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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Marcia J. Bates

Based on the results of a two‐year study of online searching by humanities scholars, conducted by the Getty Art History Information Program, implications are drawn for the…

Abstract

Based on the results of a two‐year study of online searching by humanities scholars, conducted by the Getty Art History Information Program, implications are drawn for the design of information products for the humanities. Scientists and humanities scholars not only have different kinds of information needs, they also relate to their own literatures infundamentally different ways. As a result, humanities researchers need information products that do not arise out of the conventional assumptions and framework that have produced the familiar databases and other information products in the sciences and industry. These characteristic differences of humanities scholars are first discussed; then design implications are considered in the following areas: design and content of databases, indexing vocabulary in humanities resources, and interfaces and command languages.

Details

Online and CD-Rom Review, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1353-2642

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Muhammad Tahir, Khalid Mahmood and Farzana Shafique

The purpose of this paper is to assess the use of electronic information resources and facilities by humanities scholars at the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the use of electronic information resources and facilities by humanities scholars at the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey of faculty from arts and humanities departments at the University of the Punjab was conducted. In total, 62 faculty and research staff participated.

Findings

The results correspond with previous studies conducted in other countries. The humanists still stick to the printed information sources but they pay good attention to electronic resources. Most of them have access to computer and internet at office and home. They are regular users of a variety of electronic technologies. Although faced with many problems, the humanists perceive that modern technology made their work easier.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based only on the humanities faculty in a large university of Pakistan. The survey should be replicated on a larger sample for generalization.

Practical implications

Keeping in view the positive trend of humanists towards modern technology, universities and libraries should give more funding to provide electronic resources and facilities in the arts and humanities discipline. Special training programmes for humanists should be organized.

Originality/value

This is the first study on this topic in Pakistan. The results can be useful to design services and facilities in humanities libraries and information centres in Pakistan and other developing countries.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Alex H. Poole

The purpose of this paper is to dissect key issues and debates in digital humanities, an emerging field of theory and practice. Digital humanities stands greatly to impact…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to dissect key issues and debates in digital humanities, an emerging field of theory and practice. Digital humanities stands greatly to impact the Information and Library Science (ILS) professions (and vice versa) as well as the traditional humanities disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the contours of digital humanities as a field, touching upon fundamental issues related to the field’s coalescence and thus to its structure and epistemology. It looks at the ways in which digital humanities brings new approaches and sheds new light on manifold humanities foci.

Findings

Digital humanities work represents a vital new current of interdisciplinary, collaborative intellectual activity both in- and outside the academy; it merits particular attention from ILS.

Research limitations/implications

This paper helps potential stakeholders understand the intellectual and practical framework of the digital humanities and “its relationship” to their own intellectual and professional work.

Originality/value

This paper critically synthesizes previous scholarly work in digital humanities. It has particular value for those in ILS, a community that has proven especially receptive to the field, as well as to scholars working in many humanities disciplines. Digital humanities has already made an important impact on both LIS and the humanities; its impact is sure to grow.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

Anna H. Perrault

A category of humanities public programming which forms a unique type of “readers' advisory” service has developed in the United States in the past 20 years. Encouraged by…

Abstract

A category of humanities public programming which forms a unique type of “readers' advisory” service has developed in the United States in the past 20 years. Encouraged by funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, readers' discussion groups have grown in number and variety in the 1980s. This article reviews the history of humanities public programming, explores the nature of the readers' discussion groups, and examines the effectiveness and impact of these programs.

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Collection Building, vol. 12 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Book part
Publication date: 25 February 2011

Suzana Sukovic

This research paper explores the roles of electronic texts in research projects in the humanities and seeks to deepen the understanding of the nature of scholars'…

Abstract

This research paper explores the roles of electronic texts in research projects in the humanities and seeks to deepen the understanding of the nature of scholars' engagement with e-texts. The study used qualitative methodology to explore engagement of scholars in literary and historical studies with primary materials in electronic form (i.e., e-texts). The study revealed a range of scholars' interactions with e-texts during the whole research process. It uncovered a particular pattern of information-seeking practices in electronic environments called netchaining and the main types of uses and contributions of e-texts to research projects. It was found that e-texts play support and substantive roles in the research process. A number of influences from electronic environment are identified as challenges and aids in working with e-texts. The study does not have statistical significance. It indicates a need for further research into scholarly practices, training requirements, and new forms of service provision. Study results are relevant for the development of digital collections, information services, educational programs, and other forms of support for the use of technology in research. The results can be also used to inform approaches to text encoding and development of electronic information systems and have implications for organizational and industry policies. The study found a range of scholars' interactions and forms of intellectual engagement with e-texts that were not documented and analyzed by earlier studies. It provides insights into disciplinary variations in the humanities and contributes to the understanding of scholarly change catalyzed by information technology.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-755-1

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2017

Nancy Falciani-White

The purpose of this paper is to describe the information behaviors in which scholars regularly engage, in participants’ own words wherever possible, and discuss how those…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the information behaviors in which scholars regularly engage, in participants’ own words wherever possible, and discuss how those behaviors function in the broader landscape of scholars’ academic practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Scholars’ information behaviors were investigated using semi-structured interviews, along with document analysis. Three scholars recognized for significant contributions to their fields were identified from each of the three major divisions of academia (humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences) using intensity sampling, for a total of nine participants. Interviews asked each participant to describe a recent research project from conceptualization to completion, focusing on how scholars engaged with ideas, information resources, tools, and processes.

