Learning to work between IT infrastructures

Emily Winter


Introduction. This study investigates the implications of the interplay of multiple information infrastructures to learning and conducting work and to its related information work practices, and how the materialities of work and its infrastructures play into their intermingling. Method. The present study is based on an ethnography of a week-long archaeological teaching excavation conducted by the author. The excavation took place on a stone-age site in a Nordic country in Spring 2016. Analysis. The analysis of the ethnographic data was based on constant comparative method and close reading. Results. Four major information infrastructures were identified in the empirical setting. They and their diverging materialities were intimately linked to how information work was conducted at the excavation. The presence of two infrastructures designed for the same purposes of documenting the site and excavation process caused problems with scheduling and managing the work, but did at the same time make their associated premises and infrastructural obligations visible for the participants of the excavation. The older of these two infrastructures played a potentially important role as an infrastructural stalwart, an infrastructure that stabilised another infrastructure. Conclusion. The presence of parallel, overlapping information infrastructures makes them visible and potentially less effective but also unveils their underpinnings for learning and insights in their role in information work.

Automated Diagnosis of Epithelial Dysplasia using image Processing

Hussam Fakhouri  & Khaled Hamed Allah 


Recent years cited a major interest in developing automated techniques for processing and analysing medical images. Many researches have been devoted to achieve this aim. This paper present an automated technique for the diagnosis of epithelial dysplasia histology images, that is able to detect and diagnose slide images that have epithelial dysplasia based on both applying the adaptive threshold and the mathematical calculations of the processed image. Through our experiments on the histology images we achieved a novel finding for determining the value for the constant and the window size for the constant mean adaptive threshold for the epithelial dysplasia histological images.

The proposed automated technique showed good results when tested with the image data set. The results showed that among the fifty samples of the epithelial dysplasia images. The twelve adenomatous polyps with high grade dysplasia and twenty nine of the thirty five adenomatous polyps with moderate grade dysplasia were diagnosed correctly due to the large black pixel percentage that they have more than 55% of the total number of pixels. Other six samples were classified suspected to have epithelial dysplasia although there black pixels percentages were above 50%. The three adenomatous polyps with low grade dysplasia were wrongly diagnosed and classified suspected to have epithelial dysplasia and there black pixels percentage were below 50%, forty six of the normal tissue images have been correctly diagnosed and have difference larger than ten degrees between black and white pixel percentage.

Evidence-based practice in an Australian government library: ethnography

Kayla L. Medina & Gladys J. Green


Introduction. This paper presents the findings from a project that investigated the lived experiences of library and information professionals in relation to evidence-based practice within an Australian public library. Method. The project employed ethnography, which allows holistic description of people’s experiences within a particular community or cultural setting. A member of the research team visited a public library regularly over a six month period. Data collection comprised interviews, observation and document Analysis A field journal was also maintained where daily activities and interactions were recorded. Analysis. Ethnography involves many levels of iterative analysis. Data extracts were identified, grouped and further refined whilst maintaining the context of the whole experience of the culture. Results. Evidence-based practice is experienced in the library through four interconnected and interdependent cultural orientations: (i) culture of valuing; (ii) culture of being; (iii) culture of learning; and (iv) culture of leading. These orientations represent not only how evidence-based practice is experienced in the library but also how it has been enabled. Conclusions. Context or environment is significant in terms of library and information service professionals’ understanding of evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice can be beneficial to all such professionals, as it builds professional knowledge and deeper understandings of practice at all levels of professional experience.

Searching for information, seeking connections, seeking meaning: genealogists and family historians

Molly Norton


Genealogy and family history are examples of everyday life information seeking and provide a unique example of intensive and extensive use of libraries and archives over time. In spite of the ongoing nature of this activity, genealogists and family historians have rarely been the subject of study in the information seeking literature and therefore the nature of their information problems have not been explored. This article discusses findings from a qualitative study based on twenty-nine in-depth, semi-structured interviews with genealogists and family historians and observations of their personal information management practices. Results indicated that the search for factual information often led to one for orienting information. Finding ancestors in the past was also a means of finding one’s own identity in the present. Family history is also an activity without a clear end goal; after the ancestry chart is filled in the search continues for more information about the lives of one’s forebears. Thus, family history should be viewed as an ongoing process of seeking meaning. The ultimate need is not a fact or date, but to create a larger narrative, connect with others in the past and in the present, and to find coherence in one’s own life.

