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Organizing personal digital information: an analysis of faculty member activities

Jerry Jacques (Research Centre in Information, Law and Society, Université de Namur, Namur, Belgium)
Sabine Mas (École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Dominique Maurel (École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Jonathan Dorey (Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Montreal, Canada)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 21 December 2020

Issue publication date: 18 February 2021

341

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to document and analyze the organizational activities of faculty members using a personal information management (PIM) framework developed by Jacques (2016).

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were carried out with seven faculty members, focusing on their personal information organization practices as they relate to their academic activities. These interviews took the form of a guided tour of informants' digital workspaces.

Findings

Analyses focused on PIM activities make it possible to identify the different strategies adopted by faculty members to organize their academic personal information. This qualitative approach highlights four activities involved in the organization of personal information: inclusion, exclusion, apprehension and implementation. It also reveals differences in the ability of faculty members to analyze their own practices. Finally, the relationship to time and memory of PIM practices is examined through the lens of the concepts of virtualization and actualization.

Originality/value

This research provides a more nuanced understanding of PIM practices, specifically of organizational activities, by considering the meaning of these practices for individuals as part of their daily lives. It aims to foster literacy by facilitating the interactions of individuals with their personal information through educational activities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was partially funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, Canada) and by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO, Belgium).

Citation

Jacques, J., Mas, S., Maurel, D. and Dorey, J. (2021), "Organizing personal digital information: an analysis of faculty member activities", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 77 No. 2, pp. 401-419. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-03-2020-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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