading Teacher 11
12 Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Language and Education 10
14 Internet and Higher Education Technology, Pedagogy, and Education 8
16 Asia-Pacific Education ResearcherCultura y EducaciónETR&D-Educational Technology Research and DevelopmentEurasia Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology EducationHealth Education ResearchJournal of Literacy ResearchJournal of School Health 7
Keywords

The frequent author keywords covered literacy, information and technology, pedagogy, student behavior, attitude, and beliefs (Table 2). “Media literacy” was the most frequent, and its plural form, “media literacies,” was also listed. Other keywords, such as “children,” “higher education,” and “teacher education,” narrated educational levels and age.

Frequent author keywords.

Rank Author Keywords Occurrence
1 Media literacy 109
2 Digital literacy 90
3 Information literacy 66
4 Digital 39
5 Media education 30
6 Media 27
7 ICT 21
8 Literacy 20
9 ICT literacyMedia literaciesNew literacies 18
12 EducationInformationPedagogyTechnology 14
16 Internet 13
17 ChildrenHigher educationTeacher education 12
20 Multimodality 11

The most frequent topic keyword was “education” (Table 3). Some keywords were related to subjects at various ages (e.g. “students,” “children,” “adolescents”) and information and technology (e.g. “technology,” “Internet,” “Web,” “online”). Other research topics of the retrieved articles incorporated teaching and learning, curriculum, and learners’ attitude, belief, and behavior.

Frequent topic keywords.

Rank Topic Keywords Occurrence
1 Education 88
2 Students 59
3 Technology 58
4 Literacy 44
5 Skills 36
6 Information literacy 35
7 Knowledge 30
8 Internet 26
9 Curriculum 25
10 Information 24
11 Web 23
12 Children 22
13 Science 21
14 AttitudesMedia literacyModelOnline 19
18 Adolescents 18
19 BehaviorBeliefsInstruction 16

The co-occurring keywords included “information literacy,” “education,” “digital literacy,” “media literacy,” and “media literacies” (Table 4). Other co-occurring keywords were related to pedagogy (e.g. “instructional strategies,” “methods”), learners (e.g. “students,” “adolescence,” “university students,” “early adolescence”), Internet and technology (e.g. “digital,” “specific media”), and culture and literacy (e.g. “film,” “music,” and “popular culture”).

Keywords of co-occurrence.

Rank Keywords Co-occurrence
1 Information literacy 660
2 Education 468
3 Internet 447
4 Digital literacy 437
5 Media literacy 435
6 Technology 390
7 Media literacies 361
8 Digital 331
9 Students 326
10 Adolescence 297
11 Literacy 295
12 University students 274
13 Instructional strategies 263
14 Methods 246
15 Film 242
16 Early adolescence 234
17 Strategies 231
18 Music 229
19 Specific media 227
20 Popular culture 217

The co-occurring keywords were classified into seven clusters (Figure 1). Cluster 1 had the most keywords (78 keywords), while cluster 7 had the least keywords (12 keywords). More specifically, cluster 1 had keywords about digital literacy, learners’ attitudes, and learning contexts. Cluster 2 illustrated media and technology. It also talked about learners’ age group, learning strategies, teacher education, and health and social issues. Cluster 3 covered strategies for teaching and learning, research methods and fields, and learners’ age group. Cluster 4 discussed more diverse learner groups, including “university students” along with “writing,” “motivation,” “engagement,” “domain knowledge,” and “instructional strategies.” Cluster 5 had domain-specific terms that were mentioned with learners’ age groups and learning strategies. For instance, “chemical information,” “chemoinformatics,” and “organic chemistry” appeared with learner groups and learning strategic terms. Next, cluster 6 discussed culture and language, along with “multiliteracies,” “multimodality,” “policy,” and “reading.” Lastly, cluster 7 covered “assessment,” “credibility,” “epistemological beliefs,” “personal epistemology,” “prior knowledge,” and “comprehension” (see Appendix for the whole list of the co-occurring keywords). To sum, the range of research topics in digital literacy has been expanded, which embraces assessment, credibility, learners’ attitudes, and media literacy education. Learners, or study subjects, included from early adolescents to adults and professional groups, along with further clarifications by gender and identity.