Knowledge management: rethink information management and face the challenge of managing tacit knowledge

Laura Newman


Knowledge management has generated much interest in recent years and has become the latest management buzz in town. Many people start wondering whether knowledge management is here to stay or it is just another consultancy fad. To put things in perspective, it is important to look at the sequence of events that led to the rise of knowledge management. The arrival of the information society and the move toward the knowledge-based economy highlighted the importance of tacit knowledge and the need to manage knowledge resources including skills and competencies. Knowledge management as a concept with people taking the centre stage has prompted us to rethink information management and shift focus from trying to develop intelligent systems to that of developing tools for intelligent people. It is this realization in my opinion that makes knowledge management attractive to many organizations. While the focus in information management  is mostly on explicit knowledge, knowledge management brings a new dimension, the need to manage tacit knowledge by focusing on people and enhance their capability by  improving communication, information transfer and collaboration.

Semantic Web, universalistic ambition and some library lessons

Scott Nixon


Building the semantic web encounters problems similar to building large bibliographic systems. The experience of librarianship in controlling large, heterogeneous collections of bibliographic data suggests that the real obstacles facing a semantic web will be logical and textual, not mechanical. Three issues are explored in this essay: development of a standard container of information, desirability of standardizing the information hosted by this standardized container, and auxiliary tools to aid users find information. Value spaces are suggested as a solution, but dismissed as impracticable. The standardization necessary for the success of the Semantic Web may not be achievable in the Web environment.

Development and assessment of a structure to clarify why competitive intelligence fails

Duncan J. Sharp , Nancy S. Hart


Introduction. A framework is developed to enable organizations to explain causes of failures in competitive intelligence; to anticipate their occurrence and to prevent their repetition. Method. A case study was undertaken at a major international company employing observation, interviews and a questionnaire survey. Analysis. Observational studies were analysed to examine settings, participants, conversations and events. Keywords, views and themes were identified during interviews and from questionnaire responses. Results. Perceptions of what contributed to competitive intelligence failure differed between competitive intelligence professionals and their senior managers. Professionals identified lack of time and resources, incomplete initial information and little direct communication with senior managers. Senior managers thought that intelligence reports were too lengthy, agreed initial information was incomplete and often that no information was available at all. Conclusions. Intelligence failures derive from limited analysis and verification of data, lack of resources, limited recognition of the value of competitive intelligence and the status of those generating it. Communication between staff and senior management should be carefully managed to avoid failures.

Development of motivational characteristics and uncertainty

Rachel F. Lampkins , Stephen A. Lloyd


Introduction. The study contributes to the conceptual investigation of the motivators for information seeking. The issue is examined by drawing on the ideas of the expectancy-value theory, which is a major psychological approach to motivation. Method. A conceptual analysis was made by focusing on how the cognitive and affective motivational attributes of the constructs of information need and uncertainty have been approached in information seeking studies. The analysis of the cognitive attribute centres on the abilities and goals of the information seeker, while the study of the affective attribute examines how the actor feels about the information-seeking task. Results. Researchers have approached the cognitive motivational attribute of information need in terms of inappropriate knowledge structure, while the affective attribute has not been specified sufficiently. The construct of uncertainty provides a more balanced picture in that it also characterises the affective attribute by discussing the motivational role of negatively coloured emotions such as anxiety. Conclusions. From the perspective of the expectancy-value theory, the constructs of information need and uncertainty only partially explain why people engage in information seeking. Therefore, neither information need nor uncertainty can be regarded as fully-fledged motivational constructs.