Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a narrative review of studies on the citing behavior of scientists, covering mainly research published in the last 15 years. Based on the results of these studies, the paper seeks to answer the question of the extent to which scientists are motivated to cite a publication not only to acknowledge intellectual and cognitive influences of scientific peers, but also for other, possibly non-scientific, reasons.Design methodology approach - The review covers research published from the early 1960s up to mid-2005 (approximately 30 studies on citing behavior-reporting results in about 40 publications).Findings - The general tendency of the results of the empirical studies makes it clear that citing behavior is not motivated solely by the wish to acknowledge intellectual and cognitive influences of colleague scientists, since the individual studies reveal also other, in part non-scientific, factors that play a part in the decision to cite. However, the results of the studies must also be deemed scarcely reliable: the studies vary widely in design, and their results can hardly be replicated. Many of the studies have methodological weaknesses. Furthermore, there is evidence that the different motivations of citers are "not so different or 'randomly given' to such an extent that the phenomenon of citation would lose its role as a reliable measure of impact".Originality value - Given the increasing importance of evaluative bibliometrics in the world of scholarship, the question "What do citation counts measure?" is a particularly relevant and topical issue.
Purpose - Since its introduction in 2006, messages posted to the microblogging system Twitter have provided a rich dataset for researchers, leading to the publication of over a thousand academic papers. This paper aims to identify this published work and to classify it in order to understand Twitter based research.Design methodology approach - Firstly the papers on Twitter were identified. Secondly, following a review of the literature, a classification of the dimensions of microblogging research was established. Thirdly, papers were qualitatively classified using open coded content analysis, based on the paper's title and abstract, in order to analyze method, subject, and approach.Findings - The majority of published work relating to Twitter concentrates on aspects of the messages sent and details of the users. A variety of methodological approaches is used across a range of identified domains.Research limitations implications - This work reviewed the abstracts of all papers available via database search on the term "Twitter" and this has two major implications: the full papers are not considered and so works may be misclassified if their abstract is not clear; publications not indexed by the databases, such as book chapters, are not included. The study is focussed on microblogging, the applicability of the approach to other media is not considered.Originality value - To date there has not been an overarching study to look at the methods and purpose of those using Twitter as a research subject. The paper's major contribution is to scope out papers published on Twitter until the close of 2011. The classification derived here will provide a framework within which researchers studying Twitter related topics will be able to position and ground their work.
Purpose - To date, few studies have been undertaken to make explicit how microblogging technologies are used by and can benefit scholars. This paper aims to investigate the use of Twitter by an academic community in various conference settings, and to pose the following questions: Does the use of a Twitter-enabled backchannel enhance the conference experience, collaboration and the co-construction of knowledge? and How is microblogging used within academic conferences, and can one articulate the benefits it may bring to a discipline?Design methodology approach - This paper considers the use of Twitter as a digital backchannel by the Digital Humanities (DH) community, taking as its focus postings to Twitter during three different international 2009 conferences. The resulting archive of 4,574 "Tweets" was analysed using various quantitative and qualitative methods, including a qualitative categorisation of Twitter posts by open coded analysis, a quantitative examination of user conventions, and text analysis tools. Prominent Tweeters were identified and a small qualitative survey was undertaken to ascertain individuals' attitudes towards a Twitter-enabled backchannel.Findings - Conference hashtagged Twitter activity does not constitute a single distributed conversation, but rather multiple monologues with a few intermittent, discontinuous, loosely joined dialogues between users. The digital backchannel constitutes a multidirectional complex space in which the users make notes, share resources, hold discussions and ask questions as well as establishing a clear individual online presence. The use of Twitter as a conference platform enables the community to expand communication and participation in events amongst its members. The analysis revealed the close-knit nature of the DH researcher community, which may be somewhat intimidating for those new to the field or conference.Practical implications - This study has indicated that, given that Twitter is becoming increasingly important for academic communities, new, dedicated methodologies for the analysis and understanding of Tweet-based corpora are necessary. Routinely used textual analysis tools cannot be applied to corpora of Tweets in a straightforward manner, due to the creative and fragmentary nature of language used within microblogging. In this paper, a method has been suggested to categorise Tweets using open coded analysis to facilitate understanding of Tweet-based corpora, which could be adopted elsewhere.Originality value - This paper is the first known exhaustive study that concentrates on how microblogging technologies such as Twitter are used by and can benefit scholars. This data set both provides a valuable insight into the prevalence of a variety of Twitter practices within the constraints of a conference setting, and highlights the need for methodologies to be developed to analyse social media streams such as Twitter feeds. It also provides a bibliography of other research into microblogging.
