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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2019

Graeme Baxter, Rita Marcella and Agnieszka Walicka

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a study that explored public perceptions of the credibility of “facts and figures” contained within five social…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a study that explored public perceptions of the credibility of “facts and figures” contained within five social media posts produced by political parties in Scotland.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consisted of an online survey conducted in Spring 2017 (n=538). Respondents were asked to gauge the reliability of “facts” contained within the posts, to provide reasons for their answers, and to indicate how they might go about confirming or debunking the figures.

Findings

Less than half the sample believed the posts’ content would be reliable. Credibility perceptions were influenced by various factors, including: a lack of cited sources; concerns about bias or spin; a lack of detail, definitions or contextual information; personal political allegiance and trust; negative campaign techniques; personal experience of policy issues; and more intuitive judgements. Only small numbers admitted that they would not know how to find out more about the issues or would be disinclined to look further. The majority appeared confident in their own abilities to find further information, yet were vague in describing their search strategies.

Originality/value

Relatively little empirical research has been conducted exploring the perceived credibility of political or government information online. It is believed that this is the first such study to have specifically investigated the Scottish political arena.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Rita Marcella, Graeme Baxter and Agnieszka Walicka

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a study that explored human behaviour in response to political “facts” presented online by political parties in Scotland.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a study that explored human behaviour in response to political “facts” presented online by political parties in Scotland.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consisted of interactive online interviews with 23 citizens in North-East Scotland, in the run-up to the 2017 UK General Election.

Findings

Participants demonstrated cognitive and critical responses to facts but little affective reaction. They judged facts swiftly and largely intuitively, providing evidence that facts are frequently consumed, accepted or rejected without further verification processes. Users demonstrated varying levels of engagement with the information they consume, and subject knowledge may influence the extent to which respondents trust facts, in previously unanticipated ways. Users tended to notice facts with which they disagreed and, in terms of prominence, particularly noted and responded to facts which painted extremely negative or positive pictures. Most acknowledged limitations in capacity to interrogate facts, but some were delusionally confident.

Originality/value

Relatively little empirical research has been conducted exploring the perceived credibility of political or government information online. It is believed that this and a companion study are the first to have specifically investigated the Scottish political arena. This paper presents a new, exploratory fact interrogation model, alongside an expanded information quality awareness model.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2000

Claire Sargent, Susan Parker and Rita Marcella

Details the results of a study of the provision of European information to the academic community in university libraries, via a case study in a European Documentation…

Abstract

Details the results of a study of the provision of European information to the academic community in university libraries, via a case study in a European Documentation Centre (EDC). A literature search revealed a lack of research in this area. Results relate to the operation of the EDC, covering the services offered, the provision of information, finance and funding, marketing, challenges and the nature of communication with the Commission and other networks and relays. The needs of the academic community of users of the EDC are discussed, considering aspects such as the service’s target user profile, the nature, frequency and subject coverage of use, enquiries received and users’ satisfaction with the results of enquiries. Major challenges facing the case EDC are identified as: the need to improve marketing; and the impact of likely future changes, such as the reduction in materials provided by the European Commission free of charge, the focus on the EDC as a deposit collection rather than an information service and the move to a greater dependence on electronic media in the publication of European documentation.

Details

New Library World, vol. 101 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Rita Marcella and Graeme Baxter

Discusses recent and current research into citizenship information needs at the School of Information and Media, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Reviews the most…

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7721

Abstract

Discusses recent and current research into citizenship information needs at the School of Information and Media, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Reviews the most important results from two large‐scale, nation‐wide surveys (funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre) of the citizenship information needs of the UK public, highlighting those occasions where the response in Scotland differed significantly from national trends. Outlines a current project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, studying the impact of the use of information and communication technologies on the communication of parliamentary information in the UK, with particular attention being paid to the situation in the three new devolved legislatures – the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly of Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The paper summarises the aims and objectives of the current project and provides a preview of the methodologies to be used, including the development of a novel interactive, electronically assisted interview technique.

Details

Library Review, vol. 50 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1997

Rita Marcella, Graeme Baxter, Susan Parker and Sylvie Davies

Compares the selective European information services in France and the UK, stating that whereas France gathers information from official documentation and its…

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460

Abstract

Compares the selective European information services in France and the UK, stating that whereas France gathers information from official documentation and its representations in the EC in Paris and Marseille, the UK got its European information from three surveys, including two degree surveys. Maintains that French academic librarians are Civil Servants employed by central government and have limited access to European Documentation Centres (EDC), unlike their British counterparts whose libraries, over hundreds of years, have evolved into a self‐governing institution, much better funded and able to provide information at local authority level where European responsibility has been significantly added to since the signing of the Single European Act in 1986.