Figure 1

Clusters of co-occurring keywords.

Co-authorship

The results revealed that 1,453 authors collaborated with other authors to write research articles. Table 5 shows the top co-authors by the frequency of co-authorship. Consequently, Valcke, M., Claro, M., and San Martin, E., respectively, produced research articles with other researchers the most. Valcke, M. studied innovation in higher education and the integrated use of ICT at Ghent University in Belgium (Ghent University, 2018). Claro, M. and San Martin, E. researched digital technology and education (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2018).

Authors who produced research articles with other authors.

Rank Co-authors Frequency
1 Valcke, M. 16
Claro, M.
San Martin, E
4 Kiili, C. 14
Leu, D. J.
6 Clark, A. 13
Jara, I.
Preiss, D. D.
Valenzuela, S.
10 Primack, B. A. 12
Chen, C. H.
12 Lin, T. B. 11
Dagenais, D.
Toohey, K.
Chang, K. E.
Chang, T. Y.
Hu, K. W.
Huang, C. J.
Huang, K. L.
Huang, T. H.
Liao, J. J.
Liu, M. C.
Luo, Y. C.
Shen, H. Y.
Sung, Y. T.
Leppanen, P. H. T.

The network of co-authors consists of 563 clusters. Of the total clusters, the top 10 clusters consisted of the most co-authors, respectively, and are presented in the current paper (Figure 2). In cluster 1, Han and Schuurmans-Stekhoven (2017) examined Asian students’ research literacy in higher education in Australia, using information and technology. Other co-author groups studied individual- and school-level variables which influenced South Korean primary students’ ICT literacy (Kim, Kil, & Shin, 2014) and South Korean secondary school students’ ICT literacy skills (Kim & Lee, 2013).

Figure 2

Clusters of co-authorships.

Next, in cluster 2, research on students’ use of iPad applications to obtain scientific knowledge and ask inquiries when they visited a science museum (Marty et al., 2013). Cluster 3 had a study on Brazilian students’ online use and their home background (Cabello-hutt, Cabello, & Claro, 2017). On the one hand, many of the authors found in cluster 4 worked together for Taiwanese primary school students’ ICT literacy improvement and learning-assistance tool (Huang et al., 2010). In cluster 5, a study on the perception of students at 20 secondary schools in Belgium for their use of video games in class (Bourgonjon et al., 2010). In cluster 6, literacy studies in health were found—the influence of anti-smoking media literacy curriculum for 1,170 9th Grade American students’ media literacy and smoking (Primack et al., 2014) and online anti-smoking program for 9th Grade students (Phelps-Tschang et al., 2015; Primack et al., 2009). Cluster 7 had research on students’ ICT literacy assessment instrument (Siddiq, Gochyyev, & Wilson, 2017), use of data for sustainable improvement of learning (Scalise & Wilson, 2011), and relationships between self-efficacy, ICT use, socio-economic background of about 60,000 students in 21 different countries located in Europe, Asia, and South America (Hatlevik et al., 2018). In cluster 9, Prieto et al. (2016) introduced four research projects on the socio-cultural approach to mobile learning. Another relevant article (Garcia et al., 2015) discussed the critical literacy of secondary school students, teachers, professors, and graduate students who were involved in the community for improving education in urban areas of the United States. Lastly, in cluster 10, the influence of emotional design in multimedia learning on understanding and achievement was studied (Plass et al., 2014). The authors of this study collaborated with other researchers to investigate how playing digital games accompanied by physical activity influences children’s reading skills between the ages of five and seven (Homer et al., 2014).

The co-authorship clusters showed how authors from certain countries collaborated (Figure 2). For example, cluster 1 was constructed by the co-authors from South Korea and Australia. Most researchers in cluster 4 were from Chinese taiwan. Other large clusters were shaped by American authors who worked with researchers from South America (e.g. Chile) and Europe (e.g. Norway, Germany, Finland, Belgium).

Publications

Table 6 shows the frequently cited journal articles, books, and reports. The books and chapters on the list discussed cultural competencies and social skills that are needed to exploit digital technology. Specific topics were sociocultural perspectives during the process of reading, writing, and deriving meaning (Jenkins, 2006a; Knobel & Lankshear, 2006), the change in media education (Buckingham, 2003), research methodology and literacy (Coiro et al., 2008), and literacy in New Media Age and Digital Age (Binkley et al., 2012; Fraillon et al., 2014; Kress, 2003). Of them, the most cited publication was Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture (Jenkins, 2006a, 2009), which was published as an occasional paper in 2006 and as a book in 2009.

