Journal of Documentation

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Latest documents

  • Is dc:subject enough? A landscape on iconography and iconology statements of knowledge graphs in the semantic web

    Purpose: In the last few years, the size of Linked Open Data (LOD) describing artworks, in general or domain-specific Knowledge Graphs (KGs), is gradually increasing. This provides (art-)historians and Cultural Heritage professionals with a wealth of information to explore. Specifically, structured data about iconographical and iconological (icon) aspects, i.e. information about the subjects, concepts and meanings of artworks, are extremely valuable for the state-of-the-art of computational tools, e.g. content recognition through computer vision. Nevertheless, a data quality evaluation for art domains, fundamental for data reuse, is still missing. The purpose of this study is filling this gap with an overview of art-historical data quality in current KGs with a focus on the icon aspects. Design/methodology/approach: This study’s analyses are based on established KG evaluation methodologies, adapted to the domain by addressing requirements from art historians’ theories. The authors first select several KGs according to Semantic Web principles. Then, the authors evaluate (1) their structures’ suitability to describe icon information through quantitative and qualitative assessment and (2) their content, qualitatively assessed in terms of correctness and completeness. Findings: This study’s results reveal several issues on the current expression of icon information in KGs. The content evaluation shows that these domain-specific statements are generally correct but often not complete. The incompleteness is confirmed by the structure evaluation, which highlights the unsuitability of the KG schemas to describe icon information with the required granularity. Originality/value: The main contribution of this work is an overview of the actual landscape of the icon information expressed in LOD. Therefore, it is valuable to cultural institutions by providing them a first domain-specific data quality evaluation. Since this study’s results suggest that the selected domain information is underrepresented in Semantic Web datasets, the authors highlight the need for the creation and fostering of such information to provide a more thorough art-historical dimension to LOD.

  • Website quality evaluation: a model for developing comprehensive assessment instruments based on key quality factors

    Purpose: The field of website quality evaluation attracts the interest of a range of disciplines, each bringing its own particular perspective to bear. This study aims to identify the main characteristics – methods, techniques and tools – of the instruments of evaluation described in this literature, with a specific concern for the factors analysed, and based on these, a multipurpose model is proposed for the development of new comprehensive instruments. Design/methodology/approach: Following a systematic bibliographic review, 305 publications on website quality are examined, the field's leading authors, their disciplines of origin and the sectors to which the websites being assessed belong are identified, and the methods they employ characterised. Findings: Evaluations of website quality tend to be conducted with one of three primary focuses: strategic, functional or experiential. The technique of expert analysis predominates over user studies and most of the instruments examined classify the characteristics to be evaluated – for example, usability and content – into factors that operate at different levels, albeit that there is little agreement on the names used in referring to them. Originality/value: Based on the factors detected in the 50 most cited works, a model is developed that classifies these factors into 13 dimensions and more than 120 general parameters. The resulting model provides a comprehensive evaluation framework and constitutes an initial step towards a shared conceptualization of the discipline of website quality.

  • Exploring arXiv usage habits among Slovenian scientists

    Purpose: This study investigates how important the preprint arXiv is for Slovenian scientists, whether there are differences between scientific disciplines and the reputation of arXiv among Slovenian scientists. We are also interested in what advantages and disadvantages scientists see in using arXiv. Design/methodology/approach: A voluntary sample of active researchers from the scientific fields covered by arXiv was used. Data were collected over 21 days in September 2021 using a 40-question online survey. In addition to descriptive statistics, nonparametric statistical methods such as Pearson's chi-squared test for independence, Kruskal-Wallis' H-test and Mann-Whitney's U-test were applied to the collected data. Findings: Among Slovenian scientists there is a wide range of different users of arXiv. The authors note differences among scientific disciplines. Physicists and astronomers are the most engaged, followed by mathematicians. Researchers in computer science, electrical engineering and systems science seem to have recognized the benefits of the archive, but are still hesitant to use it. Researchers from the other scientific fields participated in the survey to a lesser extent, suggesting that arXiv is less popular in these scientific fields. For Slovenian scientists, the main advantages of arXiv are faster access to knowledge, open access, greater impact of scientists' work and the fact that publishing in the archive is free of charge. A negative aspect of using the archive is the frustration caused by the difficulties in assessing the credibility of articles. Research limitations/implications: A voluntary sample was used, which attracted a larger number of researchers but has a higher risk of sampling bias. Practical implications: The results are useful for international comparisons, but also provide bases and recommendations for institutional and national policies to evaluate researchers and their performance. Originality/value: The results provide valuable insights into arXiv usage habits and the reasons for using or not using arXiv by Slovenian scientists. There is no comparable study conducted in Slovenia.

