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Lawrence Shaw

Beyond interpretivism but where?

What comes after interpretivism, dichotomisation of the social and technological, is sociomaterialism, ANT, activity theory, or something else the answer to the theoretical headache of trying to figure out what happens out there with different types of things, independent of them being something or non-something, or attempting to hold back the lure of making dichotomies, merely something.

When is information work?

Information science researchers and practitioners discuss information activities using a large number of different terms. A concept that often appears in colloquial discussions of information activities but that has received less systematic attention in information science research is that of information work.

All life-events are significant!

Prof. Ian Ruthwen (University of Strathclyde) held an interesting keynote at 2016 edition of the ISIC - Information Behaviour Conference in Zadar, Croatia. He talked about information behaviours (sic!) related to significant life events and made broadly remarks on what is significant in significant life events and how these aspects have possible repercussions on how people deal with information.

Conceptions of CoLIS9 and ARKDIS16 conferences

Last week was a tough one but, at the same time, a very successful one. I was organising two conference with my colleagues in Uppsala, the 9th international conference in the Conceptions of Library and Information Science on methods, theories, concepts and conceptions of and in information studies, and the Archaeological Information in the Digital Society 2016, 3rd Centre for Digital Heritage conference organised by the ARKDIS research project.

Documentation, reports, data and the archiving and management of archeological information

Three new articles from the ARKDIS project have come out in the beginning of the summer discussing respectively the archiving and management of archaeological information in Sweden, the paradox of the how archaeological primary research data is considered highly important but only seldom used and properly archived and how archaeological documentation is changing in the digital society. Abstracts and links to the papers can be found below. Huvila, I. (2016).

Understanding archaeological documentation practices

This year's ARIADNE Summer School in Digital curation of archaeological knowledge and Expert forum: The future of archaeological knowledge curation 2021-2026 (organised by prof. Costis Dallas and the DCU of Athena research Centre in Athens) took some interesting steps in explicating the current state and developing insight into the future of archaeological information management. It is still highly obvious that we don't know enough about archaeological practices and knowledge work.

Different digital archaeologies for and by different audiences

ARKDIS project held a workshop on Digitisation and communication in Kalmar this week in association with the recently started Graduate School in Contract Archaeology (GRASCA) at the Linneaus University in Kalmar. The invited speakers included prof. Vincent Gaffney (University of Bradford) and Dr. Henry Chapman (University of Birmingham) ARKDIS project visited in spring 2014 in Birmingham, and Dr. Lorna Richardson (Umeå University) together with members of ARKDIS project and GRASCA.

1-2 PhD positions in library & information science @ Uppsala University

From Uppsala University website http://uu.se/jobb/detaljsida/?positionId=99705 : Uppsala University hereby declares the following positions to be open for application One or two PhD student positions in Library and Information Science at the Department of Archival Science, Library and Information Science, Museology and Cultural Heritage Studies (ALM) with starting date September 1, 2016 at the earliest.

What technology does to us?

Many of the discussions at this year's edition of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology CAA 2016 conference held earlier this week in Oslo were directly or somewhat less directly related to anxieties (and occasional optimism) about the impact of various types of technologies (and social arrangements related to technologies) on archaeological (information) work and practices.

Metawork is information work

Last week, one of the big issues in the Finnish social media landscape was Jenny Lehtinen's piece on the gender inequalities of metawork (fi. metatyö). It tends to be women, in families the mom, who tends to be the one who does most of the coordination, checking of schedules and finding out details for everything that needs to be done. As an example, she writes on how it works to take children to swimming lessons (something a dad might do).

Research and its societal utility

I recently received an invitation to participate in a survey on attitudes on the societal relevance and utility of research conducted by a somewhat well-known Swedish consultancy Demoskop. It is obvious that research without relevance whatsoever is total waste of time but the survey is an excellent example of the difficulty and shear impossibility of asking "general" questions about this topic. The survey will undoubtedly will produce useful results for those who have paid for it.

The problem is to articulate for whom and how

The Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference was held this year  in Siena. Conference had gathered approximately 500 delegates and a very impressive number of papers, posters and roundtables. The book of abstracts was massive and reminded of proceedings volumes of the same conference from ten years ago. It is difficult to pinpoint particular themes at the conference because of the very large variety of contributions.

Managing information and knowledge is (child’s) play, no, game?

One of the hottest buzzwords of business research is gamification. Similarly to many other terms from Web 2.0 to BPR, and well yes, knowledge management, it is offered as a miracle cure to problems organisations are facing today and a recipe for success to make a day tomorrow. In a similar way than many other buzzwords, there is something in it (of course) but things are perhaps not that simple that gamification can be taken and made to work like a new hammer.