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Antes de ontemJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

Genre containers: Building a theoretical framework for studying formats in information behavior

Por Brittany Brannon, Amy G. Buhler, Tara Tobin Cataldo, Ixchel M. Faniel, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Joyce Kasman Valenza, Christopher Cyr


Prior studies have shown high-level differences in people's perception and use of various information formats. However, the lack of a coherent and theoretically informed framework of elements of format has inhibited a nuanced understanding of the role that formats play in information behavior. This paper draws on theories from the field of rhetoric and composition to ground the study of information format in a social constructivist perspective that foregrounds action in context. Specifically, rhetorical genre theory is discussed in detail and the limitations of previous information behavior studies using rhetorical genre theory are explored. One of the main problems of earlier studies is confusing genres and their containers. This paper introduces and defines the concept of containers as typified ways of collecting and presenting texts of certain genres for publication. Building on rhetorical genre theory, the paper offers a theoretical exploration of the role that containers play in the formal and/or public sharing of information within discourse communities. An illustrative example of the concepts applied to data from an Institute of Museum and Library Services funded study is provided.

A comparative mixed methods study on health information seeking among US‐born/US‐dwelling, Korean‐born/US‐dwelling, and Korean‐born/Korean‐dwelling mothers

Por Hanseul Stephanie Lee, Catherine Arnott Smith


More knowledge and a better understanding of health information seeking are necessary, especially in these unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using Sonnenwald's theoretical concept of information horizons, this study aimed to uncover patterns in mothers' source preferences related to their children's health. Online surveys were completed by 851 mothers (255 US-born/US-dwelling, 300 Korean-born/US-dwelling, and 296 Korean-born/Korean-dwelling), and supplementary in-depth interviews with 24 mothers were conducted and analyzed. Results indicate that there were remarkable differences between the mothers' information source preference and their actual source use. Moreover, there were many similarities between the two Korean-born groups concerning health information-seeking behavior. For instance, those two groups sought health information more frequently than US-born/US-dwelling mothers. Their sources frequently included blogs or online forums as well as friends with children, whereas US-born/US-dwelling mothers frequently used doctors or nurses as information sources. Mothers in the two Korean-born samples preferred the World Wide Web most as their health information source, while the US-born/US-dwelling mothers preferred doctors the most. Based on these findings, information professionals should guide mothers of specific ethnicities and nationalities to trustworthy sources considering both their usage and preferences.

Factors and outcomes of collaborative information seeking: A mixed studies review with a framework synthesis

Por Vera Granikov, Reem El Sherif, France Bouthillier, Pierre Pluye


Despite being necessary, keeping up to date with new information and trends remains challenging in many fields due to information overload, time constraints, and insufficient evaluation skills. Collaboration, or sharing the effort among group members, may be a solution, but more knowledge is needed. To guide future research on the potential role of collaboration in keeping up to date, we conducted a systematic literature review with a framework synthesis aimed to adapt the conceptual framework for environmental scanning to a collaborative context. Our specific objectives were to identify the factors and outcomes of collaborative information seeking (CIS) and use them to propose an adapted conceptual framework. Fifty-one empirical studies were included and synthesized using a hybrid thematic synthesis. The adapted framework includes seven types of influencing factors and five types of outcomes. Our review contributes to the theoretical expansion of knowledge on CIS in general and provides a conceptual framework to study collaboration in keeping up to date. Overall, our findings will be useful to researchers, practitioners, team leaders, and system designers implementing and evaluating collaborative information projects.

