Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Fall 10-4-2020

Document Type



This research carried out a systematic review of the evidence of reliability and validity of scales available in studies reporting surveys of individuals to assess anxiety associated with information related tasks such as library anxiety, information seeking anxiety, and information anxiety. A systematic search using keywords ‘library anxiety’, ‘information anxiety’, 'information seeking anxiety', and 'information seeking' AND 'anxiety' was carried in Web of Science, Scopus, LISA, and LISTA to identify the relevant literature. This review included those studies reporting the use of any scale assessing information related anxiety, and published in the English language, and included all type of documents (e.g. journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, thesis/dissertations, reports). The two-phase screening process, title/abstract screening, and full-text screening resulted in 85 eligible studies reviewed in this paper. The data extracted from each eligible study included author names, year of publication, scale title, type of constructed assessed, sample characteristics, number of items in the scale, types of reliability and validity reported. The results revealed that most of the empirical studies did not report the reliability and validity of scales used for data collection. Eight instruments assessing information related anxieties were identified. These scales were heterogeneous in the number of statements and subscales and homogenous in the type of scale options. An internal consistency coefficient such as Cronbach's alpha was the widely used reliability measure. Face validity, content validity, and construct validity either through exploratory factor analysis or confirmatory factor analysis were the most used validity measures. These results quite had serious implications on the inferences drawn by the practitioners and researchers based on the results of existing studies. The use of good-quality measures for assessing information related anxieties needs to be promoted not only by academicians but also by journal referees and editors. This review would be a worthy contribution in the existing research on information related anxieties as no such study appeared so far in this area.