The theoretical background of EnILactivities can be found in the work of (Basili, 2008) and summarisedas follows.
Information Literacy is a multifaceted phenomenon that can be analysed from three main perspectives, each corresponding to aspecific denomination of the phenomenon. This can be schematically illustrated in the table below.

Perspective of
IL analysis


Meaning of the phenomenon to analyse


Education to Information

Information Literacy as an educational policy goal


Culture of Information

Information Literacy as a form of study of information


Information Skills

Information Literacy as a form of personal competence

Source: (Basili, 2008) Basili, C. Theorems of Information Literacy. In: Information Literacy at the crossroad of Education and Information Policies in Europe/ Carla BASILI(ed.), ConsiglioNazionaledelleRicerche, Rome, 2008, pp.33-52

Based on this distinction, EnIL activities fall into three main strands of research.

Strand 1: Information Literacy Policies

Research questions:

National Policy Awareness: To what extent is IL a national policy issue in the different European countries?
Higher Education Policies: What are the academic policies related to the integration of IL into university curricula?
Best practices: what is the best implementation model of IL in Higher Education?

Related research activities

1.1    The European Observatory on IL Policies and Research

The European Observatory on IL Policies and Research is an online portal to European policies, research projects and initiatives related to information literacy, with special focus on Higher Education developments.
The portal is organised on a country base and to date (January 2012) it has been released for Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Spain.It also includes EU policy documents, for a total amount of more than 600 web pages.
Work for other European countries is still in progress.
To suggest a new initiative, please either fill in this online form or send an email.

1.2    Empatic project: Higher Education Policy Recommendations

EnIL activities provide a sound scientific basis forthe Empatic project for the Higher Education learning sector.
EMPATIC (Empowering Autonomous Learning Through Information Competencies) is a project - funded by the European Union –mainly aimed atimproving current perceptions among policy makers in Europe regarding the role, value and operation feasibility of Information Literacy in learning.

Recommendations Higher Education
The Empatic website will be hosted and maintained within EnIL beyond the formal end of the project (March 2012).

Strand 2: Disciplinary institutionalisation

Research questions:
Barriers: what are the main barriers to an effective integration of IL into academic curricula?

Publication of the volumes:
2.1    Information Literacy at the crossroad of Education and Information Policies in Europe, Carla BASILI (ed.), ConsiglioNazionaledelleRicerche, Rome, 2008, 301 pp.

2.2    Information literacy in Europe. A first insight into the state of the art of information literacy in the European Union, Carla BASILI (ed.), ConsiglioNazionaledelleRicerche, Rome, 2003, 315 pp.

Strand 3: Information skills

Research questions
Literacy status: what is the level of IL competency among university students in Europe?
Certification: how can be defined a standard certification process for the information competences?

3.1    A survey (EDInfo) on information competencies of students to strengthen campus awareness of the need for information literacy, and propose a systematic data gathering about the information competencies of incoming students in Higher Education. The 2004 survey involved a set of universities in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy and Sweden and was based on a questionnaire translated by EnIL members into 12 EU languages. Aim of the survey is a Europe-wide collection of comparable data to be analysed for future common actions.A new edition of the survey, with a diverse questionnaire is in progress.

3.2    Certification: Development of asystem forthe assessment and certification of IL competencies, including the experimentation of a European Information Driving Licence (EiDL), analogous to the European Computer Driving License (EcDL).