Guest editorial

Publication Date12 Nov 2018
AuthorJo Smedley
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
Guest editorial
The information journey
A journey is dened as the act of travelling from one place to another(Oxford English
Dictionary, 2018). When we think of a journey, various stages come to mind for example,
the preparation for the experience, the experience itself and how experiences could help if/
when was to be repeated. The concept of the journey can be appliedto different scenarios. In
learning, Kolbs experientiallearning theory (Kolb, 1984) worked on two levels: a four-stage
cycle of learning and four separate learning styles. He viewed learning as the process
whereby knowledge was created through the tran/sformation of experience. Similarly,
within a health environment, the increased emphasis on the personal health journey
recognises that individual treatment plans, informed through personalised advice,
empowers people to takeownership of recovery and maintaining good health. Irrespectiveof
the focus of the information journey, the quantityand quality of associated information and
its interpretation are pivotalin maximising the achievable outcomes.
The changing needs of information over time is a very complex concept and best
understood if we continue to consider the holistic information journey and the different
elements therein. For the past twenty years phrasessuch as stable information needsand
information needs changing over timeare found in many contributions to information
science (Bothma and Bergenholtz, 2013). The use of image is an important communication
medium providing a coded well-structured and efcient language (Gherman, 2015). Our
brains inherent preference of remembering information through visualisation can be
particularly useful.Visualisation is a technique for creating images, diagrams or animations
to communicate a message.It has applications in science, education, engineering,interactive
multimedia and medicine. Visualisation can make learning more fun and interesting
especially when comparedto repetitive learning by rote (Smedley, 2018).
Some information lends itself better to be remembered as words. Verbalisation is a
process by which different psychological events in individual are made in verbal form,
i.e. described in their own words. Sometimes it is faster, easier, or more effective to
use a verbalisation technique. Verbal techniques often do not require the encoding of
information so can be faster as little or no decoding is needed. Researchers face
difcultiesinmanagingtherapidgrowthofavailablescientic information. An
important pain pointthat future information tools need to address is helping
researchers lter information at the point of need (Reushie and Mitchell, 2009).
The effect of informationoverload on people and organisations and how thisis dealt with
along the information journey is a common focus. The design of the information service
experience and innovation at different touchpoints and channels as a focus for service
innovation is also considered. Maintaining information currency and the generation of new
research using the data/information/knowledge aspects of the information journey are also
possibilities. Academic and vocational learning and the use of information outside
university study/scholarly practice (including the needs of senior managers, leaders and
policymakers in education)are also of interest.
Increasingly, analytics encourages the analysis of data, interpreting information and
understanding knowledge with different types of information journeys offering greater
opportunities to compare and contrast. The smarter use of information through its use and
re-use and consequent renement and/or re-organisation of processes and practice is an
important focus. This offers shorter durationtimes of information journeys as well as more
Informationand Learning Science
Vol.119 No. 12, 2018
pp. 698-700
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/ILS-11-2018-137

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