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10 FEBRUARY 2013

Inventory of research methods for librarianship and informatics

"This article defines and describes the rich variety of research designs found in librarianship and informatics practice. Familiarity with the range of methods and the ability to make distinctions between those specific methods can enable authors to label their research reports correctly. The author has compiled an inventory of methods from a variety of disciplines, but with attention to the relevant applications of a methodology to the field of librarianship. Each entry in the inventory includes a definition and description for the particular research method. Some entries include references to resource material and examples."

(Jonathan D. Eldredge, 2004, Journal of the Medical Library Association)

TAGS

2004academic researchanalysisaudit • autobiography • bibliomining • biographycase study • citation analysis • cohort design • comparative study • content analysisdata mining • definition and description • delphi method • descriptive survey • focus group • gap analysis • historyinformaticsinventory • inventory of methods • JMLA • Journal of the Medical Library Association • librarianship • library science • library studies • longitudinal studymeta-analysis • narrative review • participant observation • programme evaluation • randomised controlled trial • research designresearch methodresearch methodsresearch reports • summing up • systematic reviews • unobtrusive observation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JANUARY 2012

Urban Informatics Research Lab: transdisciplinary research cluster

"The increasing ubiquity of digital technology, internet services and location–aware applications in our everyday lives allows for a seamless transitioning between the visible and the invisible infrastructure of cities: road systems, building complexes, information and communication technology and people networks create a buzzing environment that is alive and exciting.

Driven by curiosity, initiative and interdisciplinary exchange, the Urban Informatics Research Lab at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a transdisciplinary cluster of people working on research and development at the intersection of people, place and technology with a focus on cities, locative media and mobile technology."

(Marcus Foth)

Fig.1 QUT Urban Informatics researchers Markus Rittenbruch and Mark Bilandzik talk about the role of data in their work with street computing and the Creative Industries Urban Informatics research lab.

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TAGS

applied researchAustralia • building complexes • built environmentcities • city infrastructure • crowdsourcingdigital technologyeverydayinformaticsinformation and communication technologyinterdisciplinary • internet services • invisible infrastructure • locationlocation-aware applicationslocation-basedlocation-specificlocative mediamobile technologynetworksopen datapeople and technology • places and technology • QUTresearch and developmentresearch centre • road systems • situated data • street computing • transdisciplinary • transdisciplinary cluster • ubiquitous computingurbanurban dataurban environmenturban informatics • Urban Informatics Research La

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 MAY 2010

From Digital Libraries to Knowledge Commons

"Digital Libraries began as systems whose goal was to simulate the operation of traditional libraries for books and other text documents in digital form. Significant developments have been made since then, and Digital Libraries are now on their way to becoming 'Knowledge Commons'. These are pervasive systems at the centre of intellectual activity, facilitating communication and collaboration among scientists or the general public and synthesizing distributed multimedia documents, sensor data, and other information.

Digital Libraries represent the confluence of a variety of technical areas both within the field of informatics (eg data management and information retrieval), and outside it (eg library sciences and sociology). Early Digital Library efforts mostly focused on bridging some of the gaps between the constituent fields, defining `digital library functionality', and integrating solutions from each field into systems that support such functionality. These have resulted in several successful systems: researchers, educators, students and members of other communities now continuously search Digital Libraries for information as part of their daily routines, decision–making processes, or entertainment.

Most current Digital Library systems share certain characteristics. They are content–centric, motivated by the need to organize and provide access to data and information. They concentrate on storage–centric functionality, mainly offering static storage and retrieval of information. They are specialized systems, built from scratch and tailored to the particular needs and characteristics of the data and users of their target environment, with little provision for generalization. They tend to operate in isolation, limiting the opportunities for large–scale analysis and global–scale information availability. Finally, they concentrate on material that is traditionally found in libraries, mostly related to cultural heritage. Hence, despite the undisputed advantages that current Digital Library systems offer compared to the pre–1990s era, the above restrictions limit the role that Digital Libraries can play in Knowledge Societies, which will serve as important educational nuclei in the future.

Together with the general community, the DELOS Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries has initiated a long journey from current Digital Libraries towards the vision of 'Knowledge Commons'. These will be environments that will impose no conceptual, logical, physical, temporal or personal borders or barriers on content. They will be the universal knowledge repositories and communication conduits of the future, common vehicles by which everyone will access, analyse, evaluate, enhance and exchange all forms of information. They will be indispensable tools in the daily personal and professional lives of people, allowing everyone to advance their knowledge, professions and roles in society. They will be accessible at any time and from anywhere, and will offer a user–friendly, multi–modal, efficient and effective interaction and exploration environment.

Achieving this requires significant changes to be made to past development strategies, which shaped the functionality, operational environment and other aspects of Digital Libraries. Knowledge Commons will have different characteristics. They will be person–centric, motivated by needs to provide novel, sophisticated, and personalized experiences to users. They will concentrate on communication and collaboration functionality, facilitating intellectual interactions on themes that are pertinent to their contents, with storage and retrieval being only a small part of such functionality. They will remain specialized systems that will nevertheless be built on top of widely–available, industrial–strength, generic management systems, offering all typically required functionality. In general, they will be managed by globally distributed systems, through which information sources across the world will exchange and integrate their contents. Finally, they will be characterized by universality of information and application, serving all applications and comprehensively managing all forms of content."

(Yannis Ioannidis)

TAGS

access to informationcollaborationconduitconfluence • content-centric • DELOS • digital library • distributed multimedia • distributed systeminformaticsinformationinformation retrievalintegration • intellectual interactions on themes • knowledge commonsknowledge construction • knowledge repositories • knowledge society • library • library sciences • Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries • person-centric • personalised experiencepervasiverepository • retrieval • storage • storage-centric

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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