Jul 29, 2007

[self] information behaviour

... and postponed access to information space, in my research routines, made me decided to start registering my own information behaviours and disturbances i encounter, and strategies i follow.

Looking for information, or following a lead or a clue, depends on:
  • the time/place where one is - different places allow different accesses to different spaces, namely information spaces (ex: if i was working in INETI and not in my house, i could have accessed the papers posted below. Instead, i have to leave a «to do» message to myself, with enough elements to recover it when I am back to INETI, or UMinho, or other place where i am granted access to that piece of information... or buy myself an entrance and have my own almost-independent-place password). What's different about my scenario experience in 2007 and that of someone 10 years ago? The time of access to information, the amount of information available, the tools, the infrastructure... the status of the work (in this case, the PhD work). Information space's time/place dependent.
  • the tools one has at the moment (and the supporting infrastructure needed for the tools to work). Information space's tool dependent. Need to explore if this kind of information spaces might configure also opportunistic access to information.
  • formato of the information (and the medium required to interpret the information). Information space's format dependent.
  • previous information to access information - examples can include: passwords and user IDs, bookmarks, reference lists, memos... since not every information is readily available, sometimes we need other pieces of information to be able to access the information we want. Information space's access dependent.
  • passing the information without having access to it - if one of the persons that has access to my blog, happens to be in a place where access is granted, this message might be confusing: here i am saying that i can not see something that i give the link, and yet, if that person clicks the link, might get the complete paper. Information space's mediation dependent.
  • interpret and make sense of the information around - this kind of information is best observed when one person moves from one country to another one, with a different language. This was of critical importance in the case of expatriates, when they where assigned to another country [refer to BCP study]. Information space's [code]/language dependent.
  • having previous knowledge - «Quem não sabe é como quem não vê». One can read all the words in a book and still not «see» the information contain in the book. Later, when one reads the book again with more knowledge on the book's subject, one can «see» the information while reading the very same words. Information space's knowledge dependent.
Following the above described cases, information spaces can depend on:
  • time/place
  • tool
  • format
  • access
  • mediation
  • [code] language
  • knowledge
Whittaker, S. and Hirschberg, J. (2001). Research alerts: the character, value, and management of personal paper archives. interactions 8, 4 (Jul. 2001), pp. 11-16.

Gwizdka, J. (2000). Timely reminders: a case study of temporal guidance in PIM and email tools usage. In CHI '00 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (The Hague, The Netherlands, April 01 - 06, 2000). CHI '00. ACM Press, New York, NY, 163-164:
"We describe our research in progress that explores the use of personal information management (PIM) tools in time and attempts to establish temporal attributes of information. We report on a short field study undertaken to examine relations between tools and information life-cycle. We propose four information types: prospective, ephemeral, working and retrospective. We outline relationships between PIM tools, email and different types of information. We use this framework to explain problems observed with handling information."
Wang, Y., van de Kar, E., and Meijer, G. (2005). Designing mobile solutions for mobile workers: lessons learned from a case study. In Proceedings of the 7th international Conference on Electronic Commerce (Xi'an, China, August 15 - 17, 2005). ICEC '05, vol. 113. ACM Press, New York, NY, 582-589:
"Based on recent literature of systems engineering, business engineering, information systems design, and project/process management, an analysis framework is presented that assesses the design approach of workforce solutions. An exploratory case based in the Netherlands was studied under the framework. The results indicate a need for a design approach that integrates "soft system thinking", collaborative business engineering activities, and process management strategy. The study provides a basis for further research to design mobile workforce solutions."

Jul 27, 2007

Equiparação a Bolseira

Através de email dos RH do INETI, tomei hoje conhecimento que o meu pedido de equiparada a bolseira, sem vencimento [que tinha dado entrada em Outubro de 2006], foi autorizado pela tutela [Ministério da Economia e da Inovação] a 19 de Julho de 2007. Aguardo publicação na 2ª série do Diário da República.

Periodo de equiparada a bolseira, sem vencimento: 01.Jul.2007 a 30.Jun.2010

Jul 26, 2007

mobile professional work

Kakihara, M. & C. Sørensen (2004). Practicing Mobile Professional Work: Tales of Locational, Operational, and Interactional Mobility. INFO: The Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunication, Information and Media, vol. 6(3), pp: 180-187:
"The results of the fieldwork in Tokyo clearly demonstrate that the conventional understanding of mobility, rigidly confined to geographic aspects, does not suffice for grasping the diverse realities of dynamic work practices of contemporary professional workers, in particular mobile professionals. Their work practices exhibit not only an extensive geographical movement in daily work activities but also intense interaction with a wide range of people through both physical and virtual interaction means. They also show flexible operation as an independent unit of business that can be flexibly mobilized by the firms."
Ver tabela 2, página 7. Não tenho acesso à revista. O artigo que aqui disponibilizo faz parte dos arquivos do author.

mobility as duality: fluidity & stability

"(...) we proposed setting an integrative approach that sees mobility as a duality and thus facilitate the practice of theorisation on mobility; namely, studying both fluidity and stability in contemporary society and work organizations and understanding their mutual influences. The next step will be to test our arguments in various real-world contexts. We believe that field studies with rich and contextualized data on the actualities of mobile devices’ usage and on the kind of mobility we engage in are essential to fertilize this embryonic research field."

emerging work practices of mobile professionals

Masao Kakihara (2003). Emerging Work Practices of ICT-Enabled Mobile Professionals. PhD thesis submited to the Department of Information Systems, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London.

