Spanning the boundaries of information behaviour and practices

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Thu, 10/11/2018 - 12:55

The 2018 edition of the ISIC conference organised (in an excellent manner, thank you!) this time at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow offered, as usual, a plenty of interesting ideas to consider.

It is difficult to try to summarise a large number of diverse papers but my sort of a general impression is that this year we had a whole lot of discussion on novel constituents of information behaviours and practices and links between information practices and other practices and activities. Even if context has been in the focus of ISIC from the beginning, it somehow seems that the community has become better in explicating the context in relation to information activities rather than the other way round -- which has been the traditional perspective. Some interesting ideas to consider further were the discussion on information stabilisation and destabilisation by Trine Schreiber, somewhat-less-positivistic modes of engaging with information discussed in several papers and panels but also several methodological questions raised in a number of presentations. As an empirical question, it is hardly surprising that immigrants were researched in several papers. 

It is also apparent that various nods towards the (socio)materiality and diverse socio-spatialities of information practices are becoming more increasingly acknowledged and highlighted in different studies. The question of materiality was obviously very much on the agenda of the second keynote, prof. Paul Dourish who discussed materiality and information systems in his talk (which I missed and had to follow via Twitter). There was a lot of food for thought for the line of research I have explored in the recent papers on human-technology-information interactions, practical authorship and the ecology of information processes

Our paper reported brief observations of age-group related differences in how people seek clarification and additional information when reading their medical record texts. The study was a collaboration between the DOME Consortium and the HIBA research project