Writing-up Qualitative Information Behaviour Research as a Thematic Narrative

Jenna Hartel, University of Toronto, Canada

Hugh Samson, University of Western Ontario, Canada; jennahartel@hotmail.com, hsamson5@uwo.ca

Keywords: research methods, ethnography, writing


There is a shortage of guidance and acumen in information science when it comes to writing-up qualitative information behaviour research. This 4-hour Workshop at ISIC 2022 will present an effective strategy for reporting such findings. Participants will be taught to write a thematic narrative: a gradually unfolding descriptive account that relates vivid pieces of field data to relevant concepts in the scholarly literature. To that end, attendees will learn to create excerpt-commentary units: rhetorical structures that contain four distinct and purposeful elements. The Workshop will be practice-oriented and attendees should be ready to do some writing (sample material will be provided). This session suits doctoral students with research underway, experienced social scientists who wish to fortify their writing, and those who supervise or edit qualitative research. The instructor, Dr. Jenna Hartel, has won the Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award (2016) and she has taught this method to more than 200 masters and doctoral students of information behaviour at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Hugh Samson is her doctoral student who has used this technique in his master’s thesis.

Participatory Research with Children and Youth: Methods for Information Behavior Studies

Leyla Dewitz, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany, leyla.dewitz@hu-berlin.de

Kirsten Schlebbe, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany, schlebbe@ibi.hu-berlin.de

Keywords: Participatory Research, Hands-on Workshop, Youth, Children, Information Behavior


Studies in the field of information behavior increasingly aim to include the perspectives of participants and users, especially in the context of research with youth and children. Participatory research designs can serve as a guide for the inclusion of young people’s voices in information behavior research, as they help researchers to view participants as partners and experts in the research process. This workshop introduces a variety of participatory methods to enable researchers to apply them in an appropriate way in their own studies. Based on the expertise of the organizers, the workshop will focus on research with two specific groups of young participants: preschool-aged children and youth. In addition to providing knowledge about basic aspects of participatory research with young people, it will offer the opportunity to explore various creative participatory methods in a hands-on session. The workshop is aimed at researchers of all levels of experience. Prior experience with participatory research is not required, as basic knowledge will be provided. However, researchers with more experience are also welcome to attend the workshop and share their expertise.

For more information see the workshop overview.

Kahina Le Louvier, Northumbria University, United Kingdom, kahina.le.louvier@northumbria.ac.uk

Keywords: information behaviour, migration, refugees, information practices, integration


Research on migration, including forced migration, has been an ever-growing domain in information behaviour research over the past twenty years. Information studies have looked at a variety of migration-related contexts, populations and challenges, and used a range of methods and theoretical approaches. This field of study is continuously being developed by a relatively small but active and evolving research community scattered across various continent. If such diversity makes the richness of the field, it also makes it difficult to grasp as a delineated body of research. By bringing together researchers working on this topic from across various countries and at various stages of their academic career, this workshop aims to: 1) build a community of researchers working in this field; 2) provide a snapshot of the current trends in information studies on migration; 3) provide a safe space for critical reflections around current challenges and ideas for future research.

For more information see the workshop overview.

Looking at Information Behaviour from a Transitional Perspective

Jenny Bronstein, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, jenny.bronstein@biu.ac.il

Alison Hicks, University College London, a.hicks@ucl.ac.uk

Jette Hyldegård, University of Copenhagen, j.hyldegaard@hum.ku.dk

Ian Ruthven, University of Strathclyde, ian.ruthven@strath.ac.uk

Gunilla Widén, Åbo Akademi University, gunilla.widen@abo.fi

Keywords: transitions, information behavior, information avoidance, information seeking, sense-making


We are living in an era of rapid change in which people are constantly dealing with transitions in their everyday life. The workshop will provide a platform for the exploration of information behaviour from a transitional perspective and will lay the groundwork for the creation of a research network on the topic. The workshop will aim to establish an emerging conceptualisation of what transition means in the field of information behaviour, examining different transition theoretical models, using participatory tools. During the workshop, participants will explore and discuss their own transitional experiences working towards creating a shared matrix of transition.

For more information see the workshop overview.