Vol. 10 No. 4, July, 2005




With this issue Information Research makes a shift of base from Sheffield in the UK to Lund in Sweden. From this issue onwards, the server will be located in Lund University and will be managed by staff of Lund University Libraries, who are also responsible for managing the Directory of Open Access Journals—so the link is very appropriate. As a consequence of the move, the Editorial Board will have two new members, one, Ingegerd Rabow representing Lund University Libraries and the other, Salam Baker Shanawa, serving as Associate Editor (Technology).

In the last Editorial I wrote of hoping to welcome a colleague from Japan to the Board and that has now happened: we are joined by Professor Shunsaku Tamura of Keio University. Professor Tamura will be encouraging submissions from the Far East in general and, in particular, will oversee the submission of papers translated from the Japanese and already published in Japan. We hope to have two or three such papers in the course of the next year, with the aim of revealing to the rest of the world the research going on in Japan. In particular, as I know from a visit there in March, there is some interesting work on the application of ethnomethodology in information behaviour research.

This issue

As usual, we have an internationally-authored and interesting bunch of papers in this issue, together with the usual book reviews, a feature which, a little to my surprise, turns out to be one of the strong appeals of the journal. Since I'm an avid reader of reviews myself (after all, if you can't buy all those books, at least you can read the reviews!), so I suppose I ought not to be surprised, but in the other three editorial roles I've had, I always tried to make a feature of book reviews. Generally, journals in the field don't have many reviews in any one issue, so at least we can help a little more in book selection.

However, to the papers: we begin with an invited essay from Marcia Bates of the University of California, Los Angeles, a well-known researcher in the information field, who, in this paper, presents the development of a definition of 'information' first propounded by Edwin Parker: 'Information is the pattern of organization of matter and energy'. The idea is developed to show the relationship between information in the sense of all of nature's 'information impressions' that bombard us every day, which she terms Information 1 and information in the sense of that to which living things (including humans) give meaning, or Information 2. This essay is a companion piece to another, due to be published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

We then have what is, I believe, only our second contribution from France, in the form of a paper by Eric Thivant on the information behaviour of accountants and business analysis employed in the Banque de France and the Institut National de la statistique et des Études Économiques. Dr. Thivant's research was undertaken within a framework which draws upon a number of models of information behaviour, the SICIA (Situation, Complexity and Information Activity) method. One conclusion is that, although different goals are pursued, the information research strategies and the information sources drawn upon, tend to be similar.

Next, a first from Austria, in the shape of Christian Schlögl's exploration of the somewhat contentious issue of the distinction between 'information management' and 'knowledge management'. He concludes that:

If one does not consider its synonymous use for information management, knowledge management means the management of those work practices that aim at improving the generation of new and the sharing of existing knowledge.

Of course, whether or not it is legitimate to label the management of work practices, 'knowledge management' remains an open question.

The 'Operational use of electronic records in police work' is the subject of Erik Borglund's paper. This is a topic of personal interest since the group I work with in Leeds University Business School (AIMTech) does a considerable amount of work with police Forces in the UK. This is a new area of research in information management, since it involves remote, mobile access to the organization's information resources and the issues of integrating databases, as well as integrating information from different agencies, are crucial.

In another paper from Sweden, AnnBritt Enochsson presents 'A gender perspective on Internet use: consequences for information seeking'. Readers of the journal's Style Guide will know that I generally regard the use of the term 'gender' as an undesirable piece of political correctness, since most of the time people are referring not to socially-determined aspects of the person, but to the sexual distinction of male and female. In this, case, however, the author presents a reasoned argument for the use of the term 'gender', which, in this case, seems entirely appropriate.

Finally, a team of researchers from the USA, led by James Andrews of the University of South Florida, present the results of a study into people's intentions to seek information on the genetic aspects of cancer. The authors carried out a telephone interview survey, which resulted in 882 completed interviews, and conclude:

The role genetics will play in our personal health care promises to be great, and people will need to access quality and understand information to make better decisions regarding their own health and that of their families. As demand for individual counselling and testing may increase, however, the health care infrastructure may not be ready to respond.


My thanks, again, to Rae Ann Hughes, volunteer proof reader, for an excellent job, and to Jose Vicente Rodriquez and Pedro Diaz for coping with translating the abstracts into Spanish, as well as to all those who have acted as referees for this and other issues.

Professor Tom Wilson, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
June 2005
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How to cite this editorial:

Wilson, T.D. (2005)  "Editorial."  Information Research, 10(4), editorial E104   [Available at: http://informationr.net/ir/10-4/editor104.html]

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