The (Unintentional) Rebranding of a Longstanding Information Literacy Problem as “Fake News”

Sponsored by ProQuest
Recorded on 08/23/2017

Posted in Library Instruction


Fake news appears to have become “a thing” only after Donald Trump unexpectedly won the U.S. presidency. However, as librarians all over the world know, the problems we face assessing the credibility of news and other kinds of information isn’t new. Drawing on 17th-century wisdom from Sir Francis Bacon, contemporary research on the role our emotions play in shaping our beliefs, and an odd case of alleged academic fraud, we’ll see how the explosion of digital sources combined with a deeply rooted information literacy problem to create the thing we now call “fake news.”


Adam Blackwell

Dr. Blackwell currently works on the platform team at ProQuest, where he is focused on improving the research experience of our various user groups. Before that, he worked in what was essentially the new products division of ProQuest, where he focused on creating tools and services for high school and undergraduate researchers. He spent most of 2013 overseeing the development and launch of ProQuest’s award-winning information literacy product, Research Companion. Adam has a PhD in English from the University of Utah and a BA in social anthropology and linguistics from Cambridge University.