Advancing information practices theoretical discourses centered on marginality, community, and embodiment: Learning from the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities

Por Vanessa L. Kitzie, Travis L. Wagner, Valerie Lookingbill, Nicolas Vera


This conceptual paper identifies future directions for information practices theoretical discourses addressing marginality, community, and embodiment. We extend arguments from critical research identifying how existing discourses fail to capture the nuanced, lived experiences of people and communities confronting marginalization, predominantly via their reinforcement of deficit narratives. We then connect a series of qualitative projects examining the information practices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual communities in the American South with relevant Library and Information Science (LIS) research to examine how marginality, community, and embodiment shape these practices. Specifically, we introduce a conceptual model that describes marginality by framing information practices as tactical and agentic responses to and refutations of social and structural barriers and risks. While some of the information practices of participants and communities appear to be uninformed or unsafe, they represent the products of community sharing and vetting. Embodied navigations further inform participant practices as they navigate information worlds produced and informed by their intersectional identities. These arguments coincide with key categories established within our model that describe information practices: defensive and protective, and community and self. Based on these insights, we offer directions for future research and theory to reorient existing discourses in ways that inspire middle-range theory building that fully captures people's lived experiences.

The representation of argumentation in scientific papers: A comparative analysis of two research areas

Por Xiaoguang Wang, Ningyuan Song, Huimin Zhou, Hanghang Cheng


Scientific papers are essential manifestations of evolving scientific knowledge, and arguments are an important avenue to communicate research results. This study aims to understand how the argumentation process is represented in scientific papers, which is important for knowledge representation, discovery, and retrieval. First, based on fundamental argument theory and scientific discourse ontologies, a coding schema, including 17 categories was constructed. Thereafter, annotation experiments were conducted with 40 scientific articles randomly selected from two different research areas (library and information science and biomedical sciences). Statistical analysis and the sequential pattern mining method were then employed; the ratio of different argumentation units and evidence types were calculated, the argumentation semantics of figures and tables analyzed, and the argumentation structures extracted. A correlation analysis between argumentation and rhetorical structures was also performed to further reveal how argumentation was represented within scientific discourses. The results indicated a difference in the proportion of the argumentation units in the two types of scientific papers, as well as a similar linear construction with differences in the specific argument structures of each knowledge domain and a clear correlation between argumentation and rhetorical structure.

Methods for a feminist technoscience of information practice: Design justice and speculative futurities

Por Diana Floegel, Kaitlin L. Costello


This article builds on the argument that feminist technoscience will advance information practice scholarship beyond its current limitations. These limitations reflect neoliberalism in the field of information science and include a reliance on extractive logics in theories and models, monological individualism, binaries constructed between people and technologies, and techno-solutionism. Here, we address the question: what does it look like to apply technofeminism to the study of information practice at methodological and methods levels? We first outline our metatheoretical conception of feminist technoscience, which embraces intersectionality and assemblage theory in order to move past white and colonialist logics embedded in cyborg theory. We next offer design justice as a methodological framework and movement that provides a necessary overhaul of the neoliberal ways that information science approaches scholarship, particularly in terms of participatory research. We suggest that speculative futurities provide a promising method for advancing technofeminism in information practice research because they explicitly reject neoliberalism and its techno-solutionist bent. Overall, a feminist technoscience of information practice offers directions for our field that are rooted in liberatory epistemologies. We emphasize that in order to achieve liberation, a major overhaul in how our discipline approaches arrangements of information, people, and technologies is sorely needed.

Information behavior patterns: A new theoretical perspective from an empirical study of naturalistic information acquisition

Por Lo Lee, Melissa G. Ocepek, Stephann Makri


This empirical study offers a new theoretical perspective in information behavior research by identifying interrelationships between certain information behaviors. While previous work recognizes the iterative nature of information acquisition, information behavior research has so far been dominated by the identification and conceptual elaboration of discrete behaviors. We introduce the theoretical concept of “information behavior patterns” to characterize the intricate connectedness of information interaction in an arts and crafts context. A qualitative study comprising naturalistic observation and semi-structured interviews with 20 arts and crafts hobbyists was conducted in two “browse-first” information environments that support various forms of active and passive information acquisition: Pinterest and a brick-and-mortar crafts store. Findings revealed a variety of information behavior patterns across both environments. We illustrate several of these through in-depth discussions of two specific information acquisition sessions. We visualize observed patterns from these sessions to illustrate the interweaving of active, passive acquisition, and personal goals. Our findings demonstrate the complex interconnectedness of human information behavior, highlighting the importance of going beyond compartmentalizing behaviors into “buckets” when trying to understand the complex, dynamic, and evolving nature of information interaction.