Details

Library Management, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2001

Rita Marcella and Graeme Baxter

Provides a critical overview of the introduction of the Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science course in Information and Library Studies, in online distance learning mode…

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674

Abstract

Provides a critical overview of the introduction of the Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science course in Information and Library Studies, in online distance learning mode, by the School of Information and Media at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Includes some initial observations on the success of the distance learning approach, and on the implications of directing, and interacting with, students by remote, largely electronic means. Student response to the course materials and to the communications media utilised are discussed critically, in particular in terms of interaction, involvement and isolation. Also examines the nature of the status and personal circumstances of the students being attracted by the distance learning mode.

Details

New Library World, vol. 102 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Rita Marcella, Sylvie Davies and Dorothy Williams

Analysis of results from exploratory research into the attitudes of exporters of the food and drink industry of north‐east Scotland towards the value of foreign language…

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1271

Abstract

Analysis of results from exploratory research into the attitudes of exporters of the food and drink industry of north‐east Scotland towards the value of foreign language skills suggests a certain degree of ambivalence, which, together with the lack of resources and available skills can explain the absence of systematic language strategies. It also demonstrates the case for a questionnaire survey focusing on the various aspects of international marketing communication in the context of that particular industry sector across Scotland. Findings provided information on a range of practices and attitudes as well as a better knowledge of the nature of communication barriers; the means and tools of international marketing communication; the context of use of foreign languages; criteria for export success, perception of the impact of the customer’s language use on marketing success; significance of skills for international marketing success; perception of impact of educational policies on opportunities in the global market.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1999

Rita Marcella, Iona Carcary and and Graeme Baxter

Investigates attitudes amongst decision makers in the European Parliament to the role of information in their work, and their ability to identify, access and evaluate that…

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801

Abstract

Investigates attitudes amongst decision makers in the European Parliament to the role of information in their work, and their ability to identify, access and evaluate that information most relevant to their needs. Aims to elicit data regarding levels of satisfaction amongst MEPs in relation to information retrieval, and to identify areas of information need which were not being addressed. Describes research methodology and analyses results. Results reveal the wide range of subjects that are of interest to MEPs; that all MEPs have research assistants to help in their work, with an average of 3.5 assistants per MEP; the majority of these assistants are based in the UK and are employed full‐time; and that the most popular sources were unofficial, informal contacts and MEPs’ own files, as opposed to the official EU databases and services. Finds that the main problems faced by MEPs in information retrieval are pressure of time and the overwhelming number and variety of information sources available. Makes recommendations for further research.

Details

Library Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Rita Marcella, Graeme Baxter, Sylvie Davies and Dick Toornstra

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the results of a customer knowledge study commissioned by the Parliamentary Documentation Centre (PDC) of the European Parliament…

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2260

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the results of a customer knowledge study commissioned by the Parliamentary Documentation Centre (PDC) of the European Parliament in order to elicit a better understanding of the views and needs of its actual and potential client base.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consisted of in‐depth, face‐to‐face interviews with 72 clients and 11 staff (83 individuals) in Brussels in February 2004. The paper explores the significance of information in the parliamentary context and summarises the activities which respondents described as being information‐dependent. The paper also highlights the evolutionary nature of information need during the course of the legislative process.

Findings

The information‐seeking behaviour and skills of the PDC clients are discussed, as are the criteria by which they assess information quality. The study revealed that users were frequently uncritical and pragmatic in use of the most readily available information, sacrificing quality in favour of ease of access.

Originality/value

This paper presents results from a uniquely complex information environment – the European Union. Users tended to be complacent about their information‐seeking skills and reluctant to engage in skills enhancement activities.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 63 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Rita Marcella, Graeme Baxter and Nick Moore

Discusses the second stage of a pilot study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which investigated the impact of technology on the communication of…

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1254

Abstract

Discusses the second stage of a pilot study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which investigated the impact of technology on the communication of parliamentary information to the general public. This second stage tested the application of a new data collection tool – an interactive, electronically assisted interview delivered in a roadshow environment. The approach was tested in the context of the public's need for information about the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. Interviews were carried out by a researcher, aboard a minibus equipped with a laptop and mobile data transmission equipment, who assisted members of the public in exploring and responding to parliamentary and devolved Assembly Websites. Roadshows took place across the UK at organisations such as public libraries, community centres, sheltered accommodation and universities. Discusses in critical detail all aspects of the execution of the methodology and draws conclusions as to its validity for future research.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 59 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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