Oct 23, 2006

crossing the divides

Dervin, B. & Reinhard, C.D. (2006). "Researchers and practitioners talk about users and each other. Making user and audience studies matter—paper 1" Information Research, 12(1) paper 286:
"This paper reports on a qualitative study that compared what experts in three fields, library and information science, human computer interaction and communication and media studies, described as their big unanswered questions about users and audiences of information, library, electronic, communication and media systems and texts. It also compares what these experts thought about each other and the difficulties of crossing the divides between disciplines or fields and between research and practice."
(...)
"That users by any other name (...) increasingly have greater and greater control over their access and use of all manner of information and entertainment systems. In this sense they are no longer best conceptualized as users or as audiences but rather as persons with agency. While in the past access was highly constrained both in space and in time by institutional availability, now these independent agents may surf the planet and beyond at their own whims. This is so even when we acknowledge that all users are unwittingly or wittingly constrained by political economies that limit both arrays of offerings, modes of access and availabilities of specific contents."
(...)
"The study reported here is part of a larger multi-stage project, a dialogic surround of how researchers and practitioners in three fields look at: a) the big unanswered questions about users; b) the gaps that stand between them in finding value from each other's work; and c) the barriers to collaborating in the application of user research to system development, implementation and design."

1 comment:

  1. A bunch of the people involved in this project spoke at ASIS&T. They will also be presenting at two more upcoming conferences. They announced at ASIS&T that they were digitally recording the session, so I hope it will be available online at some point. (perhaps on the IMLS project web page?)

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