Fairness in digital sharing legal professional attitudes toward digital piracy and digital commons

Por Malgorzata Ciesielska, Dariusz Jemielniak


Contrary to a popular belief of lawyers having the most strict perception of law, law professionals actually strongly skew toward more favorable views of digital sharing. According to our qualitative study, relying on in-depth interviews with 50 Harvard lawyers, digital piracy is quite acceptable. It is considered fair, especially among friends and for noncommercial purposes. We argue that this not only can indicate that the existing law is becoming outdated because of its inability to be enforced, but also that ethically it is not corresponding to what is considered fair, good service, or being societally beneficial. The common perception of relying on a fixed price for digital content is eroding. We show that on the verges of business, society, and law, there is a potential for the new paradigm of digital commons to emerge.

A contextualization of editorial misconduct in the library and information science academic information ecosystem

Por Lucy Santos Green, Melissa P. Johnston


In the last decade, one of the most effective tools applied in combating the erosion of public trust in academic research has been an increased level of transparency in the peer review and editorial process. Publicly available publication ethics guidelines and policies are vital in creating a transparent process that prevents unethical research, publication misconduct, manipulation of the communication of research to practitioners, and the erosion of public trust. This study investigated how these unethical practices, specifically those coded as editorial misconduct, bring the authenticity and integrity of the library and information science academic research digital record into question. Employing a multi-layered approach, including key informant interviews, researchers determined the frequency and the content of ethical publishing policies and procedures in library and information science journals; exploring the ways the lack of, or nonadherence to these policies and procedures impacted library and information science researchers in instances of editorial misconduct.

Diffusion of theories and theoretical models in the Ibero‐American research on information behavior

Por Aurora González‐Teruel, Carlos‐Alberto‐Ávila Araújo, Martha Sabelli


Ibero-American research on information behavior (IB) lacks the visibility typical of other parts of the world, and little is known about it in countries outside the area. The objective of this paper has therefore been to analyze the way in which Ibero-American research incorporates various theoretical references to empirical research on IB. The results point to the existence of different focuses of research in the past 10 years, in the sense of a reduced empirical approach and a moderate to minimal use of theories in the design of such research. Furthermore, the most cited theories and models of IB at an international level are those most widely applied in this geographical area, and the use of a wide variety of theoretical frameworks has been demonstrated, which gives the research under review a cognitive, but also sociocultural, perspective. Future research should further elaborate on this issue, including other types of documents, such as conference papers, books, and theses, while taking into account the publication landscape of the geographical area in question.

Making and taking information

Por Isto Huvila


Information behavior theory covers different aspects of the totality of information-related human behavior rather unevenly. The transitions or trading zones between different types of information activities have remained perhaps especially under-theorized. This article interrogates and expands a conceptual apparatus of information making and information taking as a pair of substantial concepts for explaining, in part, the mobility of information in terms of doing that unfolds as a process of becoming rather than of being, and in part, what is happening when information comes into being and when something is taken up for use as information. Besides providing an apparatus to describe the nexus of information provision and acquisition, a closer consideration of the parallel doings opens opportunities to enrich the inquiry of the conditions and practice of information seeking, appropriation, discovery, and retrieval as modes taking, and learning and information use as its posterities.

