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Research Guides

INFO 2010: Information Literacy in the Disciplines (Readings)

This guide contains some of the readings for INFO 2010: Information Literacy in the Disciplines.

An Outline of the Disciplines

Fields of research, study, and application can be divided in a few different ways. For the purposes of INFO 2010, we'll stick with the way they are typically categorized in an academic setting like a university. At the broadest level we have categories of disciplines. These include the Humanities, the Social Sciences, the Natural Sciences, the Formal Sciences, the Applied Sciences (see tables below). Each of these broad categories contains  multiple disciplines and sub-disciplines. Educational institutions generally organize these disciplines into "colleges" and/or departments. Organization at a university will likely depend on it's size and mission. For example, at SUU the Psychology, English, and Philosophy departments are all housed in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Understanding a little bit more about this structure will help you situate your major within this larger structure of SUU, but it it will also help you contextualize your major and what you are learning and researching within the broader discipline it fits into. The table below is not exhaustive, but will give you a basic set of disciplines and sub-disciplines. Don't worry if your major field of study is not in the table below. You will use a broader set of resources for the the Module 2 Assignment that will help you see where your major fits into the bigger scheme of things.

Discipline Category Discipline Sub-Disciplines examples*
Languages and Literature Creative Writing, English Literature, Linguistics, Literary Theory
Law Civil law, Criminal law, Legal management
Philosophy Epistemonlogy, Ethics, Logic, Metaphysics
Theology Biblical Studies, Hindu Theology, Jewish Theology, Muslim Theology
Visual arts Applied arts, Architecture, Fashion, Fine arts
History American History, Ancient History, Asian History, European History, World History
Performing arts Dance, Film, Music, Theatre
Social Science
Anthropology Archaeology, Cultural anthropology, Linguistic anthropology
Economics Behavioral economics, Consumer economics, Econometrics, Microeconomics
Education Elementary education, School adminisration, Instructional design
Geography Physical geography, Human geography, Integrated geography, Cartography
Political Science Civics, Geopolitics, International relations, Peace and conflict studies, Public administration
Psychology Abnormal psychology, Clinical psychology, Cognitive psychology, Developmental psychology
Sociology Criminology/Criminal justice, Cultural studies/ethnic studies, Demography/Population
Social Work Clinical Social Work, Community practice, Mental health, Person-centered therapy
Natural Science
Biology Anatomy, Evolutionary biology, Marine biology, Microbiology, Molecular biology, Neuroscience
Chemistry Biochemistry, Chemical engineering, Environmental chemistry, Organic chemistry, Pharmacology
Earth Science Environmental science, Geology, Glaciology, Hydrology, Paleontology
Space Science Astronomy, Astrophysics, Numerical simulations, Planetary science
Physics Acoustics, Aerodynamics, Nuclear physics, Quantum physics
Formal Science
Computer Science Algorithms, Artificial intelligence, Data structures, Computer graphics, Computer security
Mathematics Algebra, Geometry, Cryptography, Statistics
Applied Science
Business Accounting, Business management, Finance, Marketing, Operations management
Engineering Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Technology Educational Technology, Systems science, Network science
Medicine/Health Dentistry, Dermatology, Emergency medicine, Internal medicine, Nursing

*for a more complete list of sub-discipline, go to