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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2022

Andrew Cox and Liz Brewster

To discover how UK academic libraries sought to support student mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abstract

Purpose

To discover how UK academic libraries sought to support student mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The data was from a 24-question survey of UK universities distributed in May 2021 which received 56 responses from 47 different Higher Education Institution libraries. Descriptive statistics are combined with thematic analysis of open text comments.

Findings

Libraries were undertaking a wide range of activities, targeted chiefly at students and broadcast via Twitter, other social media and library web sites. The problem being addressed was the stresses of studying in the context of the pivot online and isolation caused by social distancing. Digital well-being seemed also to be an increased concern. COVID-19 had proved the value of digital support but created a number of challenges such as loss of physical space, communication barriers and lack of extra resource. The role had a somewhat informal place in the organisation. Overall library activities were aligned but not strongly integrated into institutional efforts.

Research limitations/implications

This was a study in one specific national context with a relatively limited number of total responses. There could be a non-response bias where respondents were doing more than was typical in the sector.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first papers to gather sector wide data and move beyond case studies of what individual libraries due to support to mental health and well-being. It also offers a case study of the impacts of COVID-19 on management pointing to its catalysing the digital shift, creating constraints on resources and communication and prompting the emergence of staff well-being as a consideration in management decision making.

Details

Library Management, vol. 43 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Xuguang Li, Andrew Cox and Zefeng Wang

Social network sites are emerging as a popular communication tool for knowledge sharing and construction. LinkedIn, which concentrates on professional networking, is…

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Abstract

Purpose

Social network sites are emerging as a popular communication tool for knowledge sharing and construction. LinkedIn, which concentrates on professional networking, is reported to generate great informational benefits to its users. The purpose of this paper is to explore product users’ knowledge construction in solving technical problems on LinkedIn, which was chosen as a case example.

Design/methodology/approach

Discussion threads with rich knowledge elements were selected from an interest group about solving technical problems with laptops. Adopting a qualitative content analysis method, selected threads were analysed with a prior analysis framework built in the context of traditional IT company sponsored peer user support forums.

Findings

The analysis revealed that the iterative and progressive knowledge construction process and associated trial-and-error strategy used on LinkedIn are similar to those found in peer support forums. However, LinkedIn members are more engaged in knowledge construction episodes. Meanwhile, the sub-category “proposing a new idea” accounts for a larger portion of discussions reflecting the high-level of expertise. One-to-one direct interaction is quite salient. Therefore, LinkedIn can support knowledge construction in a more efficient way due to the character of its social capital, including trust, sense of belonging, norms of cooperation, visible identity, knowledge articulation skills, one-to-one direct interaction and suitable strength of ties.

Originality/value

This research is novel in empirically revealing how LinkedIn attributes and its social capital attributes interact with each other and together facilitate an efficient knowledge construction process.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 6 September 2019

Andrew M. Cox, Mary Anne Kennan, Liz Lyon, Stephen Pinfield and Laura Sbaffi

A major development in academic libraries in the last decade has been recognition of the need to support research data management (RDM). The purpose of this paper is to…

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Abstract

Purpose

A major development in academic libraries in the last decade has been recognition of the need to support research data management (RDM). The purpose of this paper is to capture how library research data services (RDS) have developed and to assess the impact of this on the nature of academic libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire responses from libraries in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and USA from 2018 are compared to a previous data set from 2014.

Findings

The evidence supports a picture of the spread of RDS, especially advisory ones. However, future ambitions do not seem to have seen much evolution. There is limited evidence of organisational change and skills shortages remain. Most service development can be explained as the extension of traditional library services to research data. Yet there remains the potential for transformational impacts, when combined with the demands implied by other new services such as around text and data mining, bibliometrics and artificial intelligence. A revised maturity model is presented that summarises typical stages of development of services, structures and skills.

Research limitations/implications

The research models show how RDS are developing. It also reflects on the extent to which RDM represents a transformation of the role of academic libraries.

Practical implications

Practitioners working in the RDM arena can benchmark their current practices and future plans against wider patterns.

Originality/value

The study offers a clear picture of the evolution of research data services internationally and proposes a maturity model to capture typical stages of development. It contributes to the wider discussion of how the nature of academic libraries are changing.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Andrew M. Cox, Brian Griffin and Jenna Hartel

The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the role of the body in information in serious leisure by reviewing existing work in information behaviour that theorises the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the role of the body in information in serious leisure by reviewing existing work in information behaviour that theorises the role of the body, and by drawing selectively on literature from beyond information studies to extend our understanding.