Frequently cited publications.

Rank References Citation
1 Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 19
2 Jenkins, H. (2006a). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 17
3 Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2006). A new literacies sampler. NY: Peter Lang. 14
4 Ng, W. (2012). Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1065–1078. 13
5 Jenkins, H. (2006b). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: NYU Press. 11
Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., & Ainley, J. (2013). International computer and information literacy study. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: IEA
Gawalt, E., & Adams, B. (2011). A chemical information literacy program for first-year students. Journal of Chemical Education, 88(4), 402–407.
8 Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital na(t)ives? Variation in Internet skills and uses among members of the net generation. Sociological Inquiry, 80(1), 92–113. 10
Buckingham, D. (2003). Media education: Literacy, learning and contemporary culture. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Bennett, S. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775–786.
Coiro, J.. Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (2008). Handbook of research on new literacies. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. New York, NY: Routledge.
13 Hobbs, R. (2010). Digital and media literacy: A plan of action. Washington, D. C.: The Aspen Institute. 9
Binkley, R., Erstad, O., Herman, J., Raizen, S., Ripley, M., Miller-Ricci, M., & Rumble, M. (2012). Defining twenty-first century skills. In P., Griffin, B., McGaw, & E., Care (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills (pp. 17–66). Dordrecht, Germany: Springer Science+Business Media B. V.
15 Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., & Gebhardt, E. (2013). Preparing for life in a digital age. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-14222-7 8
Locknar, A., Mitchell, R., Rankin, J., & Sadoway, D. (2012). Integration of information literacy components into a large first-year lecture-based chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 487–491.
Ferres, J., & Piscitelli, A. (2012). Media competence. Articulated proposal of dimensions and indicators. Comunicar, 19(38), 75–81.
Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittani, M., Boyd, D., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B......, Tripp, L. (2010). Hang out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.
Claro, M., Preiss, D., Martin, E., Jara, I., Hinostroza, J., Valenzuela, S......, Nussbaum, M. (2012). Assessment of 21st century ICT skills in Chile: Test design and results from high school level students. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1042–1053.
Greene, J. A., Yu, S. B., & Copeland, D. Z. (2014). Measuring critical components of digital literacy and their relationships with learning. Computers & Education, 76, 55–69.
Koltay, T. (2011). The media and the literacies: media literacy, information literacy, digital literacy. Media, Culture & Society, 33(2), 211–221.

Of the list, the frequently cited journal articles presented the results of experimental studies (Tables 6 & 7). Primarily, there were studies on learning outcomes and skills for digital literacy of the digital native who grew with using digital technology in their daily life (Bennett, 2008; Claro et al., 2012; Greene, Yu, & Copeland, 2014; Hargittai, 2010; Ng, 2012). Other studies presented educational programs for students in chemistry to master their literature searching skills (Gawalt & Adams, 2011; Locknar et al., 2012) and definition of media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy (Koltay, 2011).

Frequently cited journal articles and main findings.

Articles Topic Participant Major finding
Ng (2012) Digital natives’ use of new technology and digital literacy Undergraduate students (pre-service teachers who are yet to become teachers) • Undergraduate students learned the new technology easily and used it in a meaningful way for learning.
Gawalt and Adams (2011) Chemical information literacy program Undergraduate students taking chemistry course and instructors • Chemical information literacy program was useful for instructors and students to search and read literature.
Hargittai (2010) Internet users’ skills and diversity Undergraduate students • Socioeconomic status was a critical predictor of undergraduate students’ Internet use in their daily life.
Bennett (2008) Debate on digital native Literature on digital native • Renovated education should be provided to meet the needs of digital natives
Locknar et al. (2012) Discovering Scientific Information Program (DSIP) Undergraduate students taking chemistry course • Using DSIP improved students’ library research skills.
Ferres and Piscitelli (2012) Criteria for media education or media literacy and indicators for new media competence - • Media education along with critical thinking and aesthetic thinking was suggested.
• Convergence of technological revolution and neurobiological revolution was proposed.
Claro et al. (2012) Chilean secondary school students’ ICT skills Chilean secondary school students • Students tended to utilize ICT skills as information consumers rather than information producers.
• Students’ socioeconomic aspects, daily use, accessibility, and confidence in using ICT were related to their academic performance.
Greene et al. (2014) Self-regulated learning (SRL), Epistemic Cognition (EC), and academic performance Undergraduate students • Internet-based learning enhanced students’ understanding.
• SRL and EC were related to digital learning outcomes.
Koltay (2011) Similarities and differences between media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy - • Media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy were compared in terms of definition and features.

