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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2021

Rebekah Willson

“Bouncing ideas” is a phrase used colloquially to illustrate a way of advancing ideas in the workplace. While described by some as a key part of their information work, it has…

Abstract

Purpose

“Bouncing ideas” is a phrase used colloquially to illustrate a way of advancing ideas in the workplace. While described by some as a key part of their information work, it has remained largely unexplored in the information science literature. As a metaphor used to depict information work, it describes a process of working on ideas in conjunction with others. This paper examines how early career academics use the term when describing their academic work.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports on one of the findings from a larger, in-depth study that examined the information behaviour of early career academics undergoing career transitions, which was carried out using constructivist grounded theory (CGT). CGT provides both a framework for the systematic collection (that included multiple interviews and check-ins with 20 early career academics) and analysis of the data (that consisted of multiple rounds of iterative, inductive coding).

Findings

The findings identify the component parts of bouncing ideas, which include three component in-formation activities – information seeking, information sharing and information creation – and are undertaken as cooperative information work (joint work for a shared purpose, but the benefits of the work may not be equal between participants).

Originality/value

Bouncing ideas is proposed as a complex information practice, defined as engaging in a temporary cooperative effort that involves social information exchange in order to gain help and/or support for an intellectual endeavour to create new information. The work identifies that more research into bouncing ideas is needed to more fully explore the distinct component behaviours that take place whilst bouncing ideas and the social conditions that foster this collaborative exchange.

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Rebekah Willson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the information behaviour of early career academics (ECAs) within humanities and social sciences (HSS) disciplines who are starting their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the information behaviour of early career academics (ECAs) within humanities and social sciences (HSS) disciplines who are starting their first continuing academic position. The proposed grounded theory of Systemic Managerial Constraints (SMC) is introduced as a way to understand the influence of neoliberal universities on the information behaviour of ECAs.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research used constructivist grounded theory methodology. Participants were 20 Australian and Canadian ECAs from HSS. Their information practices and information behaviour were examined for a period of five to seven months using two interviews and multiple “check-ins”. Data were analysed through two rounds of coding, where codes were iteratively compared and contrasted.

Findings

SMC emerged from the analysis and is proposed as a grounded theory to help better understand the context of higher education and its influence on ECAs’ information behaviour. SMC presents university managerialism, resulting from neoliberalism, as pervasive and constraining both the work ECAs do and how they perform that work. SMC helps to explain ECAs’ uncertainty and precarity in higher education and changing information needs as a result of altered work role, which, in turn, leads ECAs to seek and share information with their colleagues and use information to wield their personal agency to respond to SMC.

Originality/value

The findings from this paper provide a lens through which to view universities as information environments and the influence these environments can have on ECAs’ information practices and information behaviour.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Rebekah Willson

Transitions – as a focus of study – have been missing from information behaviour research. The purpose of this paper is to explore the topic of transitions – their characteristics…

2535

Abstract

Purpose

Transitions – as a focus of study – have been missing from information behaviour research. The purpose of this paper is to explore the topic of transitions – their characteristics and influences, the related concept of liminality and Transitions Theory – and what it can contribute to the field of information behaviour. This exploration includes the application of liminality and Transitions Theory to an empirical study of participants making the transition from doctoral student to early career academic.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to an extended literature review, this paper reports on a qualitative study that used constructivist grounded theory methodology for data collection and analysis. Early career academics were followed for a five- to seven-month period and data were collected using interviews and “check-ins”. Transitions Theory and liminality were used to guide the analysis.

Findings

Three important findings were highlighted: the complicating effects of being in a liminal space on information behaviour; the changing information needs of those undergoing a transition; and the importance of comparison as a way of using information to understand new situations. A revised model of Transitions Theory (Meleis et al., 2000) is also proposed, to incorporate information behaviour.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that by examining information behaviour over longer periods of time and by making transitions a focus of research, new understandings and insight can be gained into what information individual needs, how they find, share and use that information. This research demonstrates that information behaviour research adds important elements to the study of transitions and, conversely, that transitions (and Transitions Theory) add important elements to the study of information behaviour.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2023

Lisa M. Given, Donald O. Case and Rebekah Willson

Abstract

Details

Looking for Information
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-424-6

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