Design/methodology/approach

After finding a lack of attention to the body in most influential works on information behaviour, the paper identifies a number of important authors who do offer theorisations. It then explores what can be learnt by examining studies of embodied information in the hobbies of running, music and the liberal arts, published outside the discipline.

Findings

Auto-ethnographic studies influenced by phenomenology show that embodied information is central to the hobby of running, both through the diverse sensory information the runner uses and through the dissemination of information by the body as a sign. Studies of music drawing on the theory of embodied cognition, similarly suggest that it is a key part of amateur music information behaviour. Even when considering the liberal arts hobby, the core activity, reading, has been shown to be in significant ways embodied. The examples reveal how it is not only in more obviously embodied leisure activities such as sports, in which the body must be considered.

Research limitations/implications

Embodied information refers to how the authors receive information from the senses and the way the body is a sign that can be read by others. To fully understand this, more empirical and theoretical work is needed to reconcile insights from practice theory, phenomenology, embodied cognition and sensory studies.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates how and why the body has been neglected in information behaviour research, reviews current work and identifies perspectives from other disciplines that can begin to fill the gap.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Andrew Martin Cox, Pamela McKinney and Paula Goodale

The purpose of this paper is to explore the meaning of information literacy (IL) in food logging, the activity of recording food intake and monitoring weight and other…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the meaning of information literacy (IL) in food logging, the activity of recording food intake and monitoring weight and other health conditions that may be affected by diet, using applications (apps) accessed through mobile devices and personal computers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from a small group of food logging app users through a focus group and interviews. Analysis was informed by practice theory and the growing interest in IL outside educational settings.

Findings

Food logging revolves around the epistemic modality of information, but it is the user who creates information and it is not textual. Food logging is associated with a discourse of focussing on data and downplaying the corporeal information associated with eating and its effect on the body. Social information was an important source for choosing an app, but data were rarely shared with others. Food loggers are very concerned with data quality at the point of data entry. They have a strong sense of learning about healthy eating. They were not well informed about the data privacy and access issues.

Practical implications

Food loggers need to be better informed about data risks around food logging.

Originality/value

This is the first study of food logging from an IL perspective.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Gibran Rivera and Andrew M. Cox

The purpose of this paper is to explore the value of Actor-network theory as an approach to explain the non-adoption of collaborative technology.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the value of Actor-network theory as an approach to explain the non-adoption of collaborative technology.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The notion of translation and related concepts pertaining to Actor-network theory are used to explore the case of non-participation in an organizational online community. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 HR professionals belonging to a multi-campus university system in Mexico.

Findings

The study shows that participation in the online community did not occur as expected by those promoting its use. An initial inductive analysis showed that the factors that undermine participation had to do with the interface design of the technology and the individual motivations and benefits derived from participation. A second analysis, using ANT showed how processes of negotiation, conflict, enrolment, alignment, and betrayal that occurred during the emergence and evolution of the new network played a critical role in technology adoption leading to the dissolution of the initiative to adopt the collaborative technology.

Originality/value

The study shows the value of ANT as a tool to better understand the adoption and use of collaborative technology. The analysis goes beyond existing explanations of participation, which tend to focus attention on matters such as the interface design or the personal motivations and benefits derived from participation. It does so by moving away from solely looking at what occurs within the boundaries of a community and understanding the context within which it is being introduced. It prompts the analysis of moments of problematization, interessement, enrolment, and mobilization to explore the adoption process, including the role of non-human actors.

Propósito

El objetivo del artículo es explorar el valor de la Teoría del Actor-Red como lente teórico para explicar la no adopción de una tecnología colaborativa.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

La noción de traducción y conceptos relacionados pertenecientes a la Teoría del Actor-Red son utilizados para explorar el caso de no participación en un a comunidad virtual en el contexto organizacional. Se realizaron treinta entrevistas semi-estructuradas con profesionistas de RH pertenecientes a una universidad con múltiples campus en México.

Recomendaciones

El estudio muestra que la participación en la comunidad virtual no ocurrió como se esperaba por aquellos que promovieron su uso. Un primer análisis inductivo mostró que los factores que minaron la participación fueron aquellos relacionados con el diseño de la interface de la tecnología así como con las motivaciones y beneficios individuales derivados de la participación en la comunidad virtual. Un segundo análisis usando la TAR, mostró como los procesos de negociación, conflicto, enrolamiento, alineamiento y traición que ocurrieron durante el surgimiento y evolución de la red emergente jugaron un rol crítico en la adopción de la tecnología, llevando así a la disolución de la iniciativa para adoptar la tecnología colaborativa.

