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Article
Publication date: 2 June 2020

Koraljka Golub, Jukka Tyrkkö, Joacim Hansson and Ida Ahlström

As the humanities develop in the realm of increasingly more pronounced digital scholarship, it is important to provide quality subject access to a vast range of…

Abstract

Purpose

As the humanities develop in the realm of increasingly more pronounced digital scholarship, it is important to provide quality subject access to a vast range of heterogeneous information objects in digital services. The study aims to paint a representative picture of the current state of affairs of the use of subject index terms in humanities journal articles with particular reference to the well-established subject access needs of humanities researchers, with the purpose of identifying which improvements are needed in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

The comparison of subject metadata on a sample of 649 peer-reviewed journal articles from across the humanities is conducted in a university repository, against Scopus, the former reflecting local and national policies and the latter being the most comprehensive international abstract and citation database of research output.

Findings

The study shows that established bibliographic objectives to ensure subject access for humanities journal articles are not supported in either the world's largest commercial abstract and citation database Scopus or the local repository of a public university in Sweden. The indexing policies in the two services do not seem to address the needs of humanities scholars for highly granular subject index terms with appropriate facets; no controlled vocabularies for any humanities discipline are used whatsoever.

Originality/value

In all, not much has changed since 1990s when indexing for the humanities was shown to lag behind the sciences. The community of researchers and information professionals, today working together on digital humanities projects, as well as interdisciplinary research teams, should demand that their subject access needs be fulfilled, especially in commercial services like Scopus and discovery services.

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2017

Joacim Hansson

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to make a contribution to the theoretical understanding of documents and documentary agency in society through examples from a…

1600

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to make a contribution to the theoretical understanding of documents and documentary agency in society through examples from a defined institutional and professional setting; and second, to create an understanding for the role of ethical codes in the process of defining and developing modern librarianship.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyses the role of documentation carrying content of professional ethics in the formulation of modern librarianship. This is done through a series of example documents of various kinds, such as founding charters, peer handbooks and ethical codes systematically analysed through the use of document theory and theory on institutional change.

Findings

The findings of this study suggest that documents pronouncing ethical self-regulation within librarianship play a primarily legitimising role in situations where new types of libraries emerge or when libraries adapt to social change. The study proposes legitimacy as a key aspect of documentality, thus supplementing the established understanding of the concept.

Originality/value

This study is the first to analyse the role of ethical codes in libraries using document theory. It brings new knowledge to the role of ethical self-regulation in librarianship over time and in different institutional contexts. In suggesting a developed definition of documentality, it contributes to the theoretical understanding of the role of documents and documentation in institutions and in society at large.

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Koraljka Golub, Joacim Hansson and Lars Selden

The purpose of the paper is to analyse three Scandinavian iSchools in Denmark, Norway and Sweden with regard to their intentions of becoming iSchools and curriculum…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to analyse three Scandinavian iSchools in Denmark, Norway and Sweden with regard to their intentions of becoming iSchools and curriculum content in relation to these intentions. By doing so, a picture will be given of the international expansion of the iSchool concept in terms of organisational symbolism and practical educational content. In order to underline the approaches of the Scandinavian schools, comparisons are made to three American iSchools.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is framed through theory on organisational symbolism and the intentions of the iSchool movement as formulated in its vision statements. Empirically, the study consists of two parts: close readings of three documents outlining the considerations of three Scandinavian LIS schools before applying for the iSchool status, and statistical analysis of 427 syllabi from master level courses at three Scandinavian and three American iSchools.

Findings

All three Scandinavian schools, analysed, have recently become iSchools, and though some differences are visible, it is hard to distinguish anything in their syllabi as carriers of what can be described as an iSchool identity. In considering iSchool identity, it instead benefits on a symbolic level that are most prominent, such as branding, social visibility and the possible attraction of new student groups. The traditionally strong relation to national library sectors are emphasised as important to maintain, specifically in Norway and Sweden.

Research limitations/implications

The study is done on iSchools in Denmark, Norway and Sweden with empirical comparison to three American schools. These comparisons face the challenge of meeting the educational system and programme structure of each individual country. Despite this, findings prove possible to use as ground for conclusions, although empirical generalisations concerning, for instance, other countries must be made with caution.

Practical implications

This study highlights the practical challenges met in international expansion of the iSchool movement, both on a practical and symbolic level. Both the iSchool Caucus and individual schools considering becoming iSchools may use these findings as a point of reference in development and decision making.

Originality/value

This is an original piece of research from which the results may contribute to the international development of the iSchool movement, and extend the theoretical understanding of the iSchool movement as an educational and organisational construct.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

Joacim Hansson

– The purpose of this article is to contribute to a discussion about the future of librarianship.

1741

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to contribute to a discussion about the future of librarianship.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytical framework is used to discuss the future of libraries. The framework is based on current trends in contemporary librarianship and is used as a way of structuring predictions about the future of librarianship. Special attention is given to public libraries and academic libraries.

Findings

Libraries are seen moving from a traditional situation with a high degree of constitutive documentality and internal legitimacy with collections in focus to one with a high degree of performative documentality and external legitimacy, with adjustment to user needs as the prime goal. This development is related to the emergence of New Public Management and can be seen both in public and academic libraries. It is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Originality/value

The analytical framework and concepts used are originally developed for this text and prove to be valuable tools in fulfilling the purpose of the article. It represents a new and original way of discussing the future of libraries.