  • What do we mean by “data”? A proposed classification of data types in the arts and humanities

    Purpose: This article describes the interviews the authors conducted in late 2021 with 19 researchers at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies at the University of Bologna. The main purpose was to shed light on the definition of the word “data” in the humanities domain, as far as FAIR data management practices are concerned, and on what researchers think of the term. Design/methodology/approach: The authors invited one researcher for each of the official disciplinary areas represented within the department and all 19 accepted to participate in the study. Participants were then divided into five main research areas: philology and literary criticism, language and linguistics, history of art, computer science and archival studies. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using a grounded theory approach. Findings: A list of 13 research data types has been compiled thanks to the information collected from participants. The term “data” does not emerge as especially problematic, although a good deal of confusion remains. Looking at current research management practices, methodologies and teamwork appear more central than previously reported. Originality/value: Our findings confirm that “data” within the FAIR framework should include all types of inputs and outputs humanities research work with, including publications. Also, the participants of this study appear ready for a discussion around making their research data FAIR: they do not find the terminology particularly problematic, while they rely on precise and recognised methodologies, as well as on sharing and collaboration with colleagues.

  • Nameless strangers, similar others: the affordances of a young people's anonymous online forum for health information practices

    Purpose: The study examines how the technical features and associated social practices of an anonymous, text-based online forum intended for young people make it a unique platform for acquiring and sharing health information among peers. Design/methodology/approach: The features and content of a young people's section of a popular Finnish discussion forum were examined with a focus on health-related threads. Observational notes and thread content were analysed with a focus on the forum's affordances for health information practices. Findings: The findings indicate that the forum's affordances including anonymity, persistence, searchability, cohesion and tolerance enabled the pooling of peer experiences, opinions and experience-based advice on health, rather than sharing factual information or embracing reciprocal discussion. As such, instead of competing for a cognitive authority position with medical authorities or offering emotional support like tight online support communities, the anonymous forum served as a platform for young people to gain information on others' experiences and opinions on sensitive, mundane and disnormative health issues and for reflecting their own lived experiences to those of others. Originality/value: The study is original in its approach to examining the affordances of an online platform for health information practices. It helps in understanding young people's ways of using different resources to meet their diverse health information needs and the value of gaining access to experiential health information.

  • Assessing the credibility of information sources in times of uncertainty: online debate about Finland's NATO membership

    Purpose: This article aims to elaborate the context-sensitive nature of credibility assessment by examining how such judgments are made in online discussion in times of uncertainty caused by Finland's intent to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in spring 2022. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical findings draw on the qualitative content analysis of 3,324 posts submitted to a Finnish online discussion in February–March 2022. It was examined how the participants of online discussion assess the credibility of information sources referred to in debates on the NATO membership. It is assumed that the believability of the author of information is indicative of his or her expert power, for example based on the credentials of a scholar, while the credibility of information content, for example the provision of factual evidence is indicative of the source's informational power. Findings: Political decision-makers, particularly the President of Finland were assessed as most credible information sources, due to their access to confidential knowledge and long-time experience in politics. The credibility assessments differed more strongly while judging the believability of researchers. On the one hand, their expertise was praised; on the other hand, doubts were presented about their partiality. Fellow participants of online discussion were assessed most negatively because information sources of these types are associated with low expert and informational power. Research limitations/implications: As the study concentrated on credibility assessments made in a Finnish online discussion group, the findings cannot be extended to concern the credibility judgments occurring information in other contexts. Originality/value: The study is among the first to characterize the role of expert and informational power in credibility assessment in times of uncertainty.

  • From a network model to a model network: strategies for network development to narrow the LIS research–practice gap

    Purpose: The purpose of the empirical study was to examine whether strategies shown to work well in one model of network development for library and information science (LIS) practitioners and researchers could be applied successfully in the development of a new network and contribute to the narrowing of the research–practice gap in LIS. Design/methodology/approach: Overall, 32 members of a new professional network were surveyed by a questionnaire following the completion of a programme of four network events held between 2019 and 2021. Findings: The analysis demonstrates the transferability of the existing model of network development to a new network and that it can be successfully adapted for online delivery of network events and activities. Practical implications: The criteria deployed for the evaluation of the new network could be used in other similar settings. Funding bodies can also use these findings as demonstration of the value of their investment in network grants. Originality/value: This contribution on means of growing collaborative networks to narrow the LIS research–practice gap stands out in contrast with prior research that tends to focus the support of research productivity of academic librarians in North American universities for the purposes of career development. Here wider aspects of research engagement are considered of value for LIS practitioners from a range of sectors and institutions, beyond North America, for purposes that are broader than personal advancement.

