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Information practices among Taiwanese writers and makers: an exploration of digital natives

Su-Yen Chen (Institute of Learning Sciences and Technologies, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)
H.Y. Kuo (Institute of Learning Sciences and Technologies, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)
H.-Y. Chang (Institute of Learning Sciences and Technologies, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 29 May 2019

Issue publication date: 21 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore two types of Net-generation practitioners – writers and makers born in the 1980s – and how they describe their professions and their information practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors distinguished the information practices of Net-generation writers and makers from those of their older counterparts and then examined the contextual factors associated with the shared meanings in each community of practice, by interviewing a total of 14 participants, 7 writers and 7 makers, and qualitatively analyzed the resulting data.

Findings

First, the professional boundaries perceived by Net-generation practitioners are more blurred than those of their older counterparts. Second, they rely on life experience, online platforms and print for their sources of information and inspiration. Third, Facebooking and the use of filter bubbles are among the most popular information practices. Fourth, diversity, uniqueness, multimodal, participatory and self-media are keywords in their content creation and information produced. Fifth, connectivity (connecting people and resources) and collective intelligence (emphasizing how expertise is collected and distributed) are key themes associated with these digital natives. Sixth, the authors also identified and compared differences between these two groups.

Research limitations/implications

The study limitations include the small sample size of each practitioner group and the fact that the methods are dependent on the participants’ abilities to describe their information practices.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to focus on the characteristics of digital natives and their information practices. It provides a tentative framework for further exploration and contributes to our initial understanding of this topic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China for financially supporting this research under Contract Nos MOST 104-2420-H-007-015 and MOST 104-2410-H-007-030-SS2.

Citation

Chen, S.-Y., Kuo, H.Y. and Chang, H.-.-Y. (2019), "Information practices among Taiwanese writers and makers: an exploration of digital natives", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 4, pp. 823-837. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-09-2017-0125

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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