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Contextualising risk: the unfolding information work and practices of people during the COVID-19 pandemic

Contextualising risk: the unfolding information work and practices of people during the COVID-19... The aim of this study is to investigate people's information practices as the SARS-CoV-2 virus took hold in the UK. Of particular interest is how people transition into newly created pandemic information environments and the ways information literacy practices come into view.Design/methodology/approachThe qualitative research design comprised one-to-one in-depth interviews conducted virtually towards the end of the UK's first lockdown phase in May–July 2020. Data were coded and analysed by the researchers using constant comparative and situated analysis techniques.FindingsTransition into new pandemic information environments was shaped by an unfolding phase, an intensification phase and a stable phase. Information literacy emerged as a form of safeguarding as participants engaged in information activities designed to mitigate health, legal, financial and well-being risks produced by the pandemic.Research limitations/implicationsTime constraints meant that the sample from the first phase of this study skewed female.Practical implicationsFindings establish foundational knowledge for public health and information professionals tasked with shaping public communication during times of crisis.Social implicationsThis paper contributes to understandings of the role that information and information literacy play within global and long-term crises.Originality/valueThis is one of the first studies to explore information practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Contextualising risk: the unfolding information work and practices of people during the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Documentation , Volume 77 (5): 21 – Aug 10, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/jd-11-2020-0203
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate people's information practices as the SARS-CoV-2 virus took hold in the UK. Of particular interest is how people transition into newly created pandemic information environments and the ways information literacy practices come into view.Design/methodology/approachThe qualitative research design comprised one-to-one in-depth interviews conducted virtually towards the end of the UK's first lockdown phase in May–July 2020. Data were coded and analysed by the researchers using constant comparative and situated analysis techniques.FindingsTransition into new pandemic information environments was shaped by an unfolding phase, an intensification phase and a stable phase. Information literacy emerged as a form of safeguarding as participants engaged in information activities designed to mitigate health, legal, financial and well-being risks produced by the pandemic.Research limitations/implicationsTime constraints meant that the sample from the first phase of this study skewed female.Practical implicationsFindings establish foundational knowledge for public health and information professionals tasked with shaping public communication during times of crisis.Social implicationsThis paper contributes to understandings of the role that information and information literacy play within global and long-term crises.Originality/valueThis is one of the first studies to explore information practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 10, 2021

Keywords: Information literacy; COVID-19; Risk; Transition; Practice theory; Qualitative

References