Understanding the effects of message cues on COVID‐19 information sharing on Twitter

Por Han Zheng, Dion Hoe‐Lian Goh, Edmund Wei Jian Lee, Chei Sian Lee, Yin‐Leng Theng


Analyzing and documenting human information behaviors in the context of global public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic are critical to informing crisis management. Drawing on the Elaboration Likelihood Model, this study investigates how three types of peripheral cues—content richness, emotional valence, and communication topic—are associated with COVID-19 information sharing on Twitter. We used computational methods, combining Latent Dirichlet Allocation topic modeling with psycholinguistic indicators obtained from the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count dictionary to measure these concepts and built a research model to assess their effects on information sharing. Results showed that content richness was negatively associated with information sharing. Tweets with negative emotions received more user engagement, whereas tweets with positive emotions were less likely to be disseminated. Further, tweets mentioning advisories tended to receive more retweets than those mentioning support and news updates. More importantly, emotional valence moderated the relationship between communication topics and information sharing—tweets discussing news updates and support conveying positive sentiments led to more information sharing; tweets mentioning the impact of COVID-19 with negative emotions triggered more sharing. Finally, theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed in the context of global public health communication.

Studying effectiveness of Web search for fact checking

Por Maram Hasanain, Tamer Elsayed


Web search is commonly used by fact checking systems as a source of evidence for claim verification. In this work, we demonstrate that the task of retrieving pages useful for fact checking, called evidential pages, is indeed different from the task of retrieving topically relevant pages that are typically optimized by search engines; thus, it should be handled differently. We conduct a comprehensive study on the performance of retrieving evidential pages over a test collection we developed for the task of re-ranking Web pages by usefulness for fact-checking. Results show that pages (retrieved by a commercial search engine) that are topically relevant to a claim are not always useful for verifying it, and that the engine's performance in retrieving evidential pages is weakly correlated with retrieval of topically relevant pages. Additionally, we identify types of evidence in evidential pages and some linguistic cues that can help predict page usefulness. Moreover, preliminary experiments show that a retrieval model leveraging those cues has a higher performance compared to the search engine. Finally, we show that existing systems have a long way to go to support effective fact checking. To that end, our work provides insights to guide design of better future systems for the task.

The quality of health and wellness self‐tracking data: A consumer perspective

Por Yan Zhang, Ciaran B. Trace


Information quality (IQ) is key to users' satisfaction with information systems. Understanding what IQ means to users can effectively inform system improvement. Existing inquiries into self-tracking data quality primarily focus on accuracy. Interviewing 20 consumers who had self-tracked health indicators for at least 6 months, we identified eight dimensions that consumers apply to evaluate self-tracking data quality: value-added, accuracy, completeness, accessibility, ease of understanding, trustworthiness, aesthetics, and invasiveness. These dimensions fell into four categories—intrinsic, contextual, representational, and accessibility—suggesting that consumers judge self-tracking data quality not only based on the data's inherent quality but also considering tasks at hand, the clarity of data representation, and data accessibility. We also found that consumers' self-tracking data quality judgments are shaped primarily by their goals or motivations, subjective experience with tracked activities, mental models of how systems work, self-tracking tools' reputation, cost, and design, and domain knowledge and intuition, but less by more objective criteria such as scientific research results, validated devices, or consultation with experts. Future studies should develop and validate a scale for measuring consumers' perceptions of self-tracking data quality and commit efforts to develop technologies and training materials to enhance consumers' ability to evaluate data quality.

“Not all my friends are friends”: Audience‐group‐based nudges for managing location privacy

Por Isha Ghosh, Vivek Singh


The popularity of location-based features in social networks has been increasing over the past few years. Location information gathered from social networks can threaten users' information privacy through granular tracking and exposure of their preferences, behaviors, and identity. In this 6-week study (N = 35), we investigate the effect of “audience-group”-based interventions on Facebook check-in behavior of participants. These “audience-group”-based nudges help close the gap between the users' perceived audiences and those that are permitted to view their check-ins. The nudges remind users that their real-time location information may be visible to a larger group of friends than they expect. Based on both quantitative and qualitative data analyses, we report that reminding users of the unexpected audiences that have access to their location check-ins could be a promising way to help users manage their privacy in online location sharing. These findings motivate several recommendations for app designers as well as information privacy researchers to better design and evaluate location sharing in online social networks.