Details

New Library World, vol. 116 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Joacim Hansson

The purpose of the paper is to report the findings of a Swedish national survey study finalised in late 2010. The purpose of the project was to create a picture of Swedish…

954

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to report the findings of a Swedish national survey study finalised in late 2010. The purpose of the project was to create a picture of Swedish library services directed to the five minority groups defined as “national minorities” in the country: Romani, Sámi, Jews, Tornedalians and Swedish Finns. The study focuses on media, cultural activities, and co‐operation.

Design/methodology/approach

In the study, a survey questionnaire was used as the primary method. The questionnaire was sent to all 289 county libraries of Sweden. A total of 181 were returned and used in the study. The theoretical stance is emancipatory in that it takes the position that libraries may play a vital role not only for the social integration of the concerned minority groups, but also for spreading interest in, and understanding of, the unique identities of these groups in the majority society.

Findings

The findings of the study show that Swedish public libraries have very limited services towards the national minority groups in focus. In some cases, like service to the elderly and out‐reach activity, no activity whatsoever could be measured.

Originality/value

The research reported in the article is original in that it is the first time that the services to the national minority groups of Sweden are mapped and measured at a national level. The value of the result is high as it shows major weaknesses in library services and the study provides a good point of departure for developing minority services in Swedish libraries.

Details

New Library World, vol. 112 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Joacim Hansson

To analyse the use of hermeneutics in library and information science (LIS).

3916

Abstract

Purpose

To analyse the use of hermeneutics in library and information science (LIS).

Design/methodology/approach

Presents a literature‐based conceptual analysis of: the definition of hermeneutics in LIS; and the practical use of hermeneutics within recent LIS studies.

Findings

The use of hermeneutics in LIS has increased during the last decade, as has the number of authors discussing its scientific value for LIS. In many studies the interpretative character of the objects of study seen as hermeneutic in itself. This is a misconception which draws the attention away from hermeneutics as a scientific point of departure and methodology used in the study of these processes. The problem is specifically present in studies making explicit or implicit reference to a modern view of science, while studies referring to LIS as a postmodern field of study seem to be more at ease with hermeneutics.

Practical implications

Questions are raised on the fundamental use of hermeneutics in LIS. This may give rise to a deeper discussion on the scientific value and character of hermeneutics in LIS.

Originality/value

The paper questions the use of hermeneutics as a point of departure in LIS research by looking at the research made within the field. This perspective may increase understanding of the function of hermeneutics within LIS, something which is of value both for the research community and for students within LIS.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Birger Hjørland

The purpose of this afterword is to examine which questions have been illuminated in the present issue and which theoretical problems still need to be addressed.

2023

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this afterword is to examine which questions have been illuminated in the present issue and which theoretical problems still need to be addressed.

Design/methodology/approach

Examines articles in this issue.

Findings

Many epistemological views, e.g. social constructivism, critical theory, feminist epistemology, postmodernism and systems theory, need to be considered more deeply within library and information science (LIS). For some of the other epistemologies such as phenomenology and (post)structuralism there is still a need for deeper explorations of their potential contributions. Finally eclecticism is discussed as one way of coping with different theories in a field.

Originality/value

The value of this afterword is to contribute to future reflections and debates concerning the philosophical basis of LIS and the specific contributions of specific systems of thought.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 January 2015

David Michael Baker

116

Abstract

Details

New Library World, vol. 116 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2022

Nanna Kann-Rasmussen

This article presents a discussion of how librarians' engagement in certain social movements manifests itself in public libraries, how librarians justify their engagement…

Abstract

Purpose

This article presents a discussion of how librarians' engagement in certain social movements manifests itself in public libraries, how librarians justify their engagement with specifically the LGBT + movement and the climate movement and what it might entail in terms of legitimacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Besides an extensive international literature on libraries and climate/LGBT + issues, the article draws on data from an interview study with librarians from Denmark and Sweden. Theoretically, the article utilizes the orders of worth framework by French sociologists Boltanski and Thévenot. The framework is used to analyse librarians' justifications for engaging in certain agendas in society.

Findings

Active engagement in social and green agendas takes place through strategies of education, efforts to make the cause more visible in the library and by setting an example. Justifications for active engagement in social movement agendas draw on inspirational, civic, projective and green orders of worth (OoW).

Originality/value

Much of the existing research on librarians who engage themselves in either climate issues or in agendas concerning minorities has a normative character. However, this study shows that there is no causal (positive or negative) relation between active engagement in social movements' causes and legitimacy of libraries, but that the justifications for doing so might have an impact on legitimacy.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2017

Johanna Rivano Eckerdal

The purpose of this paper is to advocate and contribute to a more nuanced and discerning argument when ascribing a democratic role to libraries and activities related to…

1785

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advocate and contribute to a more nuanced and discerning argument when ascribing a democratic role to libraries and activities related to information literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The connections between democracy and libraries as well as between citizenship and information literacy are analysed by using Mouffe’s agonistic pluralism. One example is provided by a recent legislative change (the new Swedish Library Act) and the documents preceding it. A second, more detailed example concerns how information literacy may be conceptualised when related to young women’s sexual and reproductive health. Crucial in both examples are the suggestions of routes to travel that support equality and inclusion for all.

Findings

Within an agonistic approach, democracy concerns equality and interest in making efforts to include the less privileged. The inclusion of a democratic aim, directed towards everyone, for libraries in the new Library Act can be argued to emphasise the political role of libraries. A liberal and a radical understanding of information literacy is elaborated, the latter is advocated. Information literacy is also analysed in a non-essentialist manner, as a description of a learning activity, therefore always value-laden.

Originality/value

The agonistic reading of two central concepts in library and information studies, namely, libraries and information literacy is fruitful and shows how the discipline may contribute to strengthen democracy in society both within institutions as libraries and in other settings.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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