Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Transitions theory and liminality in information behaviour research

Transitions theory and liminality in information behaviour research Transitions – as a focus of study – have been missing from information behaviour research. The purpose of this paper is to explore the topic of transitions – their characteristics and influences, the related concept of liminality and Transitions Theory – and what it can contribute to the field of information behaviour. This exploration includes the application of liminality and Transitions Theory to an empirical study of participants making the transition from doctoral student to early career academic.Design/methodology/approachIn addition to an extended literature review, this paper reports on a qualitative study that used constructivist grounded theory methodology for data collection and analysis. Early career academics were followed for a five- to seven-month period and data were collected using interviews and “check-ins”. Transitions Theory and liminality were used to guide the analysis.FindingsThree important findings were highlighted: the complicating effects of being in a liminal space on information behaviour; the changing information needs of those undergoing a transition; and the importance of comparison as a way of using information to understand new situations. A revised model of Transitions Theory (Meleis et al., 2000) is also proposed, to incorporate information behaviour.Originality/valueThis paper demonstrates that by examining information behaviour over longer periods of time and by making transitions a focus of research, new understandings and insight can be gained into what information individual needs, how they find, share and use that information. This research demonstrates that information behaviour research adds important elements to the study of transitions and, conversely, that transitions (and Transitions Theory) add important elements to the study of information behaviour. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Transitions theory and liminality in information behaviour research

Journal of Documentation , Volume 75 (4): 19 – Jun 21, 2019

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/transitions-theory-and-liminality-in-information-behaviour-research-fVgCN195Bj
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/jd-12-2018-0207
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Transitions – as a focus of study – have been missing from information behaviour research. The purpose of this paper is to explore the topic of transitions – their characteristics and influences, the related concept of liminality and Transitions Theory – and what it can contribute to the field of information behaviour. This exploration includes the application of liminality and Transitions Theory to an empirical study of participants making the transition from doctoral student to early career academic.Design/methodology/approachIn addition to an extended literature review, this paper reports on a qualitative study that used constructivist grounded theory methodology for data collection and analysis. Early career academics were followed for a five- to seven-month period and data were collected using interviews and “check-ins”. Transitions Theory and liminality were used to guide the analysis.FindingsThree important findings were highlighted: the complicating effects of being in a liminal space on information behaviour; the changing information needs of those undergoing a transition; and the importance of comparison as a way of using information to understand new situations. A revised model of Transitions Theory (Meleis et al., 2000) is also proposed, to incorporate information behaviour.Originality/valueThis paper demonstrates that by examining information behaviour over longer periods of time and by making transitions a focus of research, new understandings and insight can be gained into what information individual needs, how they find, share and use that information. This research demonstrates that information behaviour research adds important elements to the study of transitions and, conversely, that transitions (and Transitions Theory) add important elements to the study of information behaviour.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 21, 2019

Keywords: Academic staff; Grounded theory; Information behaviour; Liminality; Transitions; Transitions theory

References