The co-cited publications were classified into eight clusters that described overarching topics (Table 8). The cluster numbers shown in Table 8 were designated by the analysis tool in accordance with the size of the cluster in ascending order. For example, cluster 0 has the most co-cited publications. That is, the biggest cluster was “digital literacy.” Other clusters included “ICT literacy,” “epistemic perspective,” “exploratory study,” “performance test,” “school-performance feedback use,” and “online forum.” Meanwhile, the visualized network of the clusters showed that the cluster, “integrating chemical information instruction,” was remote from the other clusters (Figure 3). This finding indicates that publications in “integrating chemical information instruction” were co-cited within the cluster, while publications in the other clusters were likely to be co-cited across the clusters.

Clusters of co-cited publications.

Cluster Cluster topic (Co-cited publications, mean year of co-citations) Major co-cited publications
0 Digital literacy (55, 2007)

Jenkins, H. (2006b). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Bennett, S. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775–786.

Coiro, J.. Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (2008). Handbook of research on new literacies. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2006). New literacies. Everyday practices and classroom learning (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Open University Press.

Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. New York, NY: Routledge.

1 ICT literacy (42, 2012)

Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., & Ainley, J. (2013). International computer and information literacy study. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: IEA

Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., & Gebhardt, E. (2013). Preparing for life in a digital age. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-14222-7

Binkley, R., Erstad, O., Herman, J., Raizen, S., Ripley, M., Miller-Ricci, M., & Rumble, M. (2012). Defining twenty-first century skills. In P., Griffin, B., McGaw, & E., Care (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills (pp. 17–66). Dordrecht, Germany: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

2 Epistemic perspective (37, 2010)

Barzilai, S., & Zohar, A. (2012). Epistemic thinking in action: Evaluating and integrating online sources. Cognition and Instruction, 30(1), 39–85.

3 Exploratory study (32, 2013)

Ng, W. (2012). Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1065–1078.

Greene, J. A., Yu, S. B., & Copeland, D. Z. (2014). Measuring critical components of digital literacy and their relationships with learning. Computers & Education, 76, 55–69.

4 Performance test (25, 2008)

Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital na(t)ives? Variation in Internet skills and uses among members of the net generation. Sociological Inquiry, 80(1), 92–113.

5 Integrating chemical information instruction (24, 2012)

Gawalt, E., & Adams, B. (2011). A chemical information literacy program for first-year students. Journal of Chemical Education, 88(4), 402–407.

Locknar, A., Mitchell, R., Rankin, J., & Sadoway, D. (2012). Integration of information literacy components into a large first-year lecture-based chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 487–491.

6 Cigarette smoking (19, 2005)

Primack et al. (2006). Association of cigarette smoking and media literacyabout smoking among adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39(4), 465–472.

7 ICT literacy (18, 2006)

Ferres, J., & Piscitelli, A. (2012). Media competence. Articulated proposal of dimensions and indicators. Comunicar, 19(38), 75–81.

8 Neil Postmans view (16, 2010)

Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

9 School-performance feedback use (15, 2006)

Schildkamp, K., Visscher, A., & Luyten, H. (2009). The effects of the use of a school self-evaluation instrument. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 20(1), 69–88.

10 Online forum (12, 2009)

Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittani, M., Boyd, D., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B......, Tripp, L. (2010). Hang out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

14 Professional practice (9, 2007)

Hermans, R., Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., & Valcke, M. (2008). The impact of primary school teachers’ educational beliefs on the classroom use of computers. Computers & Education, 51(4), 1499–1509.