Purpose - The purpose of the research reported in this article is to understand how refugees learn to engage with a complex, multimodal information landscape and how their information literacy practice may be constructed to enable them to connect and be included in their new information landscape. Design methodology approach - The study is framed through practice and socio-cultural theories. A qualitative research design is employed including semi-structured face-to-face interviews and focus groups which are thematically analysed through an information practice lens. Findings - Refugees encounter complex and challenging information landscapes that present barriers to their full participation in their new communities. Social inclusion becomes possible where information is provided via sharing through trusted mediators who assist with navigating the information landscape and information mapping, and through visual and social sources. Research limitations implications - The study is local and situated and therefore not empirically generalizable. It does however provide rich, deep description and explanation that is instructive beyond the specific research site and contributes to theory building. Practical implications - The study highlights the role, and importance, of social and visual information sources and the key role of service providers as mediators and navigators. Governments, funders and service providers can use these findings to inform their service provision. Originality value - This is an original research paper in which the results provide practical advice for those working with refugees and which also extends theories of information literacy practice as an information practice.
The term-weighting function known as IDF was proposed in 1972, and has since been extremely widely used, usually as part of a TF*IDF function. It is often described as a heuristic, and many papers have been written (some based on Shannon's Information Theory) seeking to establish some theoretical basis for it. Some of these attempts are reviewed, and it is shown that the Information Theory approaches are problematic, but that there are good theoretical justifications of both IDF and TF*IDF in the traditional probabilistic model of information retrieval.
Purpose - The purpose of this review is to draw out patterns of information seeking behavior of graduate students as described in the empirical research published from 1997 to the present.Design methodology approach - A systematic search of databases for studies on information behavior and graduate students was employed in order to retrieve studies for a systematic review. Common themes that emerged from the literature were synthesized into a discussion of behavior patterns. Additionally a study quality analysis was conducted for all retrieved studies using a critical appraisal checklist for library and information research.Findings - This review revealed that graduate students begin their research on the internet much like any other information seeker, consult their faculty advisors before other people, and use libraries in diverse ways depending on the discipline studied. Additionally differences were noted between international and home students, and doctoral and master's students.Practical implications - The findings of this review indicate that information behavior research conducted on graduate students should delineate between masters' and doctoral students. Further, the findings may inform both academic librarian and faculty practice as to how to assist students with their research by helping them to understand how students typically approach research and how other institutions address common issues with special populations, such as non-native speakers and distance learners.Originality value - No comprehensive review of information behavior studies, encompassing only the behaviors of graduate students has been conducted to date.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the role of the body in information in serious leisure by reviewing existing work in information behaviour that theorises the role of the body, and by drawing selectively on literature from beyond information studies to extend our understanding. Design/methodology/approach After finding a lack of attention to the body in most influential works on information behaviour, the paper identifies a number of important authors who do offer theorisations. It then explores what can be learnt by examining studies of embodied information in the hobbies of running, music and the liberal arts, published outside the discipline. Findings Auto-ethnographic studies influenced by phenomenology show that embodied information is central to the hobby of running, both through the diverse sensory information the runner uses and through the dissemination of information by the body as a sign. Studies of music drawing on the theory of embodied cognition, similarly suggest that it is a key part of amateur music information behaviour. Even when considering the liberal arts hobby, the core activity, reading, has been shown to be in significant ways embodied. The examples reveal how it is not only in more obviously embodied leisure activities such as sports, in which the body must be considered. Research limitations/implications Embodied information refers to how the authors receive information from the senses and the way the body is a sign that can be read by others. To fully understand this, more empirical and theoretical work is needed to reconcile insights from practice theory, phenomenology, embodied cognition and sensory studies. Originality/value The paper demonstrates how and why the body has been neglected in information behaviour research, reviews current work and identifies perspectives from other disciplines that can begin to fill the gap.
Purpose â–“ This study attempts to investigate reading behavior in the digital environment by analyzing how people's reading behavior has changed over the past ten years. Design/methodology/approach â–“ Survey and analysis methods are employed. Findings â–“ With an increasing amount of time spent reading electronic documents, a screen-based reading behavior is emerging. The screen-based reading behavior is characterized by more time spent on browsing and scanning, keyword spotting, one-time reading, non-linear reading, and reading more selectively, while less time is spent on in-depth reading, and concentrated reading. Decreasing sustained attention is also noted. Annotating and highlighting while reading is a common activity in the printed environment. However, this â–œtraditionalâ–? pattern has not yet migrated to the digital environment when people read electronic documents. Originality/value â–“ Implications for the changes in reading behavior are discussed, and directions for future research are suggested.
