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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: 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: 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: 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: 25 February 2020

Andrew M. Cox, Jorge Tiago Martins and Gibrán Rivera González

The study aims to understand the nature of traditional knowledge by examining how it is used and reinvented in the context of Xochimilco in Mexico City.

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to understand the nature of traditional knowledge by examining how it is used and reinvented in the context of Xochimilco in Mexico City.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on field site visits and focus group interviews.

Findings

Traditional knowledge was being reinvented in two contrasting ways. One was based on heritage tourism drawing on syncretism between Aztec and Spanish culture in the formation of Xochimilco. The other was agro-ecological focussed on traditional farming practices on the chinampas, their productivity, their ability to sustain biodiversity and their link to social justice. There were some common elements, such as a passionate concern with retaining a valued past in the face of growing threat.

Research limitations/implications

Traditional knowledge is often seen as a static heritage, under threat. But it also has the potential to be a fertile source of strong identities and sustainable practices.

Originality/value

The paper helps to conceptualise the dynamic character of traditional knowledge.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Andrew M. Cox, Stephen Pinfield and Sophie Rutter

The last few years have seen a surge of interest in artificial intelligence (AI). The purpose of this paper is to capture a snapshot of perceptions of the potential impact…

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Abstract

Purpose

The last few years have seen a surge of interest in artificial intelligence (AI). The purpose of this paper is to capture a snapshot of perceptions of the potential impact of AI on academic libraries and to reflect on its implications for library work.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study were interviews with 33 library directors, library commentators and experts in education and publishing.

Findings

Interviewees identified impacts of AI on search and resource discovery, on scholarly publishing and on learning. Challenges included libraries being left outside the focus of development, ethical concerns, intelligibility of decisions and data quality. Some threat to jobs was perceived. A number of potential roles for academic libraries were identified such as data acquisition and curation, AI tool acquisition and infrastructure building, aiding user navigation and data literacy.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to examine current expectations around the impact of AI on academic libraries. The authors propose the paradigm of the intelligent library to capture the potential impact of AI for libraries.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2018

Piyapat Jarusawat, Andrew Cox and Jo Bates

The cultural heritage of the Lanna region of upper Northern Thailand is unique. One of its distinctive features is palm leaf manuscripts (PLMs), which are viewed…

Abstract

Purpose

The cultural heritage of the Lanna region of upper Northern Thailand is unique. One of its distinctive features is palm leaf manuscripts (PLMs), which are viewed simultaneously as examples of sacred writing and religious symbols, means of transferring cultural knowledge, artefacts of beauty and fragile historical documents. Local people still care about these objects, and speak the language but knowledge of the script is limited. The purpose of this paper is to explore the views of community members and experts about the value and management of PLMs as the basis for developing a model of community-based collection management.

Design/methodology/approach

Because the purpose was to explore differing perceptions and beliefs around PLMs the study adopted an interpretivist worldview. Data were collected through interviews with local people with an interest in PLMs and experts who advised on organising them. In addition, observation and a photo inventory method was used to collect data. Data were analysed thematically.

Findings

The results showed that while both groups saw the value of the knowledge PLMs contained, the community placed particular importance on the earning of “merit” through activities related to them as Buddhist objects. Experts gave particular emphasis to the knowledge of herbal medicine contained in the PLMs. The community valued indigenous storage and preservation practices. Experts were particularly pre-occupied with the intellectual property issue around medical knowledge and convenient storage and digitisation.

Research limitations/implications

Existing theory around libraries, archives and museums suggest some starting points for how community participation might be managed, but the unique circumstances of Lanna PLMs calls for a distinctive approach.

Practical implications

The paper identifies a pathway suitable to the Lanna context that can build on current local practices, to enhance community participation in the management of PLMs, including a consideration of the role of information professionals.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first to extend thinking about participatory practices in the library, archive and museum literature to the context of Thailand and specifically to the case of PLMs, in the Lanna region. Rigorous data analysis of a substantial body of evidence has enhanced the understanding of the different types of value placed on PLMs. It identifies an important but not unbridgeable tension between how local people and experts view PLMs. It builds on previous library, archive and museum theory to propose a realistic model of how communities and experts (including librarians) can work together to protect the rich cultural resource represented by PLMs.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Xuguang Li, Andrew Cox and Nigel Ford

The purpose of this paper is to develop a content analysis framework and from that derive a process model of knowledge construction in the context of virtual product user…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a content analysis framework and from that derive a process model of knowledge construction in the context of virtual product user communities, organization sponsored online forums where product users collaboratively construct knowledge to solve their technical problems.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a deductive and qualitative content analysis of discussion threads about solving technical problems selected from a series of virtual product user communities. Data are complemented with thematic analysis of interviews with forum members.

Findings

The research develops a content analysis framework for knowledge construction. It is based on a combination of existing codes derived from frameworks developed for computer-supported collaborative learning and new categories identified from the data. Analysis using this framework allows the authors to propose a knowledge construction process model showing how these elements are organized around a typical “trial and error” knowledge construction strategy.

Practical implications

The research makes suggestions about organizations’ management of knowledge activities in virtual product user communities, including moderators’ roles in facilitation.

Originality/value

The paper outlines a new framework for analysing knowledge activities where there is a low level of critical thinking and a model of knowledge construction by trial and error. The new framework and model can be applied in other similar contexts.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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