Search results1 – 10 of 46
The authors are engaged in a three‐year study of home information systems in the United Kingdom. The project addresses cable and satellite, multimedia CDs and paper‐based…
The authors are engaged in a three‐year study of home information systems in the United Kingdom. The project addresses cable and satellite, multimedia CDs and paper‐based systems, and considers both supply (many of the companies involved are inward investors) and demand. Our aim is to profile and compare the expectations and perceptions (the ‘dreams’) of both sides. The first phase of the project (January‐June 1995) had led the team into households (some co‐terminous with families, some not) in both rural and urban Central Scotland. The initial visits, with as many members of the household as possible, were structured round an interview protocol covering four main areas: tasks; perceptions of technology; using the machine; the aesthetics of interaction. Subsequent visits explored salient issues which emergedfrom the protocol. Our preliminary findings suggest that the concept of integrated household channels is not being widely embraced by participants in our study who like to keep their technologies separate; that mixed motives (some of them task‐related) lie behind the purchase of systems; and that disposable time is a major constraint on use. We have derived a preliminary description of appropriation patterns: where do different systems fit in perceptions of home and work? of public and private space? of knowledge, information and entertainment?. The second phase of the project (October 1995‐May 1996) will consolidate this framework with results from a larger random sample in the EH12 postal area of Edinburgh.
What is the nature of reference work in the digital library? What is the role of the reference librarian where many users serve themselves by means of BIDS and other…
What is the nature of reference work in the digital library? What is the role of the reference librarian where many users serve themselves by means of BIDS and other free‐at‐point‐of‐use services which emulate the Bath original (e.g. MIDAS in Manchester and EDINA in Edinburgh)? How is the concept of the ‘reference desk’ to be defined where points of presence for both users and librarians are distributed? Can assumptions based on specialist roles and fixed locations migrate to the world of virtual reference work? An Edinburgh‐based research project is exploring these issues in the context of the enhanced regional communications now available through EaStMAN (Edinburgh and Stirling Metropolitan Area Network). A major goal is for local HE institutions to explore the possibilities afforded for collaborative reference work. The project team have completed preliminary work with the BIOSIS Abstracts service hosted by the EDINA consortium. In this paper, we present the results of an investigation of the experiences of users and the work patterns of librarians and relate these to the design rationale of a prototype Web‐based network reference consultation support system. Our focus here is on typologies of user problems and expert response across various media and genres of interaction. A pilot service is scheduled to start in the autumn of 1997 and we plan to report on its use at a later date.
Better managerial control in terms of decision making and understanding the total costs of a system or service result from allocating indirect costs. Allocation requires a…
Better managerial control in terms of decision making and understanding the total costs of a system or service result from allocating indirect costs. Allocation requires a three‐step process of selecting cost objectives, pooling related overhead costs, and selecting costs bases to connect the objectives to the pooled costs. Allocation may be simple, relying on a single base, or activity‐based costing (ABC), relying on multiple bases. Contrasts the methods of allocation, and argues that ABC may be more useful for costing electronic services.
This article has been withdrawn as it was published elsewhere and accidentally duplicated. The original article can be seen here: 10.1108/08880459710183035. When citing the article, please cite: Herbert Snyder, Elisabeth Davenport, (1997), “What does it really cost? Allocating indirect costs”, The Bottom Line, Vol. 10 Iss: 4, pp. 158 - 164.
This paper is based on an empirical study of the working habits and perceptions of a specific group (academic information scientists in the United Kingdom), summarizes…
This paper is based on an empirical study of the working habits and perceptions of a specific group (academic information scientists in the United Kingdom), summarizes their comments on copyright, and those of other interested parties (publishers, librarians, rights groups, lawyers) and discusses the implications of what was observed in the context of the law and the literature on the law at the time of the field study.
Communities of practice have been identified as sites where knowledge is created in organisations. The author reviews studies of situated learning and situated action and…
Communities of practice have been identified as sites where knowledge is created in organisations. The author reviews studies of situated learning and situated action and suggests that these two activities may characterise the learning process in communities of practice where they are supported by a distinctive ‘social’ infrastructure. She analyses recent fieldwork in three online communities (a digital library reference service, a virtual enterprise and an online shopping group) to discover to what extent they may be described as communities of practice, and to establish how they support participants’ learning.
In June/July 1995, a graduate seminar group in the School of Library and Information Science in Indiana University completed a case study of six faculty members and their…
In June/July 1995, a graduate seminar group in the School of Library and Information Science in Indiana University completed a case study of six faculty members and their perceptions of the role of technology in their work as academic authors. The study is one of series undertaken in a New Technology and Publishing seminar which has been run over a three year period: the underlying approach is a stakeholder analysis of the impact of technology in the academic publishing sector. Previous seminar groups have reported on document supply in 1993 and on the role of technology in six Mid‐West publishing operations in 1994. The study reported here explores the perspective of authors, and may be of interest to those concerned with the delivery of material to working academics (librarians, learned societies, document delivery services) as it reveals details of working habits that have not been explored extensively in the disciplinary sector of Information Science.
The paper presents the results of the author's recent study of new media and productivity in a group of UK information scientists. The journal article was the primary…
The paper presents the results of the author's recent study of new media and productivity in a group of UK information scientists. The journal article was the primary focus of the study. Publishing was modelled in terms of stakeholder groups and analysed using a methodology from systems design, with the discipline of information science interpreted as a virtual site. The methodology used was qualitative, as the author intended to capture perceptions of social and economic practice, as well as descriptions of that practice. The outcome of the analysis is a profile of the group who were observed which is grounded in their perceptions of the publishing process, their perceptions of the research process, and their working habits.
The authors offer a brief analysis of citation practice in twenty‐five American sociological journals, in an attempt to explore claims that citation may show gender bias…
The authors offer a brief analysis of citation practice in twenty‐five American sociological journals, in an attempt to explore claims that citation may show gender bias. Their work follows previous surveys of gender and citation and publication in the social sciences which suggest that women perform less well than men in both areas. The findings of this study suggest that there is indeed gender bias in citation in sociology, and the authors offer some hypotheses to explain the phenomenon that might be tested in further research.
The current pattern of reporting in social services represents an attempt at rationalisation, a move away from multiple agencies handling different functional areas (the…
The current pattern of reporting in social services represents an attempt at rationalisation, a move away from multiple agencies handling different functional areas (the elderly, children, the chronic disabled) which resulted, in some cases in five or six agencies handling the problems of one individual, family or social unit. In one way, this state of affairs might be interpreted as a kind of customisation, an acknowledgement of different aspects of care or different perspectives which care demands, though the solution was clearly inelegant. Though the prevailing organisation of social services (by social unit, family care, for example) represents more efficient resource allocation, it fails to do justice to the manifold nature of most social problems, because current reporting structures, and patterns of task differentiation, have produced what may be called a social work archipelago, composed of units with closed information habits which reduce the impact of decisions and judgements on the system as a whole. In this short paper, I offer a basic model for information in social service, which is based on previous studies and informal observations by practitioners.