An information behavior theory of transitions

Por Ian Ruthven


This paper proposes a theory of life transitions focused on information behavior. Through a process of meta-ethnography, the paper transforms a series of influential theories and models into a theory of transitions for use in Information Science. This paper characterizes the psychological processes involved in transitions as consisting of three main stages, Understanding, Negotiating, and Resolving, each of which have qualitatively different information behaviors and which require different types of information support. The paper discusses the theoretical implications of this theory and proposes ways in which the theory can be used to provide practical support for those undergoing transitions.

Does double‐blind peer review reduce bias? Evidence from a top computer science conference

Por Mengyi Sun, Jainabou Barry Danfa, Misha Teplitskiy


Peer review is essential for advancing scientific research, but there are long-standing concerns that authors' prestige or other characteristics can bias reviewers. Double-blind peer review has been proposed as a way to reduce reviewer bias, but the evidence for its effectiveness is limited and mixed. Here, we examine the effects of double-blind peer review by analyzing the review files of 5,027 papers submitted to a top computer science conference that changed its reviewing format from single- to double-blind in 2018. First, we find that the scores given to the most prestigious authors significantly decreased after switching to double-blind review. However, because many of these papers were above the threshold for acceptance, the change did not affect paper acceptance significantly. Second, the inter-reviewer disagreement increased significantly in the double-blind format. Third, papers rejected in the single-blind format are cited more than those rejected under double-blind, suggesting that double-blind review better excludes poorer quality papers. Lastly, an apparently unrelated change in the rating scale from 10 to 4 points likely reduced prestige bias significantly such that papers' acceptance was affected. These results support the effectiveness of double-blind review in reducing biases, while opening new research directions on the impact of peer-review formats.

The effects of simulated interruptions on mobile search tasks

Por Orland Hoeber, Morgan Harvey, Shaheed Ahmed Dewan Sagar, Matthew Pointon


While it is clear that using a mobile device can interrupt real-world activities such as walking or driving, the effects of interruptions on mobile device use have been under-studied. We are particularly interested in how the ambient distraction of walking while using a mobile device, combined with the occurrence of simulated interruptions of different levels of cognitive complexity, affect web search activities. We have established an experimental design to study how the degree of cognitive complexity of simulated interruptions influences both objective and subjective search task performance. In a controlled laboratory study (n = 27), quantitative and qualitative data were collected on mobile search performance, perceptions of the interruptions, and how participants reacted to the interruptions, using a custom mobile eye-tracking app, a questionnaire, and observations. As expected, more cognitively complex interruptions resulted in increased overall task completion times and higher perceived impacts. Interestingly, the effect on the resumption lag or the actual search performance was not significant, showing the resiliency of people to resume their tasks after an interruption. Implications from this study enhance our understanding of how interruptions objectively and subjectively affect search task performance, motivating the need for providing explicit mobile search support to enable recovery from interruptions.

JASIST special issue on digital humanities (DH)

Por Marcia Lei Zeng, Chris Alen Sula, Karen F. Gracy, Eero Hyvönen, Vânia Mara Alves Lima
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, EarlyView.

Discovering emerging topics in textual corpora of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums institutions

Por Gustavo Candela, Rafael C. Carrasco


For some decades now, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) institutions have provided access to information resources in digital format. Although some datasets are openly available, they are often not used to their full potential. Recently, approaches such as the so-called Labs within GLAM institutions promote the reuse of digital collections in innovative and inspiring ways. In this article, we explore a straightforward computational procedure to identify emerging topics in periodical materials such as newspapers, bibliographies, and journals. The method is illustrated in three use cases based on public digital collections. This type of tools are expected to promote further usage by researchers of the digital collections.