"This thesis aims to offer a theoretical foundation for the concept of mobility, particularly in contemporary work contexts. With support of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in general and mobile technology in particular, contemporary work activities are increasingly distributed and dynamically conducted in various locations. In such an emerging work environment, maintaining a highly level of ‘mobility’ is becoming critical for contemporary workers, particularly for mobile professionals. Based on the theoretical considerations on the concept of mobility, this thesis empirically explores the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of mobile professionals’ work practices.


The mode of mobility is characterised not only by extensive geographical movement but also by operational flexibility and intense interaction in mobile professionals’ dynamic work activities. Based on these theoretical and empirical discussions, this thesis aims: 1) to theoretically underpin our understanding of mobility in contemporary work contexts; 2) to offer empirically grounded implications for the post-bureaucratic, fluid organising of work; and finally 3) to advance the ongoing debate on the dynamic interplay of work, organisation, and technology."

Jul 16, 2007

Europe cross-border transitions

A case study (1) that run between 2004 & 205, illustrates other information needs that occur during the cross border transitions faced by mobile European workers. The case under analysis concerns geographic terrestrial mobility and mobility formalities for different countries, hence legal and process country frameworks (Government Level).

In order to solve bureaucratic workers loss of time, the study managed to elicit the needed requirements for civil data information about individuals to «move» between countries. More details on the project in
IDABC - Case Study in the Euregio: Reducing the administrative burden:
"The study examined the administrative processes and requirements which had to be completed by the mobile citizens in these border areas. In doing this, it adopted the customers’ perspective, who wanted to reduce paper work and contacts with administrations. This study prepared the ground for the implementation of the trans-border eGovernment services that were able to improve the life of citizens wishing to move or take up activities in another Member State."
(1) "The Mobility Case Study focused on municipalities of the Euregio Maas-Rhine, located at the point where the three countries Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands meet, on an area of nearly 11 000 km² and with a population of 3.7 million"

Jul 7, 2007

research, living & life

For the few people that still come to this space expecting to find news on my research, just some notes to let you know that what i had dream and fight to get a grant for being able to finance my PhD, turned out to be something far from what i would discovered. I am still waiting for my grant!

Because I'm a full time worker in a research government lab (where they do not invest in workers research education & only use it at workers costs), in order to receive the grant that i won, from last years national FCT's grants:
  • I need the written consent of my research lab, saying that they authorize me to do my PhD without receiving my salary (according to Portuguese National Science & Technology Foundation norms for the research grants). I have been waiting for the answer since last year, and still nothing!
  • When they eventually decide, I will loose my salary, and my income will be even worst then before i applied for the grant, making the grant feel like a poisoned gift
In the course of my life I married and proudly became the mother of two kids. It's becoming real difficult to tell them to proceed with their studies (they are now 17 & 15 years old), in a country were a house maid (that i would gladly pay for, if i could) earns more than someone that works full time in research. What lessons are they taking out of my discourse versus practicing?

Something must be wrong in my present life. It seems that the efforts I've been making in the last years are all wrong and do not make any sense. Since I went to work for my current organization:
  • I have been told that always exceeded the objectives they have given me
  • I have worked in team and helped create sharing practices
  • I've introduced new practices where old ones didn't work
  • I've shared my resources and documented my practices
  • I found solutions to solve problems, when resources where scarce or unavailable
  • I have had the best evaluations from my hierarchies since I came to work for them, but...
  • ... the promotions only included more work, more responsibility, but no money!
So 5 years of my life telling my family that "working hard will help us have a better life", working full time, finishing a masters research (extra time), even incurring in costs in the name of a better future for my Organization and hence for myself and all the people i work with, translates in nothing that i can give back to the well being of my family:
  • I've been moved by the dream of being able to contribute to my family needs
  • I always believed in giving the most to the people i am with
  • I enjoy learning knew things and use them in everyday work and life
  • My best learned lessons have been those where something didn't work
I have been trying to make sense of all this situation... but i keep going in circles. I feel that i am wasting my time. There must be other ways of living life

I once thought that money was not important, but in the last years I've changed my mind: the grocery man thinks it is, so I «had» to agree with him ;-)

Jul 1, 2007

Information fragmentation

Paper proposing a framework to deal with information fragmentation. This is importante for my research since it is one of the PIM problems identified at the individual level with consequences to the group level, mainly at sharing information across project teams.

Defragmenting Information using the Syncables Framework