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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, Volume 64, Issue 3
The following four papers were originally commissioned for a special issue of the journal, highlighting Masters’ dissertations in UK Departments of Library and Information Studies. These four articles now constitute the themed section of the issue and show the contribution from the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University, whilst showcasing the work of the three research groupings within the Department, as well as some of the best of the work undertaken by new entrants to the profession. Each paper is based on a dissertation awarded a Distinction; the supervisors have helped students to format their work for publication as a part-themed issue of the journal, but it is their work, and not that of experienced academics.
Of the four, three are the work of our Distance Learning students, all of whom are working currently in professional employment whilst studying. This enables them to apply their theoretical knowledge to the “real world” of librarianship and information management. Many of the dissertations produced by such students at Aberystwyth deal with challenges faced by their employing organisations and are thus of real practical benefit. The fourth member of the quartet is now enrolled on a full time PhD at Aberystwyth.
Special issues such as this enable new entrants to the profession to gain experience of publishing, and of contributing to the evidence base for the profession – vital if the profession is to grow and develop in the future. The usefulness and impact of such papers for the wider readership is that they help to identify some of the new entrants to the profession, together with the issues, which are of interest to them. Each student is encouraged to develop their own topic for their dissertation, subject to approval by the Department.
These papers are based on dissertations examined in 2010. As with all special issues, this one has had a lengthy gestation; by definition, journals cannot consist of a continuous sequence of “special issues”. Consequently, this issue has had to wait its turn in the queue for publication. However, many of the themes, and certainly the research methods are still valid and of contemporary interest – we hope you find something of use and interest amongst them.
Judith Broady-Preston, Lucy TeddTheme Editors