Information behaviours in context

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 04:30

The ninth ISIC conference, organised at Keio University in Tokyo, discussed a series of interesting information behaviour (use, practices and so on) related issues. Especially delighting was the high quality of the posters presented by doctoral students and the breadth and interestingness of their topics. Somewhat unsurprisingly, topics related to catastrophes and emergency were discussed by several authors although not only in Japanese contexts but also by a large group of researchers from the Leeds Business School who participated the conference.


Without attempting to make a complete review of all interesting presentations, I was especially intrigued by the lively presentation of Natascha Karlova on her doctoral research on mis- and dis-information and the interesting proposal of Gunilla Widén and Preben Hansen to combine the perspectives of collaborative information behaviour and information cultures. Lynn Connaway and David White presented results of their study of the motivations of engagement in the digital information environment. I think that David's notion of digital visitors and residents is highly useful (as you may read in a couple of months I suppose) and it was equally nice to note that their empirical findings were closely related my observations on the use of digital information. Eero Sormunen and Jannica Heinström together with their colleagues and Heidi Julien with her colleagues presented interesting new methods. Reijo Savolainen and Lynne McKechnie et al. made useful openings in the discussion of the theory of information behaviour research. Finally, an interesting theme touched upon by Theresa Anderson, Hsin-Liang Chen and Dima Kassab in their authored and co-authored papers was the use of mobile devices. It is likely that we will hear a lot more on this topic.


I presented my own paper on the articulation of cognitive authorities in web searching (and especially of web searching activity as a potential cognitive authority) in our self-designated Singapore-Åbo co-session with two papers from the Nanyang University of Technology and one paper and a chair from the Åbo Akademi University. My paper was a continuing study to the longer project presented already in the previous ISIC conference in Murcia (paper) and in the 2011 year's ISI conference in Hildesheim (paper).