Purpose - Open-access mega-journals (OAMJs) represent an increasingly important part of the scholarly communication landscape. OAMJs, such as PLOS ONE, are large scale, broad scope journals that operate an open access business model (normally based on article-processing charges), and which employ a novel form of peer review, focussing on scientific "soundness" and eschewing judgement of novelty or importance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the discourses relating to OAMJs, and their place within scholarly publishing, and considers attitudes towards mega-journals within the academic community. Design/methodology/approach - This paper presents a review of the literature of OAMJs structured around four defining characteristics: scale, disciplinary scope, peer review policy, and economic model. The existing scholarly literature was augmented by searches of more informal outputs, such as blogs and e-mail discussion lists, to capture the debate in its entirety. Findings - While the academic literature relating specifically to OAMJs is relatively sparse, discussion in other fora is detailed and animated, with debates ranging from the sustainability and ethics of the mega-journal model, to the impact of soundness-only peer review on article quality and discoverability, and the potential for OAMJs to represent a paradigm-shifting development in scholarly publishing. Originality/value - This paper represents the first comprehensive review of the mega-journal phenomenon, drawing not only on the published academic literature, but also grey, professional and informal sources. The paper advances a number of ways in which the role of OAMJs in the scholarly communication environment can be conceptualised.
Purpose – The role of data literacy is discussed in the light of such activities as data a quality, data management, data curation, and data citation. The differing terms and their relationship to the most important literacies are examined. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – By stressing the importance of data literacy in fulfilling the mission of the contemporary academic library, the paper centres on information literacy, while the characteristics of other relevant literacies are also examined. The content of data literacy education is explained in the context of data-related activities. Findings – It can be concluded that there is a need for data literacy and it is advantageous to have a unified terminology. Data literacy can be offered both to researchers, who need to become data literate science workers and have the goal to educate data management professionals. Several lists of competencies contain important skills and abilities, many of them indicating the close relationship between data literacy and information literacy. It is vital to take a critical stance on hopes and fears, related to the promises of widespread ability of (big) data. Originality/value – The paper intends to be an add-on to the body of knowledge about information literacy and other literacies in the light of research data and data literacy.
Purpose - This paper aims to introduce a "people-in-practice" perspective which brings together previous theorisations of information literacy landscapes and practice. This perspective provides the framework to analyse the complex practice of information literacy from a sociocultural perspective. This perspective represents a shift in focus towards information literacy as a socially enacted practice, and away from the information skills approach that has dominated information literacy research and education. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical data that informs this work is drawn from a series of studies that have been conducted by the author in the workplace and in everyday settings since 2004. Findings from these studies have contributed to the development of the people-in-practice perspective that is presented in this article. Findings - Drawing from the author's empirical studies and from literature reporting socio-cultural research into information literacy, a people-in-practice perspective is described. Originality/value - The value of this paper lies in the attempt to marry together the author's previous work resulting in the introduction of a people-in-practice perspective. This perspective draws from socio-cultural and practice theory.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into publication practices from the perspective of academics working within four disciplinary communities: biosciences, astronomy/physics, education and history. The paper explores the ways in which these multiple overlapping communities intersect with the journal landscape and the implications for the adoption and use of new players in the scholarly communication system, particularly open-access mega-journals (OAMJs). OAMJs (e.g. PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports) are large, broad scope, open-access journals that base editorial decisions solely on the technical/scientific soundness of the article. Design/methodology/approach Focus groups with active researchers in these fields were held in five UK Higher Education Institutions across Great Britain, and were complemented by interviews with pro-vice-chancellors for research at each institution. Findings A strong finding to emerge from the data is the notion of researchers belonging to multiple overlapping communities, with some inherent tensions in meeting the requirements for these different audiences. Researcher perceptions of evaluation mechanisms were found to play a major role in attitudes towards OAMJs, and interviews with the pro-vice-chancellors for research indicate that there is a difference between researchers' perceptions and the values embedded in institutional frameworks. Originality/value This is the first purely qualitative study relating to researcher perspectives on OAMJs. The findings of the paper will be of interest to publishers, policy-makers, research managers and academics.
The term-weighting function known as IDF was proposed in 1972, and has since been extremely widely used, usually as part of a TF*IDF function. It is often described as a heuristic, and many papers have been written (some based on Shannon's Information Theory) seeking to establish some theoretical basis for it Some of these attempts are reviewed, and it is shown that the Information Theory approaches are problematic, but that there are good theoretical justifications of both IDF and TF*IDF in the traditional probabilistic model of information retrieval.
Purpose The information use environment (IUE) - the context within which the search activity takes place - is critical to understanding the search process as this will affect how the value of information is determined. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what factors influence search in English primary schools (children aged 4-11) and how information found is subsequently used. Design/methodology/approach Ten teachers, selected using maximal variation sampling, describe search-related activities within the classroom. The resulting interview data were analysed thematically for the influence of the environment on search and different information uses. The findings were then validated against three classroom observations. Findings 12 categories of information use were identified, and 5 aspects of the environment (the national curriculum, best practice, different skills of children and teachers, keeping children safe, and limited time and resource) combine to influence and shape search in this setting.