Information sharing as a means to reach collective understanding

Ola Pilerot (Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden)
Louise Limberg (Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 8 March 2011



This study aims to increase knowledge about the information‐sharing activities of design research scholars.


Semi‐structured in‐depth interviews were carried out with selected participants from a Nordic design research network. The interview transcripts and notes from workplace‐observations were approached from a discursive point of view and analyzed in accordance with Theodore Schatzki's practice theory.


Information‐sharing activities are intrinsically intertwined with other information practices such as information seeking and use. It is further established that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be seen as important parts of the arrangements of human and non‐human entities that, together with practices, form the social site in which the scholars are active. There is a reciprocal relationship between ICTs, and other material arrangements, and the ways in which information is used and shared. ICTs function both as a source of meaning and as a preconfigurator of actions.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for the development of information systems and services aimed at scholars working in collaborative interdisciplinary settings. Library and information science scholars can benefit from the elaborated concept of information sharing.


Design scholars' information sharing has not been studied before. By applying a practice‐theory lens this paper presents a particular perspective. Increased knowledge about the information‐sharing activities of an epistemologically and socio‐culturally amalgamated network of scholars is the main contribution of this paper.



Pilerot, O. and Limberg, L. (2011), "Information sharing as a means to reach collective understanding", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 67 No. 2, pp. 312-333.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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