Findings

Information behaviors were found to permeate scholars’ work from conceptualization through publication, and included behaviors such as skimming, reading, data collection and analysis, and writing. Of particular interest are the specific information behaviors that fall into the broader category of information use.

Originality/value

This study uses established definitions of information behaviors to broaden the information behaviors conversation to include the entirety of academic practice. The study shows how scholars from across the academy engage with information throughout the course of their academic work, not just when they are engaged in more traditional information seeking activities.

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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2007

Michael Levine‐Clark

To identify levels of awareness and patterns of usage of electronic books by scholars in the humanities.

Abstract

Purpose

To identify levels of awareness and patterns of usage of electronic books by scholars in the humanities.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of the University of Denver community assessed knowledge about and usage of electronic books. The results for humanists are presented here.

Findings

Scholars in the humanities have a higher level of awareness of e‐books than their colleagues across campus but use e‐books at the same rate. Their patterns of use are different, with humanists using less of the e‐book than do other groups. Humanists still prefer printed books to electronic texts at a higher rate than do other groups and care less about added features, such as searchability, than they do about content.

Originality/value

Humanists conduct research differently than do most other scholars, using the library catalog and browsing as primary means of finding information, and valuing the book more than other resources. No previous research has assessed whether humanists have similarly unique patterns of usage for electronic books.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Ming‐der Wu and Shih‐chuan Chen

This study aims to answer the following questions about humanities graduate students: what are the characteristics of the documents cited in their theses? Where and how do…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to answer the following questions about humanities graduate students: what are the characteristics of the documents cited in their theses? Where and how do they obtain those citations? Do students use and cite electronic resources? Do students favour electronic resources over paper versions?

Design/methodology/approach

The study's participants were 20 humanities graduate students. Following an analysis of the citations in their theses, list‐checking and follow‐up interviews were conducted.

Findings

The results showed that these humanities graduate students cited considerably more print materials than electronic resources. Most of the documents cited were supplied by the university library. Only a small proportion of the documents were available in electronic format either from the university library or from the internet. The availability ratio of journals was higher than that of books. Students' acceptance of e‐journals was higher than that of e‐books.

Originality/value

The findings of the study could help researchers and librarians gain a better understanding of how humanities graduate students use electronic resources.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 July 2020

Eun Youp Rha and Nicholas Belkin

The purpose of this paper is to explore effects of individuals' social context on their perception of a task, for better understanding of social aspects of task-based…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore effects of individuals' social context on their perception of a task, for better understanding of social aspects of task-based information seeking behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

This study took a qualitative case approach and conducted semi-structured one-on-one interviews with 12 participants. A cross-context comparative approach was chosen to identify effects of the social contexts on individuals. For comparative analysis, the research population was tenured faculty members in two different disciplines, natural sciences and humanities. The interview data were analyzed and coded using NVivo12 through an open coding process.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the same task type is differently perceived by individuals in different social contexts. Reasons for the different perceptions in the different contexts are associated with social factors of the disciplines, specifically social norms and practices.

Originality/value

This study uses a novel theoretical framework, cognitive sociology, to examine social aspects of human perception in relation to task-based information seeking behavior, which has been little understood theoretically and empirically in the field of information science.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

Marija Dalbello

By reconstructing the genealogy of digital humanities through examining digital humanities projects and evaluative writings, this paper aims to identify core arguments…

Abstract

Purpose

By reconstructing the genealogy of digital humanities through examining digital humanities projects and evaluative writings, this paper aims to identify core arguments related to disciplinary transformation and pedagogy in the humanities fields. It also seeks to consider knowledge production and transformation of a general humanistic attitude (the Humanities Program) in relation to digital tools. The paper also seeks to examine its perceived impact on disciplinary development, pedagogy, and forms of digital text.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a literature‐based conceptual analysis of distinct and diverse aspects of the enterprise of digital humanities, by identifying their main foci together with implications of these preoccupations within larger discourses. The analysis is grounded in a close reading of 45 exemplary texts published from the 1980s to date, and 14 exemplary projects and initiatives. The analysis highlights several concepts with their underlying assumptions.

Findings

The perceived epistemological advantage of digital technology for new forms of reasoning is that community development has produced theoretical frameworks and shaped practical directions. The paper identified three distinct formations characterized by associated digital artifacts: prominent opinion leaders, foundational projects, and document forms (morphs).

Research limitations/implications

Research data are not comprehensive. Selected texts and projects are exemplary. The results and findings are relevant for the English‐language context and limited by a selective corpus.

Originality/value

The paper outlines a historical trajectory of digital humanities and the formative stages of development from the discourses of that evolving field. It also identifies constructions of technological advantage with implications for knowledge production in the writing of humanities scholars. The paper contributes to practitioner awareness of the history of digital humanities practice.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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