Looking for a media literacy research? The index might help

In this highly mediatized and globalized world the importance of media literacy is recognized by different actors from all around the world. The issues related to media literacy have gained interest also from researchers. The studies focusing on the issues related to media literacy are conducted by various scholars and the research articles are published in various journals. To promote media literacy we pursued to make the information more visible by compiling an index to media literacy research. Have a look: www.medialiteracy.fi

Here, in the National Audiovisual Institute, one of our objectives is to promote media literacy in Finland. A solid background for this work can be formed based on research. In fact, our aim is to follow media literacy research not only in Finland but also internationally. One thing that we have noticed is that media literacy research is very multifaceted. The research field can appear to be quite scattered. The risk here is that relevant research is hard to find and thus left unnoticed.

To increase the accessibility to media literacy research we decided to make an index to help to find relevant studies. It is aimed for example to media literacy educators, planners, developers, decision-makers, scholars, students and other interested citizens. Even though the index can be useful for different purposes, we hope that among other things it increases curiosity to media literacy.

Media Literacy Research Index:

  • is a simple and illustrative tool for finding media literacy research
  • collects information about published research internationally
  • is constantly developing

The index is developed to collect information about studies focusing on media literacy. With the help of the index, there is a possibility to glance through the studies and see how wide and diverse the research field is. This makes the index a practical tool for illustrating how multifaceted the field of media literacy is. For example, the list of the used keywords illustrates effectively how a wide range of things can be related to media literacy.

The index is not a research database. Media literacy studies are published in various journals and by various publishers which have their own databases. Rather, the aim of the index is to mark the way to the original sources. Information presented in the index is openly available in the internet and links to the original websites are provided. Depending on the publishers’ guidelines, some of the articles are open-access and can be viewed by everyone. In some cases, a license or other permission is required.

Now that the index is published, it is still far from comprehensive. At this point, there is information about over 200 studies. This is, however, only a scratch of the surface. At first, more recently published articles were included. We would like to invite you to contribute and help us improve the index. Please tell us what you think about the index, how we could make it better, if there is some misinformation presented or if there are studies that should be included in the index. In relation to the development of technology and role of media in today’s society, the significance of media literacy is constantly growing. This is why it is important to promote the visibility and accessibility of research.

Lauri Palsa
Project researcher
National Audiovisual Institute

KAVIn työntekijät , MEKU