Fanfiction communities are actively engaged in creating cultural products. These large online communities have created and developed conventions that guide their solutions to gathering and presenting their work. The purpose of this paper is to investigate those conventions looking for evidence of information-related pursuits as serious leisure (SL) (Stebbins, 2007).
A diverse collection of fanfiction publishing platforms, blogs, and associated websites were subject to a qualitative inductive analysis (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). Platforms included both generalist sites like Archive of Our Own and more focused sites such as Teen Wolf Fic Finder.
Findings show significant information-related activities around collecting, wayfinding, and organizing. Collecting centers on platform policies focused on scope. Wayfinding relates to peer review as well as various reference-like work including reader’s advisory, reference questioning, and the creation of pathfinders. Organizing looks to the unique organizational schema created and used by the fanfiction communities.
The authors explore implications of these activities in reference to the fanfiction community and the library and information science (LIS) discipline. The fanfiction community is shifting out of an ephemeral existence and into one of a more permanent digital heritage. Fanfiction is an SL pursuit that also has much to offer for consideration to the LIS discipline.
With respect to the wayfinding and organizing conventions of fanfiction communities, these activities provide librarianship with the opportunity to consider traditional activities in new ways.
Fanfiction is a little studied phenomenon in SL and in LIS. This research provides connections to both areas.
Hill, H. and Pecoskie, J. (2017), "Information activities as serious leisure within the fanfiction community", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 73 No. 5, pp. 843-857. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-04-2016-0045Download as .RIS
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