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Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2012

David Ellis

Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to provide an analytical overview of information research in the United Kingdom and of the role of the Research Assessment…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to provide an analytical overview of information research in the United Kingdom and of the role of the Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) in shaping the form and structure of that research.

Design/methodology/approach – The approach adopted is a detailed content analysis of the submissions made to the last UK RAE. This analysis is carried out in relation to four broad subject categorisations, and specific analysis of accounts of research carried out in the departments and research groups.

Findings – The RAE have played a key role in promoting research specialisms in library and information studies (LIS) research in the United Kingdom. The former general approach to research in information studies has been replaced by more focused research activities carried out in a variety of research groups spread across a diverse range of disciplines and departments, from LIS, to business and management, information systems, and computing and engineering.

Research implications – The prospects for general LIS research departments may be increasingly limited, as research becomes concentrated in sub-groups within larger organisational structures, subverting both departmental lines and conventional subject boundaries.

Originality/value – This overview provides a novel synthesis of information research in the United Kingdom in relation to four broad categories of research in information studies and information science, information management and social informatics, information systems and information interaction, and social computing and computational informatics. The account brings together a fragmented field of research in a compact and intelligible form.

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

David Ellis and Christine Urquhart

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of research in the Department of Information Studies at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and an introduction to the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of research in the Department of Information Studies at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and an introduction to the papers in the special issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative review of the previous research activities and contemporary research environment of the Department of Information Studies.

Findings

There is more to be learnt about the future of the research assessment exercise, whether it is moving to a metrics‐based system, or whether the system will look more favourably on departments that attract a range of research funding.

Originality/value

Identifies how changes in the scope of research activities in a department reflect changes in research funding and structures for the information sector, as well as changes in staff interests.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

Catherine Goddard, Peter Willett and Frances Wood

This paper reports a study of the use and value of MSc in Information Studies/Information Management dissertations produced during the seven years, 1988–89 to 1994–95, at…

Abstract

This paper reports a study of the use and value of MSc in Information Studies/Information Management dissertations produced during the seven years, 1988–89 to 1994–95, at the Department of Information Studies in the University of Sheffield. Responses to a questionnaire that was sent to students, supervisors and external collaborating organisations showed that they all used the dissertations in various ways, as did other Departmental staff and students. Some dissertations lead to publications in the open literature, and a citation analysis showed that these publications are successful in bringing dissertation results to a wider readership.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 49 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Fredrik Åström

The paper's objective is to analyze the social organization of library and information Science (LIS) using the Nordic countries as example, focusing on organizational…

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1099

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's objective is to analyze the social organization of library and information Science (LIS) using the Nordic countries as example, focusing on organizational setting, research work and relations between LIS and academia as well as the field of professional practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a framework for analyzing scientific fields, as well as its application on LIS, aspects relating to the impact of contextual factors on research was identified and discussed based on information from, e.g. LIS institution web sites. The results were discussed, not only in relation to the framework primarily utilized, but also from a less disciplinary view on research organization, for analytical contrast.

Findings

A close connection between academic affiliation and research orientation was found, reflected in organizational issues, media for communicating research and access to resources. This relates to general issues of levels of independence from other disciplines and lay groups, to what extent research is evaluated by intra‐disciplinary standards and to the level of consensus on terminology and research processes.

Research limitations/implications

Limiting the study to institutions in one particular geographical area, where several institutions being at an early stage of formalization, the possibility of reaching generalizable conclusions is limited. The strength of the conclusions is also somewhat restrained due to the nature of the empirical material, being based on web documents with varying levels of exhaustability in terms of data provision.

Originality/value

The intellectual organization of LIS research is well‐known, whereas social and institutional aspects have been analyzed to a lesser degree; and with the differences in age and size of Nordic LIS institutions, they provide an interesting case of contemporary institutionalization of LIS research.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 64 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Melanie T. Benson and Peter Willett

The purpose of this paper is to describe the historical development of library and information science (LIS) teaching and research in the University of Sheffield's…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the historical development of library and information science (LIS) teaching and research in the University of Sheffield's Information School since its founding in 1963.

Design/methodology/approach

The history is based on published materials, unpublished school records, and semi-structured interviews with 19 current or ex-members of staff.

Findings

The School has grown steadily over its first half-century, extending the range of its teaching from conventional programmes in librarianship and information science to include cognate programmes in areas such as health informatics, information systems and multi-lingual information management.

Originality/value

There are very few published accounts of the history of LIS departments.

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Ali Saif Al‐Aufi and Peter Johan Lor

This paper aims to utilize Whitley's theory of the intellectual and social organization of the sciences and build on research carried on by Aarek et al., Vakkari…

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1021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to utilize Whitley's theory of the intellectual and social organization of the sciences and build on research carried on by Aarek et al., Vakkari, Rochester and Vakkari, and Åström, to analyze both intellectual and institutional characteristics of Arabic library and information science (LIS).

