Editor's note


Once again, this issue is quite a big one, incorporating, as it does, papers from the RAILS (Research Applications, Information and Library Studies) conference held at the end of last year at Monash University in Australia. Thirteen papers made it through to publication here, thanks to a great deal of work, well beyond the remit of a Regional Editor, by Amanda Cossham. The papers cover a wide range of issues from information literacy, through indexing and Facebook Confessions, to library services for indigenous peoples and collaborative information behaviour. I'm sure that the papers will be read with interest as illustrative of the wide range of research going on in Australasia.

The regular papers also cover an equally diverse range of topics: Hue Thi Pham has applied structuration theory to the study of collaboration between librarians and academic staff in universities in Australia and Vietnam, showing that the perceived lack of equality between the two groups, organizational cultures, and power relationships are barriers to genuine collaboration. Jannatul Fardous and her colleagues also deal with collaboration; in this case between people engageed in leisure travel, with an emphasis on the use of social media. Centerwall and Nolin, consider the role of infrastructure in relation to the visibility of school libraries in Sweden; and Vynke and colleagues examine the cultural variations in the different Websites of Honda Cars. Alejandro Vesga Vinchira, investigates music fans in Colombia finding a set of information activities, production, distribution, retrieval, use, collection and organization, which, although set out differently, bear a striking resemblance at the personal level to the notion of the life-cycle of information.

The reading behaviour of primary school students and its relationship to reading attainment measures is explored by Hong Huang and six colleagues from Hong Kong. Perhaps not surprisingly, since I believe the fact has been shown elsewhere in the world, they found that 'Home resources were by far the most significant indicator of literacy achievement in this study.' Personal information management is the subject of Lala Hajibayova's research, specifically an exploration of the factors that affect how, in this case, social science students, discover, organize and assess information. She finds that various social and contextual factors affect personal information management and that students have 'blurred perceptions of the crowd-generated opinions of utilized platforms as human-generated versus the precision of the algorithmically generated recommendations.'

In 'Contemplative aims for information' Gorichanaz and Latham have undertaken a wide-ranging literature review of the concept of contemplation, relating it to the possible contemplative role of information. As a result, the propose 'six contemplative aims for information: being, attention, meaning, compassion, unity, and wisdom' and consider various avenues of research to explore these matters further. Finally, Rebecca Giblin and her colleagues report, in two papers, the results of a major investigation into the e-lending licensing and pricing policies of publishers in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK, and Canada. This, to my mind, is a very important piece of work, and should make librarians, especially in the UK, think carefully about why conditions and costs for the same book should vary so widely.

Book reviews

We have the usual crop of reviews in this issue: eight in this case, on topics ranging from the digital humanities to records management and search engines.


I suspect that the readers of journals rarely give much thought to the work put in by the reviewers, unless, of course, they are authors themselves, whose work has undergone review. No genuine scholarly journal (and, sadly, there are now many that cannot be dignified by the designation) can do an effective job of maintaining the quality of its content without the voluntary labour of the referees. Sometimes, they are members of our Editorial Board, but many have no other connection with the journal other than as reviewers. As academics ourselves, we know how difficult it is to fit this kind of work into busy schedules, and I would like all of those who have played a part in maintaining the quality of our output to know that we appreciate their efforts.

I also have to thank the Regional Editors who do a superb job in managing the review process, and our copy-editors, who often have rather unusual linguistic formulations to cope with.

Professor Tom Wilson
September, 2019