The data paper as a sociolinguistic epistemic object: A content analysis on the rhetorical moves used in data paper abstracts

Por Kai Li, Chenyue Jiao


The data paper is an emerging academic genre that focuses on the description of research data objects. However, there is a lack of empirical knowledge about this rising genre in quantitative science studies, particularly from the perspective of its linguistic features. To fill this gap, this research aims to offer a first quantitative examination of which rhetorical moves—rhetorical units performing a coherent narrative function—are used in data paper abstracts, as well as how these moves are used. To this end, we developed a new classification scheme for rhetorical moves in data paper abstracts by expanding a well-received system that focuses on English-language research article abstracts. We used this expanded scheme to classify and analyze rhetorical moves used in two flagship data journals, Scientific Data and Data in Brief. We found that data papers exhibit a combination of introduction, method, results, and discussion- and data-oriented moves and that the usage differences between the journals can be largely explained by journal policies concerning abstract and paper structure. This research offers a novel examination of how the data paper, a data-oriented knowledge representation, is composed, which greatly contributes to a deeper understanding of research data and its publication in the scholarly communication system.

Assisting researchers in bibliographic tasks: A new usable, real‐time tool for analyzing bibliographies

Por Antonina Dattolo, Marco Corbatto


The amount of scientific papers is growing together with the development of science itself; but, although there is an unprecedented availability of large citation indexes, some daily activities of researchers remain time-consuming and poorly supported. In this paper, we present Visual Bibliographies (VisualBib), a real-time visual platform, designed using a zz-structure-based model for linking metadata and a narrative, visual approach for showing bibliographies. VisualBib represents a usable, advanced, and visual tool, which simplifies the management of bibliographies, supports a core set of bibliographic tasks, and helps researchers during complex analyses on scientific bibliographies. We present the variety of metadata formats and visualization methods, proposing two use case scenarios. The maturity of the system implementation allowed us two studies, for evaluating both the effectiveness of VisualBib in providing answers to specific data analysis tasks and to support experienced users during real-life uses. The results of the evaluation are positive and describe an effective and usable platform.

Between administration and research: Understanding data management practices in an institutional context

Por Stefan Reichmann, Thomas Klebel, Ilire Hasani‐Mavriqi, Tony Ross‐Hellauer


Research Data Management (RDM) promises to make research outputs more transparent, findable, and reproducible. Strategies to streamline data management across disciplines are of key importance. This paper presents results of an institutional survey (N = 258) at a medium-sized Austrian university with a STEM focus, supplemented with interviews (N = 18), to give an overview of the state-of-play of RDM practices across faculties and disciplinary contexts. RDM services are on the rise but remain somewhat behind leading countries like the Netherlands and UK, showing only the beginnings of a culture attuned to RDM. There is considerable variation between faculties and institutes with respect to data amounts, complexity of data sets, data collection and analysis, and data archiving. Data sharing practices within fields tend to be inconsistent. RDM is predominantly regarded as an administrative task, to the detriment of considerations of good research practice. Problems with RDM fall in two categories: Generic problems transcend specific research interests, infrastructures, and departments while discipline-specific problems need a more targeted approach. The paper extends the state-of-the-art on RDM practices by combining in-depth qualitative material with quantified, detailed data about RDM practices and needs. The findings should be of interest to any comparable research institution with a similar agenda.

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Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Volume 72, Issue 11, Page C1-C1, November 2021.

Gender imbalance in the productivity of funded projects: A study of the outputs of National Institutes of Health R01 grants

Por Chaojiang Wu, Erjia Yan, Yongjun Zhu, Kai Li


This study examines the relationship between team's gender composition and outputs of funded projects using a large data set of National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grants and their associated publications between 1990 and 2017. This study finds that while the women investigators' presence in NIH grants is generally low, higher women investigator presence is on average related to slightly lower number of publications. This study finds empirically that women investigators elect to work in fields in which fewer publications per million-dollar funding is the norm. For fields where women investigators are relatively well represented, they are as productive as men. The overall lower productivity of women investigators may be attributed to the low representation of women in high productivity fields dominated by men investigators. The findings shed light on possible reasons for gender disparity in grant productivity.