Design/methodology/approach

Data derived from a content analysis of sampled research articles published in seven core peer‐reviewed Arabic LIS journals and from an inventory of the currently identified Arabic LIS educational institutions, professional associations, and scholarly communication channels were analyzed in terms of Whitley's theory and relevant LIS research.

Findings

The social organization of Arabic LIS has highly influenced its intellectual organization. An analysis of types and diversity of institutional affiliations, determination of terminology, resources and fund accessibility, scholarly communication of intellectual productivity, and research collaboration point to high levels of “tasks uncertainty”, low levels of “mutual dependency” and uncontrolled “reputational autonomy”.

Research limitations/implications

Because Arabic LIS institutions, associations, and research channels are poorly represented on the internet or in accessible literature, it was difficult to collect data comprehensively. While the findings are suggestive and are in agreement with views from the Arabic LIS literature, the results cannot be generalized to regions beyond the Arab world. This investigation is not primarily intended as a contribution to the philosophy of LIS, but to describe the development of LIS in the Arab States within a broad social and intellectual framework.

Originality/value

While there is a considerable body of theoretically‐oriented interpretations for bibliometric findings, no research has been conducted to analyze the social and intellectual dimensions of LIS in the Arab world. This paper also fills a gap for this type of the research in Arabic LIS and creates awareness of Arabic LIS for English‐speaking readers.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Maureen Grieves

Provides an introduction and overview of a series of studies commissioned by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre on the theme of the use of information in…

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1310

Abstract

Provides an introduction and overview of a series of studies commissioned by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre on the theme of the use of information in decision making.

Details

Library Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Book part
Publication date: 17 July 2007

Ilkka Mäkinen

The article analyzes the development of the Finnish research in library and information science into its present position of high qualitative and quantitative level (in…

Abstract

The article analyzes the development of the Finnish research in library and information science into its present position of high qualitative and quantitative level (in relation to the size of the research community). A number of aspects that may explain the success of the Finnish research are presented: 1) the early academic context, i.e., the establishment of the chair in LIS at the University of Tampere in 1971, 2) the new conception of LIS that emerged in Finland in the early 1980s shifting the attention from institutions into users and actions, 3) internationalization of research including publishing in peer reviewed journals, participating in international conferences, inviting foreign top-researchers into Finland, and organizing international conferences that have become institutionalized (CoLIS and ISIC), and 4) the selection of priority areas for the research effort combined with the concentration of research and doctoral education in research groups.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-484-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1995

CHARLES OPPENHEIM

A citation study was carried out on all 217 academics who teach in UK library and information science schools. These authors between them received 622 citations in Social

Abstract

A citation study was carried out on all 217 academics who teach in UK library and information science schools. These authors between them received 622 citations in Social Scisearch for articles they had published between 1988 and the present. The results were ranked by department, and compared to the ratings awarded to the departments in the 1992 Universities Funding Council Research Assessment Exercise. Using the Spearman Rank Order Correlation coefficient, it was found that there is a statistically significant correlation between the numbers of citations received by a department in total, or the average number of citations received in the department per academic, and the Research Assessment Exercise rating. The paper concludes that this provides further independent support for the validity of citation counting, even when using just the first authors as a search tool for cited references. The paper also concludes that the cost and effort of the Research Assessment Exercise may not be justified when a simpler and cheaper alternative, namely a citation counting exercise, could be undertaken. The paper also concludes that the University of North London would probably have benefitted from being included in the 1992 Research Assessment Exercise.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2016

Emmanuel Adjei and Monica Mensah

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which total quality management (TQM) initiatives can improve the quality of services delivery at the medical…

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1568

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which total quality management (TQM) initiatives can improve the quality of services delivery at the medical records unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) to help meet the expectations and aspirations of patients and customers of the hospital.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted the survey strategy as its research design. The total study population consisted of 114 medical records staff of the KBTH. Questionnaires and personal observations were employed as the data collection instruments. The study recorded a response rate of 98 per cent. Data gathered from respondents were analysed in qualitative terms.

Findings

The overall finding of this study was that, although the medical records department of the KBTH had a fair degree of understanding on the benefits of TQM to records management service delivery, the exiting values for TQM did not meet the framework of good TQM practice, principles and standards.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the subjects for the study were from the biggest hospital in Ghana, the findings of this study may not be generalised to the whole country.

Practical implications

The study has demonstrated the need for the medical records department of the KBTH to have and develop good TQM standards to improve the quality of services to patients and varied customers of the hospital.

Originality/value

The literature reviewed indicated that this study is a maiden attempt to examine how TQM initiatives including sensitivity, customer satisfaction, commitment of top management, team work, effective leadership and participatory management, people development and effective and open communication can improve the quality of medical records service delivery at the KBTH in Ghana.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

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