17 Regarding media (6, 2006)

Livingstone, S. (2004). Media literacy and the challenges of new information and communication technologies. Communication Review, 7(1), 3–14.

Figure 3

Entire and zoomed-in networks of clusters of co-cited publications. The color of the clusters demonstrates the year when the first co-citation occurred in the cluster (Chen, 2006), which is indicated in parenthesis in this figure. Yellow-green had the first co-citation in 2005, while the co-citation occurred in more recent years as the cluster's color gets closer to red-orange.

A zoomed-in network of the clusters showed the co-cited publications between the clusters more precisely. Cluster color demonstrated a year when first co-citation occurred in a cluster (Chen, 2006), which means the time when the cluster was created. Yellow-green had its first co-citation in 2005, while co-citation occurred in more recent years as a cluster's color gets closer to red-orange. In terms of the two clusters with the same topic, “ICT literacy,” one was created in 2010, while the other one was in 2015 and is located between “Neil Postmans view” and “digital literacy” clusters in the network. “Digital literacy” clusters were adjacent to “performance,” and “exploratory study” and were closely related to “epistemic perspective” among the co-cited publications.

Discussion and conclusion

This paper explored a dataset of journal articles indexed in the WoS to examine research trends in digital literacy through scientometrics. Consequently, digital literacy was studied in various fields, such as media and information, science, nursing, health, and language education. The research keywords were related to literacy, ICT, curriculum, and pedagogy as well as learners’ attitude, belief, and behavior. The clusters of co-authorships were primarily built in America and European countries.

Digital literacy is becoming a core competency that learners need to improve in diverse areas and age levels. Accordingly, learners at different ages should have adequate training to be able to communicate effectively and critically evaluate and obtain important information in their daily life (Gilster, 1997). They use technology and customized digital literacy curriculums that nurture digital literacy following their learning aims. Moreover, “digital literacy involves more than the mere ability to use software or operate a digital device; it includes a large variety of complex cognitive, motor, sociological, and emotional skills, which users need in order to function effectively in digital environments” (Eshet-Alkalai, 2004). Learners cultivate their understanding of the social impact of exploiting the technology and their computational thinking, which is required in maker movement and software education (Dougherty, 2012; Jenson & Droumeva, 2016). Also, to increase the originality of digital literacy-related studies, researchers may collaborate with other researchers from different countries and cultures to investigate a broader range of digital literacy environments.

Limitations of the current research should also be mentioned with suggestions for future research. First, this paper analyzed one finite chunk of a dataset, which was obtained by searching the four keywords at once. Further studies will split up the data by topic word and expand the relevant topics (e.g. Mahieu et al., 2018), for example, data literacy, computing literacy, analytic literacy, and infrastructure literacy, in order to more precisely investigate the similarities and differences between the related concepts (Eshet-Alkalai, 2004). The data will also be retrieved from other disciplines and sectors beyond the scope of education (e.g. Park & Nam, 2017). Besides, the future study should trace the change of the leading research themes by time spans. Although this paper showed the clusters of co-occurring keywords and co-cited publications by timeline, that was not entirely adequate to unveil the detailed flow and aspects of digital literacy changes. Thus, further studies need to classify the dataset by period to look into the academic features and growth of this field more precisely.

Figure 1

Clusters of co-occurring keywords.
Clusters of co-occurring keywords.

Figure 2

Clusters of co-authorships.
Clusters of co-authorships.

Figure 3

Entire and zoomed-in networks of clusters of co-cited publications. The color of the clusters demonstrates the year when the first co-citation occurred in the cluster (Chen, 2006), which is indicated in parenthesis in this figure. Yellow-green had the first co-citation in 2005, while the co-citation occurred in more recent years as the cluster's color gets closer to red-orange.
Entire and zoomed-in networks of clusters of co-cited publications. The color of the clusters demonstrates the year when the first co-citation occurred in the cluster (Chen, 2006), which is indicated in parenthesis in this figure. Yellow-green had the first co-citation in 2005, while the co-citation occurred in more recent years as the cluster's color gets closer to red-orange.

Keywords of co-occurrence.

