Xuanxi Li;  A.Y.M. Atiquil Islam;  Eddie W.L. Cheng;  Xiao Hu;  Samuel Kai Wah Chu

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  • pre-publication peer review (FINAL ROUND)
    Decision Letter


    Dear Li, Xuanxi; Islam, A.Y.M. Atiquil; Cheng, Eddie W.L. ; Hu, Xiao; Chu, Sam

    It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript OIR-03-2020-0092.R1, entitled "Exploring determinants influencing information literacy with activity theory" in its current form for publication in Online Information Review. Please note, no further changes can be made to your manuscript.

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    Thank you for your contribution. On behalf of the Editors of Online Information Review, we look forward to your continued contributions to the Journal.


    Dr. Eugenia Siapera

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    Reviewer report

    Good work on the amendment.

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    Author Response

    Dear Editor and Reviewer,

    Thank you for your decision and good news. Specially, thanks for the reviewer's comments which helped us a lot on improving the quality of our research paper. We modified the paper and further discussed the results according to the comments. Our detailed responds to all the comments is uploaded as a word file named "Responds to OIR paper reviewer" in the file upload step.

    It is undoubtedly a happy thing for scholars to discuss some academic definitions and viewpoints in the reply to the comments. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to comment again.

    Thank you.


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  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter


    Dear Dr. Li,

    Manuscript ID OIR-03-2020-0092 entitled "Exploring determinants influencing information literacy with activity theory" which you submitted to Online Information Review, has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

    The reviewer(s) have recommended publication, but also suggest some minor revisions to your manuscript. Therefore, I invite you to respond to the reviewer(s)' comments and revise your manuscript. Please also ensure that in doing so your paper does not exceed the maximum word length of 10000 words and that it meets all the requirements of the author guidelines at;=ubl727mru90lg3hc8sa5p5qrt2."

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    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review. I look forward to receiving your revision.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr. Eugenia Siapera

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Minor Revision

    The authors stated in the paper that this junior secondary school was academically strong, so presumably teachers and students in the school were with relatively high in teaching and learning motivation, and yet the results of the Group Interviews did not appear accordingly.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: This paper presented a logical activity theoretical framework to explore the determinants that could possibly influence the information literacy skills of Hong Kong junior secondary school students. The research design is reasonable using a mainly quantitative questionnaire, followed by structured interview questions to evaluate the learning outcomes. However, there are a few points that need to be clarified.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: 1.(Page 1 Line 45) The authors put Information literacy (IL) as a keyword and also in the paper title, therefore I would suggest that the authors cited a more comprehensive definition of IL from a several of widely accepted sources such as America Library Association or from authors’ home authority organization such as Hong Kong Library Association.

    2.(Page 1 Line 51) The authors thought that “… one of the limitations of some IL studies is their neglect of the collaborative nature of IL, such as sharing and generating information (Hyldegard, 2006)…”. According to the definition from ALA (, it implies that IL covers a variety of natures for students to meet the Information Literacy Competency Standards such as collaborative skill, critical thinking etc.. The paper cited a paper of 2006 (Hyldegard) which is a bit out of fashion ant not so true in the reality as we have seen that for decades IL has been integrated in a wide range of innovative learning environments from e-learning, flipped classroom to blending learning environments with a variety of creative pedagogical approaches such as PjBL.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: 3.(Page 2 Line 13)The authors also did not define PjBL properly but with two simple words: “inquiry PjBL”. The generally acknowledged skills found in a PBL learning environment include creative thinking, critical thinking, collaborative, teamwork, social interaction between group members, peer critique provides collective feedback etc. With the critical natures found in IL and PjBL, the two elements together strengthen and help students to foster the IL skills during their learning (see Table 2. Matched perceived affordances with wiki affordances and Table 5. Measures of the latent variables)

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: 4.(Page 8 Line 18; Page 9 Line 33) The paper did not explain how the mechanism of group interviews and therefore the interview results have a few doubts that need to be further clarified. Following are the questions:
    *How the 9 interview groups were selected? Were these groups covering equally students from Form 1 to Form 3?

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: ONLY 42% interviewed students gave positive feedback on the wiki-based
    learning tool, and 25% of the students were non-committal and did not express clear opinions. Does this suggest that 33% interviewed students did not confirm the positive effect on learning? If this was the case, the two together was 58% of all the interviewed students. This would suggest that over half of the students did not agree fully the ease use of the learning tool, and this was contradicting the Discussion.
    ONLY 50% of the students interviewed confirmed positively the group cooperation and teacher support, and this reveals that there are a lots of work need to be done in group management and class management.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: ONLY 47% of the students interviewed agreed that DOL was fair, and 31% disagreed. Again, this reveals the negative part of group management.
    The positive feedbacks on teacher support were all from the same class (same teacher), Student 1, 2 and 3 from Form 1, Class B; whereas student from different class, Student 4 from Form 1, Class A had different comments on the teacher support . Does this suggest that teacher support varied based on teacher personality and teacher motivation as this IL course did not cover in the course syllabus and was an extra load for teachers to cooperate with this five-months project study?
    *It is a bit odd that not any interviewed student appeared in the Results was from Form 3. And all the negative feedback stated in the paper were from Form 1:
    Student 1 of Form 1, Class B and Student 2 of Form 1, Class A complained the PBworks on the inconvenience of learning tool. Student 4 of Form 1, Class B reported that group interaction brought negative effect on their learning. Student 2 of Form 1, Class A did not appreciate the teacher support.
    Do these imply that there were differences of learning attitude, learning motivation, or even learning outcomes among the three grades, that is, Form 1, Form 2 and Form 3?

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: The authors stated in the paper that this junior secondary school was academically strong, so presumably teachers and students in the school were with relatively high in teaching and learning motivation, and yet the results of the Group Interviews did not appear accordingly. The points mentioned above from the Introduction and the Group Interviews need to be clarified in the Introduction and the Discussion in order to sufficiently support the positive quantitative outcomes.

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    Reviewer report

    The authors stated in the paper that this junior secondary school was academically strong, so presumably teachers and students in the school were with relatively high in teaching and learning motivation, and yet the results of the Group Interviews did not appear accordingly.

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