In the present era, which is marked in the history by the penetration of computer and internet and invention of public communication and participation mechanisms, all academic centers throughout the world are becoming so close that their separateness is not conceivable anymore. That way the amount of academic communication and mutual exchange of recent findings in a scientific field is so easy that nothing would remain in the dark after being found or produced by a member or a group in an academic center. But can all academic centers and academic figures allover the world benefit from these communication facilities evenly and proliferate their scholarly ideas to broaden the boundaries of knowledge on an international scale?
Having access to communication mechanisms does not guarantee the active and successful participation in the academic communities, rather in order to be accepted as a competent academic figure in these communities you need to have a set of discourse competencies acquisition of which needs informedness, awareness, and meticulousness. Effective processing and producing of academic discourse necessitates consciousness of rules and conventions that govern scholarly communication. In other words an academic figure should be academically literate. This academic literacy involves the ability of processing and producing scientific information, or in general, communicating scientific information. This is considered to be an essential prerequisite for any academic activity (Salahshoor 2000).
The important question that is still unanswered in Iran is what academic literacy is.
Finding a definition for'academic literacy' may pave the way for English teaching technology in Iranian context to design and implement courses, which meet the needs
of those who intend to have a part in international academic communication. Salahshoor (2000:1) defines academic literacy as "the ability to process an…

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