Editor's note

Our Regional Editors are central to the success of the journal, and I thought it was time to ask them to reflect on their role and introduce an issue from time to time. As my time this quarter has been eaten into by various unavoidable issues, specifically a cataract operation and a dose of the common cold, I'm happy that Elena Maceviciute, Deputy Editor and Regional Editor for Central and Eastern Europe, has taken on the task for this issue.


I often ask myself the question: What is keeping together a relatively large group of people working quite consistently and sometimes hard, but entirely voluntarily, for a scholarly journal, like Information Research? One could explain it by suggesting that those involved gain academic merit, but that would not be true of all. We have copy editors and layout editors or, for example, our Spanish translators, and there is not a lot of academic merit to get for these jobs.

Another argument could be that we understand the value of open access journals and are committed to the ideals of free scholarly communication. That is absolutely correct: an ideological underpinning of this enterprise is very important. On the other hand, ideological commitment of a large group of people usually does not last over 20 years. After all we are free scholars with huge workloads and masses of other responsibilities, not a bunch of fanatics.

I believe that many could say that it is the Editor-in-chief Tom Wilson who is a stubborn person and would not let the journal dwindle to nothing. Entirely true; scholarly journals like any other long lasting effort, require a capable and persistent leader. Tom’s skill in putting together the efforts of a distributed team is impressive, especially, as some of us have never met in the physical world and only communicate online, sometimes only through the Editor-in-chief. On the other hand, he has no incentives to give us, except mentioning on the Webpage, and it is not quite clear what keeps him in this business for so long.

One of the explanations that I have found for myself is quite hedonistic. I would not say that I like rejecting weak articles or putting long hours in looking for referees. But I enjoy seeing the issue of the journal on the Web and feeling that this is a result of common effort that is somewhat bigger than the parts of it.

It is a truly international team with a variety of skills dispersed over continents that works on each issue. I am always proud that I represent that territory, which goes under the name of post-Soviet space, and there are more and more authors from it appearing in the journal each year. Sure, it has nothing to do with me, but maybe it does, because as a Regional Editor I make sure that each text submitted from that space gets fair judgement and all the help that we can provide if it is worth it. This mixture of representing locality within an international team is very important personally for me


There is a pool of readers in some incredible places when we look at the usage data, there are many authors who faithfully send us high quality papers and even more who use the possibility of submitting to this journal for further education in scholarly publishing. There are reviewers who try to fit our requests in their tight schedules. I have literally fallen in love with some people that I have not even seen (never mind, men or women) for their brilliant minds, hilarious wit, amazing competence, and steadiness of wills.

I can sing praises for everyone working on the journal, but what matters is that I see this work more rewording in social sense than being on Facebook or following something on Twitter. Information Research provides me (and I hope some others) with the sense of belonging to a group, that satisfies important internal needs. We experience the same sense of commonality and recognition when meeting suddenly face-to-face in conferences or airports as the members of the social media groups do. At the same time, these bonds are purely intellectual and directed towards a higher end; we are saved from the daily trivia flooding other social media and can witness the (in)tangible result of our common mindwork four times a year. Not bad as it goes for good moments in life.

In this issue

This issue is quite a good illustration of what I have written above. We have in it twelve articles by authors from eight countries: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, and the USA.

The issue kicks off with a paper on the various investigations as to how much information there might be in the world (and cyberspace). Martin Hilbert reviews various studies to identify methods, problems and ways of resolving them.

This is followed bytwo articles on bibliometrics (an area in which we publish only papers that have some novelty). Carlos Olmeda-Gómez and his colleagues explore the collaboration between research institutions and private enterprises in Spain using bibliometric measurement of co-authorship. They arrive to the conclusion that since 2003 the participation of companies in research has declined. Nicolaisen and Faber Frandsen present a bibliometric indicator for measuring journal specialisation over time: the focus factor.

Two articles explore various aspects of library and information science research using literature reviews. Johnson has made an extensive review of literature analysing how library and information researchers use the concept of social capital. Koh and his colleagues have conducted review of information behaviour research exploring how the potential impact of research findings is addressed in the papers.

The aspects of usage and improvement of information services has been the focus of several presented research projects. Berget and Sandness have addressed the issue of information searching in databases by people with dyslexia and provided effective interface design guidelines for dyslexic users. Deng et al., a team from China and Finland, have investigated the relationship between system characteristics of the social question and answer sites and perceptions of their users leading to certain features of their experience. Syn and Sinn used the concept of the secondary system use to explore how Facebook serves for documenting the personal history of its users.

Library and information science research has attracted some interesting investigations. Olsson and Heizmann suggested using Foucault’s notion of power/knowledge as a conceptual lense in information research. Joo and Kipp have examined the Webspace in the field of library and information science through social tag structure using multidimentional scaling to reveal the relationships among websites. Moral and his colleagues have developed a research instrument – a coding system for a formalised qualitative analysis for information seeking process in computer science.

I should mention separately an interesting autoethnographic (phenomenographic) research by Gorichanaz who explored his own self and his information seeking during the utlramarathon run from the life in the round and serious leisure perspectives.

The book reviews

The reviews of the books as usually are not as diversified as we usually select what is published in English. But in this issue you will find a review on Kira Tarapanoff’s book on information analysis in support of decision making published in Brazil in Portuguese. There is a critical essay review of futuristically-oriented non-fiction books on automation and how it will affect the humanity, by Jan Nolin. Two interesting volumes published by university presses were reviewed: the King James Lectures on the meaning of the library edited by Alice Crawford (Princeton UP) and the neuroscientific examination of the reader's brain, as a guide to how to write well, by Douglas Yellowlees (Cambridge UP) – and three books by Facet Publishing.


Our thanks, as usual, to our colleagues in the University of Murcia, Jose-Vicente Rodriguez Munoz and Pedro Diaz who prepare the abstracts in Spanish and to the other regional Editors, the copy-editors and layout editors who help to keep the journal alive. You can read about them here.

Professor Elena Maceviciute, Deputy Editor
November, 2015