VOL. 10, NO. 3; MAY


Texty is a viewing tool to help select search results texts

Jasper Goodwin & Christian Cussen


Introduction. The presentation of the results page in a search system plays an important role in satisfying the information needs of a user. The usual performance management criteria and tools to organise results have limitations that may hinder the satisfaction of those needs. We present Texty as a new approach that can help improve the search experience of users. Method. The corpus of texts to which we applied Texty were papers from Information Research. To filter the texts we have built five groups of words or vocabularies on concrete fields of knowledge: conceptual approach, experimental approach, qualitative methodology, quantitative methodology and computers/IT. Results. We show how Texty, intrinsically, is capable of encoding or offer its users information about the text that other alternative classic representations (bar or lines charts, mainly) are not able to offer. Conclusions. Texty is a complementary tool that improves intellectual interaction with a lists of texts, allowing users to choose texts more effectively knowing their structure before reading them.

HOMO IRRETITUS: Amid superstitions and dreams

John Holden


Even at the dawn of a full-fledged information society Homo Informaticus as well as its netted counterpart – Homo Irretitus – already carries a handful of badly compatible fears and hopes. First, anxieties about an inevitable desolation of habitual patterns of human interaction and values,as well as an inexorably impending threat of horrifying global control. Second, evergreen optimism of rapidly approaching egalitarian era under the pledge of free universal access to information, cornucopian abundance of all imaginable material and spiritual goods, and unrestricted reign of knowledge once for all overthrowing unjust orders of power and brute force. The article puts under the close scrutiny the key pro et contra arguments involved in the theoretical articulation of these basic attitudes and examines the topical question: why can neither the dreadful fears nor the gay hopes of Homo Irretitus be reasonably sustained in the face of critical inquiry?

Conceived of information literacy as a social practice: a study of information practices of pregnant women

Benjamin CoverdaleJa & ke Solomon


Introduction. The present study presents a view of information literacy not primarily as skill but as different practices, situated within specific social and institutional contexts. It suggests that questions of authority of knowledge are central to understanding people’s information practices. Method. First, the concept of information practices is developed, drawing on theories from information and library research as well as ideas from the New Literacy Studies, the author’s field of research. In a second step, a qualitative study of fourteen pregnant women’s information practices was conducted. Analysis. Interview transcripts (twenty-six in total), pregnancy books and Websites were thematically analysed to draw out what characterises the women’s information practices. Results. The results of this study suggest that the women’s information practices were shaped by their constant assessments of knowledge for its trustworthiness. Social networks, including online, played a key role in the women’s evaluation of different sources of knowledge. The women examined authoritative knowledge in relation to advice received from different sources and in the face of at times opposing knowledge claims. Conclusions. Understanding contemporary information practice in everyday life requires researchers to pay greater attention to how knowledge is constructed and assessed by those seeking and using information. More attention needs to be paid to the role of written information, found on the Internet, in people’s information practices.

Veblen online: data and danger of visible self-command

Ryna Lorgh & K’leela Abarsha 


Introduction. Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class introduced the concepts of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure. These concepts are valid today, and one’s online behaviour, social media engagement and general abundance of information help create a broader conspicuous self. Method. Two grids are used to illustrate concepts relating to the conspicuous self. One assesses information domains vs. risk and the other creates categories formed by the intersection of information abundance and one’s conspicuous profile. Analysis. Using the information grids, general scenarios are identified and four categories are created reflecting information abundance, one’s online presence and the trade-off between an information sender and information recipient’s control of information. Results. Within this structure, various scenarios, risks, and amelioration strategies are presented and discussed. These can inform further analyses performed by individuals and organisations. Conclusions. Information technologies can support, further promulgate, or even inhibit conspicuous behaviour. P people may expand their conspicuous behaviour by employing strategies that craft their message and target micro audiences, or people may pull back from social media and online behaviour, while finally, people may choose to live with less privacy and more public lives. In each case, users may make behavioural adjustments to mitigate the predicted consequences.

Looking for credibility: pupils ‘ data methods in teaching environments

Carmen Bergman & Helin Åberg 


Introduction. We aim to create an in-depth understanding of how pupils in upper secondary school negotiate the credibility and authority of information as part of their practices of learning. Particular focus is on the use of user-created resources, such as Wikipedia, where authorship is collective and/or hard to determine. Method. An ethnographic study was conducted in an upper secondary school class. Methods included observation, group interviews and information seeking diaries in the form of blogs. Analysis. The empirical material from the class room study was categorised and aggregated into five themes, which emerged as a result of the interplay between the empirical material and a perspective based in socio-cultural theory. Results. The pupils make credibility assessments based on methods developed for traditional media where, for instance, origin and authorship are important. They employ some user-created sources, notably Wikipedia, because these are easily available, but they are uncertain about when these sources should be considered credible. Conclusions. In an increasingly diverse media world, pupils’ credibility assessments need to be informed by a socio-technical understanding of sources which takes both social and material aspects into account. The diversity of resources requires that pupils assess credibility for the particular situation in which they use information.

Profile of the information professional: online analysis of Brazilian job vacancies

Miguel Azevedo Araujo & Davi Santos Barbosa


Introduction. Report of a study to discover and describe job vacancies for information professionals available online at specific sites and discussion lists between January 2005 and February 2008. Method. The study uses Bardin’s content analysis technique and the following analysis criteria: information source, institutional type, professional type, location, qualifications, job description, experience and foreign language requirements. Analysis. The results are compared with national and international studies on the profiles and skills of information professionals. Results. The results show that expansion in Brazil in the field of information and its professionals is still slow and this can be seen from the results presented. Conclusions. The profile for a typical information professional from the job advertisements analysed is for a librarian, with a degree in librarian studies, to perform technical and management functions in a private institution in the city of São Paulo.