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1 – 10 of 28
Article
Publication date: 8 February 2018

Ayse Gursoy, Karen Wickett and Melanie Feinberg

The purpose of this paper is to investigate tag use in a metadata ecosystem that supports a fan work repository to identify functions of tags and explore the system as a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate tag use in a metadata ecosystem that supports a fan work repository to identify functions of tags and explore the system as a co-constructed communicative context.

Design/methodology/approach

Using modified techniques from grounded theory (Charmaz, 2007), this paper integrates humanistic and social science methods to identify kinds of tag use in a rich setting.

Findings

Three primary roles of tags emerge out of detailed study of the metadata ecosystem: tags can identify elements in the fan work, tags can reflect on how those elements are used or adapted in the fan work, and finally, tags can express the fan author’s sense of her role in the discursive context of the fan work repository. Attending to each of the tag roles shifts focus away from just what tags say to include how they say it.

Practical implications

Instead of building metadata systems designed solely for retrieval or description, this research suggests that it may be fruitful to build systems that recognize various metadata functions and allow for expressivity. This research also suggests that attending to metadata previously considered unusable in systems may reflect the participants’ sense of the system and their role within it.

Originality/value

In addition to accommodating a wider range of tag functions, this research implies consideration of metadata ecosystems, where different kinds of tags do different things and work together to create a multifaceted artifact.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2018

Deborah Maron and Melanie Feinberg

The purpose of this paper is to employ a case study of the Omeka content management system to demonstrate how the adoption and implementation of a metadata standard (in this case…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to employ a case study of the Omeka content management system to demonstrate how the adoption and implementation of a metadata standard (in this case, Dublin Core) can result in contrasting rhetorical arguments regarding metadata utility, quality, and reliability. In the Omeka example, the author illustrate a conceptual disconnect in how two metadata stakeholders – standards creators and standards users – operationalize metadata quality. For standards creators such as the Dublin Core community, metadata quality involves implementing a standard properly, according to established usage principles; in contrast, for standards users like Omeka, metadata quality involves mere adoption of the standard, with little consideration of proper usage and accompanying principles.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an approach based on rhetorical criticism. The paper aims to establish whether Omeka’s given ends (the position that Omeka claims to take regarding Dublin Core) align with Omeka’s guiding ends (Omeka’s actual argument regarding Dublin Core). To make this assessment, the paper examines both textual evidence (what Omeka says) and material-discursive evidence (what Omeka does).

Findings

The evidence shows that, while Omeka appears to argue that adopting the Dublin Core is an integral part of Omeka’s mission, the platform’s lack of support for Dublin Core implementation makes an opposing argument. Ultimately, Omeka argues that the appearance of adopting a standard is more important than its careful implementation.

Originality/value

This study contributes to our understanding of how metadata standards are understood and used in practice. The misalignment between Omeka’s position and the goals of the Dublin Core community suggests that Omeka, and some portion of its users, do not value metadata interoperability and aggregation in the same way that the Dublin Core community does. This indicates that, although certain values regarding standards adoption may be pervasive in the metadata community, these values are not equally shared amongst all stakeholders in a digital library ecosystem. The way that standards creators (Dublin Core) understand what it means to “adopt a standard” is different from the way that standards users (Omeka) understand what it means to “adopt a standard.”

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Melanie Feinberg

In this conceptual essay, the purpose of this paper is to argue that the structure of databases and other information systems provides valuable information beyond their content…

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Abstract

Purpose

In this conceptual essay, the purpose of this paper is to argue that the structure of databases and other information systems provides valuable information beyond their content. The author contends that reading databases – as a separate, distinct activity from retrieving and reading the documents that databases contain – is an under-studied form of human-information interaction. Because the act of reading databases encourages awareness, reflection, and control over information systems, the author aligns the author’s proposal with “slow” principles, as exemplified by the slow food movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents an extended argument to demonstrate the value of reading a database. Reading a database involves understanding the relationship between database structure and database content as an interpretation of the world. For example, when a supermarket puts vermicelli in the pasta section but rice vermicelli in the Asian section, the supermarket suggests that rice vermicelli is more “Asian” than “noodle.” To construct the author’s argument, the author uses examples that range from everyday, mundane activities with information systems (such as using maps and automated navigation systems) to scientific and technical work (systematic reviews of medical evidence).

Findings

The slow, interpretively focused information interactions of reading databases complement the “fast information” approach of outcome-oriented retrieval. To facilitate database reading activities, research should develop tools that focus user attention on the application of database structure to database contents. Another way of saying this is that research should exploit the interactive possibilities of metadata, either human-created or algorithmically generated.

Originality/value

This paper argues that information studies research focuses too heavily on seeking and retrieval. Seeking and retrieval are just two of the many interactions that constitute our everyday activities with information. Reading databases is an area particularly ripe with design possibilities.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 April 2019

Helena Francke

The activities of academic researchers are increasingly regulated by neo-liberal ideals, including expectations that researchers are visible online and actively promote their…

Abstract

Purpose

The activities of academic researchers are increasingly regulated by neo-liberal ideals, including expectations that researchers are visible online and actively promote their output. The purpose of this paper is to explore how researchers take on this responsibility. It uses the concepts of genre, authorship and self-writing in order to understand how the story of an academic life is constructed on academic web profiles.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative content analysis was conducted of material on 64 profiles belonging to 20 researchers on institutional and personal websites, as well as on ResearchGate, Academica.edu and Google Scholar.

Findings

The study shows that while institutional websites primarily contain researcher-produced material, content on commercial platforms is often co-constructed through distributed authorship by the researcher, the platform and other platform users. Nine different ways in which the profile of an “academic self” may be said to highlight the particular strengths of a researcher are identified. These include both metrics-based strengths and qualitative forms of information about the academic life, such as experience, the importance of their research and good teaching.