Originalidad/valor

El estudio muestra el valor de la TAR como herramienta para entender de una mejor manera la adopción y uso de la tecnología colaborativa. El análisis va más allá de las explicaciones existentes sobre participación, mismas que han tendido en enfocar su atención a aspectos como el diseño de la interface o las motivaciones y beneficios individuales derivados de la participación. En cambio, el análisis deja de solamente estudiar lo que ocurre al interior de la comunidad para entender el contexto en el que la comunidad virtual se encuentra, utilizando los momentos de problematización, interesamiento, enrolamiento y movilización para explorar el proceso de adopción así como el rol que juegan los actores no humanos.

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2022

Xuguang Li, Xiaoying Luo, Andrew Cox, Yao Zhang and Yingying Lu

This research aims to explore the nature of Chinese students' mental health information needs and to identify the online resources they use to meet those needs.

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to explore the nature of Chinese students' mental health information needs and to identify the online resources they use to meet those needs.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was collected from three Chinese research-oriented universities using semi-structured interviews and a survey. Twenty-five university students with varied backgrounds were selected for semi-structured interviews to explore the triggers and nature of their needs. Then, printed and online questionnaires were distributed to undergraduate and postgraduate students and 541 valid responses were processed for descriptive statistical analysis and variance analysis.

Findings

The following findings were incurred. First, the triggers of university students' mental health information needs mainly are mental health being in the news, personal interest in gaining mental health knowledge, mental health issues, required formal learning and preparation for mental health counselling. Second, eleven types of information are used, with an emphasis on employment pressure, study stress and self-understanding. Third, mental health information needs differ with mental health status and some social-demographic factors (including gender, urban or rural origin and educational stage). Fourth, information needs can be characterized as dynamic; complex and diverse but concentrated on a few types; ambiguous and hard for participants to define; private; stigmatized; self-dependent and substitutable. Fifth, Internet sources used to meet such needs are mainly search engines, Question and Answer platforms, public social media platforms. Finally, a model of mental health information needs was built based on the above findings to map the whole process from what triggers a need, to the content and characteristics of information need, and online resources used to meet those needs.

Practical implications

The paper provides suggestions for university mental health services in developing more tailored knowledge contents via effective delivery methods to meet diverse needs of student groups.

Originality/value

This research is novel in using empirical data to build a holistic model that captures the context and the nature of mental health information needs of university students.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Andrew Cox and Crystal Fulton

This article examines the relation between place, space and information behaviour.

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the relation between place, space and information behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Concepts of place and space are explored through a comparison of three leisure pursuits: running, urban exploration and genealogy, based on the authors' research and the published literature.

Findings

A socially constructed meaning of place is central to each leisure activity but how it is experienced physically, emotionally and imaginatively are different. Places have very different meanings within each practice. Mirroring this, information behaviours are also very different: such as the sources used, the type of information created and how it is shared or not shared. Information behaviour contributes to the meanings associated with place in particular social practices.

Research limitations/implications

Meaning attached to place can be understood as actively constructed within social practices. Rather than context for information behaviours in the sense of an outside, containing, even constraining, environment, the meaning of place can be seen as actively constructed within social practices and by the information behaviours that are part of them.

Originality/value

The paper adds a new perspective to the understanding of place and space in the study of information behaviour.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 78 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Andrew Cox

This paper argues that supply chain management sourcing strategies are unlikely to be implemented successfully by many organisations because of a lack of internal buy‐in…

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Abstract

This paper argues that supply chain management sourcing strategies are unlikely to be implemented successfully by many organisations because of a lack of internal buy‐in and non‐conducive external power regime structures. Furthermore, the paper contends that many of those arguing the case for “win‐win” outcomes from buyer and supplier relationship management fail to properly define or conceptualise what the concept of mutuality means. The paper contends that mutuality and the search for value capture (profitability) are not fully commensurable in business relationships, but that, since “win‐win” is not an absolute but a variable concept, business relationships can be aligned even when unequal exchange and tension exists between buyers and suppliers. The paper also demonstrates that under some circumstances “win‐lose” can be a preferable outcome than “win‐win” for buyers and suppliers managing business relationships.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Andrew Cox

The article sets out a definition of the main functional elements of “portals” as supplied by library management system (LMS) suppliers, also touching on related…

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Abstract

The article sets out a definition of the main functional elements of “portals” as supplied by library management system (LMS) suppliers, also touching on related technology. It lists the benefits and considers continuing issues. It concludes by suggesting the main criteria a library would apply to choosing a system.

Details

VINE, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

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