Rank Keywords Co-occurrence
1 Information literacy 660
2 Education 468
3 Internet 447
4 Digital literacy 437
5 Media literacy 435
6 Technology 390
7 Media literacies 361
8 Digital 331
9 Students 326
10 Adolescence 297
11 Literacy 295
12 University students 274
13 Instructional strategies 263
14 Methods 246
15 Film 242
16 Early adolescence 234
17 Strategies 231
18 Music 229
19 Specific media 227
20 Popular culture 217

Frequently cited journal articles and main findings.

Articles Topic Participant Major finding
Ng (2012) Digital natives’ use of new technology and digital literacy Undergraduate students (pre-service teachers who are yet to become teachers) • Undergraduate students learned the new technology easily and used it in a meaningful way for learning.
Gawalt and Adams (2011) Chemical information literacy program Undergraduate students taking chemistry course and instructors • Chemical information literacy program was useful for instructors and students to search and read literature.
Hargittai (2010) Internet users’ skills and diversity Undergraduate students • Socioeconomic status was a critical predictor of undergraduate students’ Internet use in their daily life.
Bennett (2008) Debate on digital native Literature on digital native • Renovated education should be provided to meet the needs of digital natives
Locknar et al. (2012) Discovering Scientific Information Program (DSIP) Undergraduate students taking chemistry course • Using DSIP improved students’ library research skills.
Ferres and Piscitelli (2012) Criteria for media education or media literacy and indicators for new media competence - • Media education along with critical thinking and aesthetic thinking was suggested.
• Convergence of technological revolution and neurobiological revolution was proposed.
Claro et al. (2012) Chilean secondary school students’ ICT skills Chilean secondary school students • Students tended to utilize ICT skills as information consumers rather than information producers.
• Students’ socioeconomic aspects, daily use, accessibility, and confidence in using ICT were related to their academic performance.
Greene et al. (2014) Self-regulated learning (SRL), Epistemic Cognition (EC), and academic performance Undergraduate students • Internet-based learning enhanced students’ understanding.
• SRL and EC were related to digital learning outcomes.
Koltay (2011) Similarities and differences between media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy - • Media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy were compared in terms of definition and features.

Frequent author keywords.

Rank Author Keywords Occurrence
1 Media literacy 109
2 Digital literacy 90
3 Information literacy 66
4 Digital 39
5 Media education 30
6 Media 27
7 ICT 21
8 Literacy 20
9 ICT literacyMedia literaciesNew literacies 18
12 EducationInformationPedagogyTechnology 14
16 Internet 13
17 ChildrenHigher educationTeacher education 12
20 Multimodality 11

Frequently cited publications.

Rank References Citation
1 Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 19
2 Jenkins, H. (2006a). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 17
3 Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2006). A new literacies sampler. NY: Peter Lang. 14
4 Ng, W. (2012). Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1065–1078. 13
5 Jenkins, H. (2006b). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: NYU Press. 11
Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., & Ainley, J. (2013). International computer and information literacy study. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: IEA
Gawalt, E., & Adams, B. (2011). A chemical information literacy program for first-year students. Journal of Chemical Education, 88(4), 402–407.
8 Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital na(t)ives? Variation in Internet skills and uses among members of the net generation. Sociological Inquiry, 80(1), 92–113. 10
Buckingham, D. (2003). Media education: Literacy, learning and contemporary culture. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Bennett, S. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775–786.
Coiro, J.. Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (2008). Handbook of research on new literacies. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. New York, NY: Routledge.
13 Hobbs, R. (2010). Digital and media literacy: A plan of action. Washington, D. C.: The Aspen Institute. 9
Binkley, R., Erstad, O., Herman, J., Raizen, S., Ripley, M., Miller-Ricci, M., & Rumble, M. (2012). Defining twenty-first century skills. In P., Griffin, B., McGaw, & E., Care (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills (pp. 17–66). Dordrecht, Germany: Springer Science+Business Media B. V.
15 Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., & Gebhardt, E. (2013). Preparing for life in a digital age. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-14222-7 8
Locknar, A., Mitchell, R., Rankin, J., & Sadoway, D. (2012). Integration of information literacy components into a large first-year lecture-based chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 487–491.
Ferres, J., & Piscitelli, A. (2012). Media competence. Articulated proposal of dimensions and indicators. Comunicar, 19(38), 75–81.
Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittani, M., Boyd, D., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B......, Tripp, L. (2010). Hang out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.
Claro, M., Preiss, D., Martin, E., Jara, I., Hinostroza, J., Valenzuela, S......, Nussbaum, M. (2012). Assessment of 21st century ICT skills in Chile: Test design and results from high school level students. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1042–1053.
Greene, J. A., Yu, S. B., & Copeland, D. Z. (2014). Measuring critical components of digital literacy and their relationships with learning. Computers & Education, 76, 55–69.
Koltay, T. (2011). The media and the literacies: media literacy, information literacy, digital literacy. Media, Culture & Society, 33(2), 211–221.

