There is a good deal of money floating around these days to support open access publishing: research funding agencies such as the research councils in the UK and the Wellcome Foundation, provide support for authors wishing to publish in journals, which, in return for payments of $3,000 or more, will make the paper 'open' - whether or not anyone can discover that it is openly available is quite another matter. It seems reasonable, therefore , for us to ask for a donation if your institution or funding agency is prepared to fund author payments: we don't suggest $3,000 dollars, however. If your funder or institution makes funds available, we suggest a donation to the journal of £500 ($800, €600) after your paper has been accepted for publication, so your ability to make a donation will have no effect on whether or not the paper is accepted. A donation will also cover the cost of converting the paper to html, which many authors find problematic, and will enable us to pay copy-editors and layout-editors for their work on such papers. Information Research is genuinely open: help us to keep it so.
The preparation of this issue was rather less fraught than in the case of the December issue; ideally I would be happy to publish half-a-dozen papers, but more seem to keep coming along. The process wasn't helped by a nasty attack of the common cold - perhaps there's room for a paper on the role of illness in academic productivity - although I imagine someone has already looked at that! We are now rapidly approaching the twentieth anniversary of the journal and I think that few would have imagined, in 1995, that we would still be going almost twenty years later. Indeed, one or two of my colleagues were entirely dismissive of the venture and such as the lack of interest when I retired in 2000 that I felt bound to remove it to a new site, from which it could continue to be published. Originally, I paid for that site myself but, eventually, Lund University Library generously agreed to provide serve space and technical support. I think their confidence in the journal has been justified since the quality of the journal is widely recognized, even if some Luddites in the UK universities still consider that only printed sources are appropriate places to publish. However, all of this is a bit premature, we still have another three issues this year to produce before we can begin to celebrate.
The usual array of countries is represented in this issue, and, following up on a comment in my last Editorial, I find that in 2013 we published papers by authors from twenty-five different countries; here they are: Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the USA. The authors in this issue are from a subset of these.
Three of the papers in this issue are based on presentations made at last year's I3 conference in Aberdeen: all presenters were invited to submit their papers to the journal, where they would go through peer review (with just one reviewer, since they had been peer reviewed for the conference). Very few authors took advantage of the offer and, in addition to the three papers in this issue, I think there will only be one or two more for the June issue.
The three I3 papers are on diverse topics: Gainor and Bouthillier discuss 'Conceptualizing outcome and impact measures for intelligence services', which is a slightly misleading title, since competitive intelligence services is meant, rather than the machinations of the NSA and GCHQ as revealed by Edward Snowden. (Mmm, does anyone know if he'd like to do a paper for us?). The authors travelled from Canada to present their paper, but Graeme Baxter had less distance to travel, being on the staff of Robert Gordon's University, the host institution for the conference. His paper on the public's access to information on planning decisions looks at the recent Trump golf-course affair and the building of a gas terrminal in the 1970s. He concludes that:
[In] both cases, the information emanating from the developers has been peppered with misleading or questionable statements and data. With the gas terminal proposals, for example, the Gas Council and Total appeared reluctant to reveal publicly that the entire North-east coastline had not yet been surveyed for suitable pipeline landfall locations, implying that the Crimond site was their only option... while Trump's allegations that two of Scotland's First Ministers had each given him verbal assurances that the offending offshore windfarm would never be built have been vigorously denied by both men. The 21st century North-east citizen may well have received more extensive and detailed information from the developers than his 1970s equivalent, but it might be argued that much of it should be treated with caution.
The final paper based on a conference presentation is by Jenny Bronstein on 'Creating possible selves: information disclosure behaviour on social networks. There has been a good deal of discussion in recent months about the hazards of revealing oneself on social networks and about the dangers than young people put themselves in by using such sites. Drawing upon the work of Irving Goffman, Bronstein notes:
participants in this study identity creation on a social networking site is a reflective process that may be motivated by the need for self-enhancement that would result in a possible self that communicates the best part of themselves to others, supporting Goffman's... assertion that individuals need to present themselves as an acceptable person to others.
Of the remaining papers, one is on the hard-core information retrieval topic of stemming algorithms: Moral, de Antonio, Imbert and Ramírez survey and evaluate a variety of such algorithms for a number of different languages. It seems that for English, the first to be produced is probably the best, but English is relatively simple compared with languages that make extensive use not only of prefixes and suffixes but, at times, infixes!
Five of the papers are capable of being slotted into a broad definition of information behaviour: Ist Huvila and colleagues from Lund discuss the contexts of personal information management as revealed by three separate studies of how information is managed by people; Desrochers and Pecoskie, consider the acknowledgements paratext as revealing the information seeking behaviour of authors; Lopatovska and Smiley consider information behaviour during a crisis, as exemplified by the impact of Hurrican Sandy on the north-east coast of the USA; Tan and Ramayah, explore the motivations that lead academics to exchange information with one another. And finally, in this group, Harlan and colleagues discuss the information seeking behaviour of young people in using social media.
Finally, Diehm and Lupton disucss Learning information literacy and this too, could have been placed under the heading of information behaviour, since in order to acquire information skills of different kinds, it is necessary to acquire, process and use information, in the form of instruction and documentary resources, as well, of course, of practice.
With this issue we also reach another landmark in publishing our 500th book review. The surveys we have done suggest that the reviews are a very useful part of the journal. In these issue, a number of the reviews have a 'Web flavour', which is perhaps not surprising, given the dominance today of the World Wide Web as a source of information.
We see some small changes in this issue as a result of deciding to stick more closely to the American Psychological Association's rules on citations and references. It means a little re-learning on the part of myself and copy-editors, but authors ought to find it easier to abide by the rules, since the APA guidance is widely used and a number of Websites, including that of the APA itself, provide at least the outlines of what is required. The changes are very small, e.g., it is no longer necessary to include the date upon which a Website was accessed; instead of using "1990: 38" to indicate the page referred to in a quotation, we now use "1990, p. 38); and on first occurrence all authors, up to five, are cited in the text, and "et al." is only used for more than two authors after the first occurrence. These and other changes and information on where we diverge from the APA can be found in the new instructions for authors. It is almost impossible to stick entirely to the APA rules, first because they are intended entirely for American authors writing for American journals about American phenomena, so there are no rules, for example, for publications by the departments of foreign governments and none for any legal system other than that of the USA; secondly, the rules still reflect the printed publication and, apart from providing rules for some kinds of electronic publication, take no account of publications that are only digital. However, we shall now abide by them rather more closely than in the past and the exceptions are few and easy to comprehend. Not everything in this issue will be to this standard, since the copy-editing was done before the change was made and I may not have caught everything in my final edit of the papers.
And, of course, my thanks to referees, associate editors, copy-editors and layout editors who help to keep the journal going, and to my colleagues in the University of Murcia who prepare the abstracts in Spanish.
Professor Tom Wilson, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief