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Research outside academia?: An analysis of resources in extra-academic report writing
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM. Dept. of ALM, Uppsala University. (ARKDIS)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0493-6845
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A significant part of all research takes place in extra-academic organizations. Practitioner researchers often present their results in publications different from those in academia, e.g. in reports, sometimes (and here) referred to as “gray literature”. Gray literature is increasingly available online. However, availability does not mean that reports are exploited to their full potential in research. Disciplines like archaeology have substantial problems with the scholarly communication and knowledge sharing between extra-academic and academic research. This paper approaches this problem from a report-user perspective. For the benefit of potential report users’ gray literature literacies, report-writing practices are analyzed by means of practice theory. Qualitative interviews with six practitioner researchers in Swedish archaeology firms make up the material. The analysis focuses on how report writers draw on regulative, institutional, and infrastructural resources in their practices. Based on the findings about the practices in which reports are written and become informative, the paper presents seven suggestions supporting report users’ potential to critically analyze and use report content. The results contribute to the information science field with insights into extra-academic information practices, and as input in a wider critical discussion of the information-related conditions for research outside academia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Scholarly communication; Practitioner researchers; Grey literature; Archaeology; Practice theory
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303766OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-303766DiVA: diva2:973938
Conference
Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Copenhagen, Denmark Oct. 14-18, 2016
Projects
ARKDIS
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 340-2012-5751
Available from: 2016-09-23 Created: 2016-09-23 Last updated: 2017-10-20
In thesis
1. Resources for scholarly documentation in professional service organizations: A study of Swedish development-led archaeology report writing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resources for scholarly documentation in professional service organizations: A study of Swedish development-led archaeology report writing
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This information studies dissertation deals with the problem that results from research outside academia risk to receive little or no attention if communicated through reports, instead of in mainstream academic genres like research journal articles. The case in focus is Swedish development-led (DL) archaeology, i.e. state regulated archaeology preceding land development. Swedish DL archaeology is organized as a semi-regulated market. The organizations competing on the market are professional service organizations selling research services to land developers. Regional government departments, county administrative boards, function as intermediaries setting up procurement-like processes.

In previous research on archaeological documentation, the problem with non-use of reports has been described as depending on cultural issues of access, possible to solve if individuals make efforts to communicate and use extra-academic results. This dissertation offers an alternative definition of the problem, highlighting a different set of solutions. The aim is to further the understanding of how the distribution of research duties to professional service organizations affects the scholarly documentation in Swedish archaeology. The aim is met through identification, operationalization and analysis of resources available to report writing DL archaeology practitioners, and an analysis of how practitioners draw on these resources. The results further the understanding of how reports are shaped within the DL archaeology institution. In view of these results, efforts to solve issues of access should target the organization of research in the archaeology discipline, and specifically how scholarly documentation is governed on the archaeology market.

The dissertation draws on science and technology studies, practice theory, and document theory for the design of the study of documentation resources and contexts in extra-academic research. A mixed methods approach is applied to capture regulative, institutional, and infrastructural resources, and practitioners’ use thereof. Dissertation papers I-III contain analyses of concrete instantiations of the resources: information policy, documentation ideals, and information source use. The fourth paper presents an analysis of how practitioners draw on these resources in their everyday report writing. The dissertation concerns archaeology specifically, but serves as grounds to inquire into the premises for scholarly documentation in other areas of extra-academic research and knowledge-making as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of ALM, Uppsala University, 2017. 108 p.
Series
Skrifter utgivna vid institutionen för ABM vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1652-5353 ; 6
Keyword
Archaeology, Extra-academic research, Knowledge-making, Scholarly communication, Documentation, Report writing, Science and technology studies, Practice theory
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306157 (URN)978-91-506-2664-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-15, Humanistiska Teatern, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3H, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Archaeological Information in the Digital Society (ARKDIS)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 340-2012-5751
Available from: 2017-11-22 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2017-11-22

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