Frequent topic keywords.

Rank Topic Keywords Occurrence
1 Education 88
2 Students 59
3 Technology 58
4 Literacy 44
5 Skills 36
6 Information literacy 35
7 Knowledge 30
8 Internet 26
9 Curriculum 25
10 Information 24
11 Web 23
12 Children 22
13 Science 21
14 AttitudesMedia literacyModelOnline 19
18 Adolescents 18
19 BehaviorBeliefsInstruction 16

Journals in which articles on digital literacy were published the most.

Rank Journals Occurrence
1 Comunicar 108
2 Computers and Education 59
3 Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 38
4 Journal of Chemical Education 27
5 Learning Media and Technology 25
6 Literacy 17
7 British Journal of Educational TechnologyEducational Technology and Society 14
9 Nurse Education Today 12
10 English Teaching: Practice and CritiqueReading Teacher 11
12 Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Language and Education 10
14 Internet and Higher Education Technology, Pedagogy, and Education 8
16 Asia-Pacific Education ResearcherCultura y EducaciónETR&D-Educational Technology Research and DevelopmentEurasia Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology EducationHealth Education ResearchJournal of Literacy ResearchJournal of School Health 7

Clusters of co-cited publications.

Cluster Cluster topic (Co-cited publications, mean year of co-citations) Major co-cited publications
0 Digital literacy (55, 2007)

Jenkins, H. (2006b). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Bennett, S. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775–786.

Coiro, J.. Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. (2008). Handbook of research on new literacies. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2006). New literacies. Everyday practices and classroom learning (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Open University Press.

Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. New York, NY: Routledge.

1 ICT literacy (42, 2012)

Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., & Ainley, J. (2013). International computer and information literacy study. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: IEA

Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., & Gebhardt, E. (2013). Preparing for life in a digital age. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-14222-7

Binkley, R., Erstad, O., Herman, J., Raizen, S., Ripley, M., Miller-Ricci, M., & Rumble, M. (2012). Defining twenty-first century skills. In P., Griffin, B., McGaw, & E., Care (Eds.), Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills (pp. 17–66). Dordrecht, Germany: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

2 Epistemic perspective (37, 2010)

Barzilai, S., & Zohar, A. (2012). Epistemic thinking in action: Evaluating and integrating online sources. Cognition and Instruction, 30(1), 39–85.

3 Exploratory study (32, 2013)

Ng, W. (2012). Can we teach digital natives digital literacy?. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1065–1078.

Greene, J. A., Yu, S. B., & Copeland, D. Z. (2014). Measuring critical components of digital literacy and their relationships with learning. Computers & Education, 76, 55–69.

4 Performance test (25, 2008)

Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital na(t)ives? Variation in Internet skills and uses among members of the net generation. Sociological Inquiry, 80(1), 92–113.

5 Integrating chemical information instruction (24, 2012)

Gawalt, E., & Adams, B. (2011). A chemical information literacy program for first-year students. Journal of Chemical Education, 88(4), 402–407.

Locknar, A., Mitchell, R., Rankin, J., & Sadoway, D. (2012). Integration of information literacy components into a large first-year lecture-based chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education, 89, 487–491.

6 Cigarette smoking (19, 2005)

Primack et al. (2006). Association of cigarette smoking and media literacyabout smoking among adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39(4), 465–472.

7 ICT literacy (18, 2006)

Ferres, J., & Piscitelli, A. (2012). Media competence. Articulated proposal of dimensions and indicators. Comunicar, 19(38), 75–81.

8 Neil Postmans view (16, 2010)

Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

9 School-performance feedback use (15, 2006)

Schildkamp, K., Visscher, A., & Luyten, H. (2009). The effects of the use of a school self-evaluation instrument. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 20(1), 69–88.