Social implications

This study of academic web profiles contributes to a better understanding of how researchers self-govern the story of their academic self, or resist such governance, in online environments.

Originality/value

The study furthers the knowledge of how researchers make use of and respond to digital tools for online visibility opportunities and how the story of the “academic self” is “made” for such public presentation.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Melanie Feinberg

This study aims to examine how systems for organizing information may present an authorial voice and shows how the mechanism of voice may work to persuasively communicate a point…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how systems for organizing information may present an authorial voice and shows how the mechanism of voice may work to persuasively communicate a point of view on the materials being collected and described by the information system.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper synthesizes a conceptual framework from the field of rhetoric and composition and uses that framework to analyze how existing organizational schemes reveal authorial voice.

Findings

Through textual analysis, the mechanism of authorial voice is described in three example information systems. In two of the examples, authorial voice is shown to function as a persuasive element by enabling identification, the rhetorical construct defined by the literary critic Kenneth Burke. In one example, voice appears inconsistently and does not work to facilitate persuasion.

Research limitations/implications

This study illustrates the concept of authorial voice in the context of information systems, but it does not claim to comprehensively catalog all potential manifestations of authorial voice.

Practical implications

By analyzing how information systems work as a form of document, we can better understand how information systems communicate to their users, and we can use this understanding to facilitate design.

Originality/value

By creating designs that incorporate an enhanced conceptual grasp of authorial voice and other rhetorical properties of information systems, the construction of information systems that systematically and purposefully communicate original, creative points of view regarding their assembled collections can be facilitated, and so enable learning, discovery, and critical engagement for users.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 July 2010

Melanie Feinberg

This paper aims to examine how systems for organizing information construct rhetorical arguments for a particular interpretation of their subject matter.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how systems for organizing information construct rhetorical arguments for a particular interpretation of their subject matter.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper synthesizes a conceptual framework from the field of rhetoric and uses that framework to analyze how existing organizational schemes present evidence in support of arguments regarding the material being organized.

Findings

Organizational schemes can present logical arguments as posed in rhetoric, using two forms of evidence for their claims: relationship evidence from the category structure and resource evidence from the ways that items are assigned to categories.

Research limitations/implications

This study does not attempt to identify all types of evidence that organizational schemes might use in argumentation. Further research may describe additional forms of evidence and argumentative structures.

Practical implications

When creating organizational schemes, designers might develop a strategy to facilitate persuasive argumentation. Moreover, because arguments may be either strengthened or undermined through the assignment of resources to categories, both indexing and collection development may be seen as contributing to the overall design of an organizational scheme.

Originality/value

While many researchers have asserted that organizational schemes form arguments, and while various studies have described what information systems might be said to communicate, this study focuses on how such communication may take place more or less effectively. This analysis foregrounds the potential for organizational schemes to be systematically and purposefully designed as rhetorical communication, to express particular ideas.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 66 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 February 2015

Melanie Feinberg

This essay demonstrates how information systems — collections of documents, data, or other information-bearing objects — function internally as sites for creative manipulation of…

Abstract

Purpose

This essay demonstrates how information systems — collections of documents, data, or other information-bearing objects — function internally as sites for creative manipulation of genre resources. In the information systems context, these textual activities are not clearly traced to the purposeful actions of specific writers.

Findings

Genre development for information systems can result from actions that may appear individually to be rote, repetitive, passive, and uninteresting. But as these actions are aggregated at increasing scales, genre components interact and shift, even if change is limited to one element of the larger assemblage. Although these changes may not be initiated by writers in accordance with targeted work activities and associated rhetorical goals, the composite texts thus produced are nonetheless powerful documents that come to partially constitute the broader activities they appear to merely support.

Originality/value

In demonstrating “writerless” phenomena of genre change in distributed, regulated systems, this essay complements and extends the strong body of existing work in genre studies that emphasizes the writer’s perspective and agency in its accounts of genre development. By showing how continually evolving compound documents such as digital libraries constitute such sites of unacknowledged genre change, this essay demonstrates how the social actions that these composite documents facilitate for their users also change.

Details

Genre Theory in Information Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-255-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 February 2015

Abstract

Details

Genre Theory in Information Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-255-5

Book part
Publication date: 6 February 2015

Abstract

Details

Genre Theory in Information Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-255-5

Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Paul Ojennus and Joseph Timothy Tennis

The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework, based on contemporary philosophical aesthetics, from which principled assessments of the aesthetic value of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework, based on contemporary philosophical aesthetics, from which principled assessments of the aesthetic value of information organization frameworks may be conducted.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper identifies appropriate discourses within the field of philosophical aesthetics, constructs from them a framework for assessing aesthetic properties of information organization frameworks. This framework is then applied in two case studies examining the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), and Sexual Nomenclature: A Thesaurus.

Findings

In both information organization frameworks studied, the aesthetic analysis was useful in identifying judgments of the frameworks as aesthetic judgments, in promoting discovery of further areas of aesthetic judgments, and in prompting reflection on the nature of these aesthetic judgments.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides proof-of-concept for the aesthetic evaluation of information organization frameworks. Areas of future research are identified as the role of cultural relativism in such aesthetic evaluation and identification of appropriate aesthetic properties of information organization frameworks.

Practical implications

By identifying a subset of judgments of information organization frameworks as aesthetic judgments, aesthetic evaluation of such frameworks can be made explicit and principled. Aesthetic judgments can be separated from questions of economic feasibility, functional requirements, and user-orientation. Design and maintenance of information organization frameworks can be based on these principles.

Originality/value

This study introduces a new evaluative axis for information organization frameworks based on philosophical aesthetics. By improving the evaluation of such novel frameworks, design and maintenance can be guided by these principles.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 69 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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