Systematic Review of Diversity and Curriculum Improvement Case Studies

Lessons for Inclusion and Research Instruction in Library and Information Science Programs


  • Sarah Ryan University of North Texas
  • Mohotarema Rashid



diversity, university curriculum, programmatic self-study, research methods pedagogy, systematic reviewing


How should Library and Information Science (LIS) programs assess and refine their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) instruction? We should leverage the work of health science departments. In a systematic review of DEI curriculum advancement studies published from 2010-2022, we located 46 studies concentrated in the health sciences (n=20). We found five article characteristic trends in: (1) year of publication, (2) discipline, (3) study location, (4) research methods, and (5) highly-included identity topics. We found five prevalent approaches to curricular improvement: (1) an early all-student intervention, (2) a focus on cultural humility as the outcome, (3) attention to classroom climate and safety, (4) multi-year data analysis, and (5) a working group as leader of curricular change. Throughout our project, we noted three challenges to conducting systematic reviews: (1) the U.S. bias of selected library databases, (2) missed studies due to database indexing and other issues, and (3) student coding issues. Our research suggests that dozens of strategies exist for measuring existing curricular content, that curricular change requires significant investment, and that LIS should transition to cultural humility as the focal outcome of diversity instruction.


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