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Information Literacy Graduates: Academic literature

Learning outcomes

After studying this section you will be able to distinguish academic publications from professional and popularizing publications. You will know what the main types of academic literature are.

Science communication: Societal relevance

A characteristic of the so-called societal relevance of research is the quest towards answering questions that society asks or to solve problems it faces. For instance in the sectors industry, education, governmental practices, the health system or social cohesion.

In the academic world, the societal relevance of academic research is regarded as increasingly important because in many cases the allocation of research funding (‘knowledge valorization’) is based on it.

The process of science communication is also known as the ‘popularization’ of science, or ‘outreach’.

It is also important in the battle against the more and more prevalent attitude among some - sometimes even highly educated - members of the public that scientific findings are 'just another opinion' and can therefore be easily disregarded.
See also the chapter on Fact-checking 

Video about societal impact

Academic Information: providing references

An academic writer must document all of the sources of information that he includes in his work. The reason for citations and documentation is to credit the author and publisher for their original work and to enable readers to consult the same sources. Through the proper use of his sources and citations, an academic writer openly acknowledges where his ideas come from.

For more information on (writing) academic publications go to the Academic Communication skills portal of the University of Groningen Language Centre.

More on Using literature sources in your text

More on Academic literature

Types of literature

Academic literature is published in different forms. This type of information can be found in a range of sources. Before you begin searching, you need to have a clear idea of the different types of information and related sources: are you looking for general information, in-depth information and/or current information?

An overview of the Types of literature