  • Task information types related to data gathering in media studies

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine what types of task information media scholars need while gathering research data to create new knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: The research design is qualitative and user-oriented. A total of 25 media scholars were interviewed about their research processes and interactions with their research data. The interviews were semi-structured, complemented by critical incident interviews. The analysis focused on the activity of gathering research data. A typology of information (task, domain and task-solving information) guided the analysis of information types related to data gathering, with further analysis focusing only on task information types. Findings: Media scholars needed the following task information types while gathering research data to create new knowledge: (1) information about research data (aboutness of data, characteristics of data, metadata and secondary information about data), (2) information about sources of research data (characteristics of sources, local media landscapes) and (3) information about cases and their contexts (case information, contextual information). All the task information types should be considered when building data services and tools to support media scholars' work. Originality/value: The paper increases understanding of the concept of task information in the context of gathering research data to create new knowledge and thereby informs the providers of research data services about the task information types that researchers need.

  • The colonization of Wikipedia: evidence from characteristic editing behaviors of warring camps

    Purpose: To add new empirical knowledge to debates about social practices of peer production communities, and to conversations about bias and its implications for democracy. To help identify Wikipedia (WP) articles that are affected by systematic bias and hopefully help alleviate the impact of such bias on the general public, thus helping enhance both traditional (e.g. libraries) and online information services (e.g. Google) in ways that contribute to democracy. This paper aims to discuss the aforementioned objectives. Design/methodology/approach: Quantitatively, the authors identify edit-warring camps across many conflict zones of the English language WP, and profile and compare success rates and typologies of camp edits in the corresponding topic areas. Qualitatively, the authors analyze the edit war between two senior WP editors that resulted in imbalanced and biased articles throughout a topic area for such editorial characteristics through a close critical reading. Findings: Through a large-scale quantitative study, the authors find that winner-take-all camps exhibit biasing editing behaviors to a much larger extent than the camps they successfully edit-war against, confirming findings of prior small-scale qualitative studies. The authors also confirm the employment of these behaviors and identify other behaviors in the successful silencing of traditional medicinal knowledge on WP by a scientism-biased senior WP editor through close reading. Social implications: WP sadly does, as previously claimed, appear to be a platform that represents the biased viewpoints of its most stridently opinionated Western white male editors, and routinely misrepresents scholarly work and scientific consensus, the authors find. WP is therefore in dire need of scholarly oversight and decolonization. Originality/value: The authors independently verify findings from prior personal accounts of highly power-imbalanced fights of scholars against senior editors on WP through a third-party close reading of a much more power balanced edit war between senior WP editors. The authors confirm that these findings generalize well to edit wars across WP, through a large scale quantitative analysis of unbalanced edit wars across a wide range of zones of contention on WP.

  • “So how do we balance all of these needs?”: how the concept of AI technology impacts digital archival expertise

    Purpose: This study aims to explore the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in archival practice by presenting the thoughts and opinions of working archival practitioners. It contributes to the extant literature with a fresh perspective, expanding the discussion on AI adoption by investigating how it influences the perceptions of digital archival expertise. Design/methodology/approach: In this study a two-phase data collection consisting of four online focus groups was held to gather the opinions of international archives and digital preservation professionals (n = 16), that participated on a volunteer basis. The qualitative analysis of the transcripts was performed using template analysis, a style of thematic analysis. Findings: Four main themes were identified: fitting AI into day to day practice; the responsible use of (AI) technology; managing expectations (about AI adoption) and bias associated with the use of AI. The analysis suggests that AI adoption combined with hindsight about digitisation as a disruptive technology might provide archival practitioners with a framework for re-defining, advocating and outlining digital archival expertise. Research limitations/implications: The volunteer basis of this study meant that the sample was not representative or generalisable. Originality/value: Although the results of this research are not generalisable, they shed light on the challenges prospected by the implementation of AI in the archives and for the digital curation professionals dealing with this change. The evolution of the characterisation of digital archival expertise is a topic reserved for future research.

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