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Users and technology: are we doing research now?

Elke Greifeneder (Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt‐Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 14 June 2011




This paper aims to examine changes in the quality of user research in library and information science.


The paper connects recent literature studies and current papers submitted to a special issue about user research and technology in Library Hi Tech.


The paper concludes that the diversity of methods to study users is growing and a confidence about labeling and using methods is becoming manifest. The number of research questions that a single study answers is both diminishing and at the same time growing more diverse.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is not in‐depth research that offers evidence that a change in user research has taken place. Its arguments build on papers submitted to this special issue on that topic.


Research about users, their behaviour and their needs were often an add‐on at the end of a project. In the last two years, this situation has changed. The topic of user experience is suddenly omnipresent at conferences and in journal articles. Studies about the way research is conducted are an important part of library and information science.



Greifeneder, E. (2011), "Users and technology: are we doing research now?", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 205-209.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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