10 Online forum (12, 2009)

Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittani, M., Boyd, D., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B......, Tripp, L. (2010). Hang out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

14 Professional practice (9, 2007)

Hermans, R., Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., & Valcke, M. (2008). The impact of primary school teachers’ educational beliefs on the classroom use of computers. Computers & Education, 51(4), 1499–1509.

17 Regarding media (6, 2006)

Livingstone, S. (2004). Media literacy and the challenges of new information and communication technologies. Communication Review, 7(1), 3–14.

Co-occurring keywords in Clusters.

Cluster 1 (78 co-occurring keywords)

Achievement Adult learning Age Attitudes
Behavior Beliefs Challenges Classroom
Community Competence Computer Computer literacy
Computer self-efficacy Computer use Computer-mediated communication Constructionism
Context Design Digital competence Digital divide
Digital literacy Digital media Digital natives Divide
E-learning Education Elementary education Environment
Environments Evidence-based practice Family Framework
Gender Gender differences Gender-differences Higher education
Higher-education Home ICT ICT literacy
Impact Improving classroom teaching Informal learning Information
Information literacy Instruction Integration Internet skills
Internet use Learning Lifelong learning Media in education
Metaanalysis Model Natives Online
Pedagogical issues Perceptions Performance Perspective
Preservice teachers Program Satisfaction School
School-students Secondary education Seeking Self-efficacy
Social capital Social networks Students Teachers
Teaching/learning strategies Technology University Validation
Validity Web

Cluster 2 (43 co-occurring keywords)

Adolescents Advertising Association Audiences
Behaviors Children Cigarette-smoking Citizenship
Civic engagement Collaborative learning Competences Consumption
Critical media literacy Critical thinking Democracy Digital literacy practices
Empowerment Exposure Facebook Initiation
Intervention Literacy Media Media competence
Media education Media literacy New media Participation
Prevention Programs Risk Schools
Smoking Social media Social networking Teacher training
Technologies Television Tobacco Tobacco use
Web 2.0 Youth United-states

Cluster 3 (30 co-occurring keywords)

Adolescence Adult Audience Case study
Childhood College Critical analysis Critical literacy
Critical pedagogy Digital Early adolescence Ethnography
Film Information and communication technologies Informational text Instructional technology
Libraries Literacies Music New literacies
Popular culture Qualitative Reading strategies Research methodology
Sociocultural Specific media Teaching strategies Texts
Theoretical perspectives Visual literacy

Cluster 4 (19 co-occurring keywords)

Early adolescence Adolescence College Adult
Adolescent Materials Content literacy Domain knowledge
Engagement Identity Information literacy Instructional strategies
Media literacies Methods Motivation Professional development
Teacher education University students Writing

Cluster 5 (18 co-occurring keywords)

Chemical information Courses Chemoinformatics Curriculum Communication First-year undergraduate/general Communication/writing Inquiry-based/discovery learning
Internet/web-based learning Learn Organic chemistry Problem solving/decision making
Science Scifinder scholar Second-year undergraduate Skills
Student-centered learning Upper-division undergraduate

Cluster 6 (12 co-occurring keywords)

Contexts Language Policy Culture Literacy practices Reading English Multiliteracies Singapore Issues Pedagogy Multimodality

Cluster 7 (12 co-occurring keywords)

Assessment Inquiry Prior knowledge Comprehension Internet Readers Credibility Knowledge Strategies Epistemological beliefs Personal epistemology Text

Authors who produced research articles with other authors.

Rank Co-authors Frequency
1 Valcke, M. 16
Claro, M.
San Martin, E
4 Kiili, C. 14
Leu, D. J.
6 Clark, A. 13
Jara, I.
Preiss, D. D.
Valenzuela, S.
10 Primack, B. A. 12
Chen, C. H.
12 Lin, T. B. 11
Dagenais, D.
Toohey, K.
Chang, K. E.
Chang, T. Y.
Hu, K. W.
Huang, C. J.
Huang, K. L.
Huang, T. H.
Liao, J. J.
Liu, M. C.
Luo, Y. C.
Shen, H. Y.
Sung, Y. T.
Leppanen, P. H. T.

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