Is english language a barrier in research productivity among information professionals? A descriptive study

Muhammad Tariq, Tooba Ahmad, Shafiq Ur Rehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aims to highlight the issue with a specific reference of the information professionals about “English language as a barrier” in their research productivity. It further explores how information professionals acknowledge the challenges related to language barriers and to know their training needs to learn the (four) skills of English. The researchers proceed with a brief history of English as a “lingua franca” and how it turned out to be a barrier in the path of researchers belonging to information professionals. Survey method of quantitative research approach is used to probe out the issue regarding how the language can reduce the research productivity. A structured questionnaire was developed to conduct the research. Through convenient sampling technique, 357 information professionals, librarians and LIS research students were selected as sample and accessed to collect the data. Only 258 (72%) valid responses were received and considered to obtain the results. The study found that English language is a huge barrier for the research productivity of the respondents. The respondents also agree that there is positive relationship between training to learn English language and the research productivity. Respondents need training for all in four skills like reading, speaking, writing and listening. The results also show significant difference in language as a barrier based on gender, qualification and type of institute. The study also reveals that with the help of training sessions, the research productivity can be increased. This study will help the LIS schools to revise their syllabus as per need of the stake holders. Professional associations, policy makers and students can address this issue on professional and academic platform to overcome the language gap and deficiencies. The present research also put a stress to make English language as a mandatory part of the curriculum to increase the research productivity among information professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
JournalPakistan Journal of Information Management and Libraries
Issue numberSpecialIssue
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • English language barriers
  • LIS-Pakistan
  • Language issues-information professionals
  • Research productivity


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