For this issue, Professor Nils Pharo, our Regional Editor for the Far East agreed to write the Editorial. Nils has been Regional Editor ever since we set the present editorial structure in place and, consequently, has considerable experience in dealing with the diversity of papers that come from that part of the world. As he notes in the Introduction, Covid-19 is affecting all of us, and I'm very glad it has not prevented him from writing the Editorial! However, Norway has been one of the more successful countries in the world in combating the virus, and I guess that things must be getting back to normal there.


Since mid-March I have been working from home. The Covid-19 virus changed working conditions throughout the world. Universities closed down. People have lost their jobs. Others had to be teachers for their own children in addition to performing their own working duties. Under these circumstances I am very impressed by all the authors, reviewers and copy editors who have managed to help us in keeping the journal on its feet. On behalf of the editorial team I would like to thank you all!

The journal is platinum open access, i.e., it has no article processing charges, and has been running for 25 years on voluntary work. This is essential for my involvement with the journal. I believe this is the only sustainable business model for scholarly journals and hope that initiatives like Plan S will bring us closer to this.

As regional editor for the ‘Far East’ I am used to receiving a regular stream of input of manuscripts and reviews. I cannot measure whether the virus has had any effect on the input, but I suspect that some have had the opportunity to concentrate on writing text— both manuscripts and reviews— that normally might have lived longer in their local pipeline.

The Far East is my regional responsibility. Where is the Far East? When conferring with online encyclopaedias and dictionaries it seems to also include South East Asia, but that part of the world is merged with Australia in our division of editorial duties. Thus I believe roughly that the countries under my responsibility are those North of (including) China and East of Russia (and West of Canada and the United States). I think that is a good division. From my position in the North West of Europe it is interesting to note what characterizes that region and how it compares to my own. Current manuscripts that I follow up represent a broad approach to information science, from ‘hard core’ mining and information retrieval to qualitative studies of local communities use of public libraries, as well as studies of information behaviour and health information literacy. This is topically quite similar to Scandinavian research in the field. In the years I have been regional editor I do think, however, that Far East submissions in general have been a little more system oriented than at home.

In this issue

In this issue of the journal we have nine articles. The authors come from Finland, USA, UK, Australia, Sweden, Spain, China and New Zealand.

As usual the content is diverse. Tana, Eirola and Eriksson-Backa writes about depression-related health information behaviour; open access policies is the topic of Kirkman and Haddow’s article; and Delgosha, Hajiheydari and Saadatmanesh use text mining methods to investigate semantic structure of business analytics research.

Libraries have always been central to Information Research’s profile. In this issue, three articles address library services; Niu compares diffusion and adoption of linked data and research data management services among academic libraries, and Martínez Méndez also explores the use of linked data in libraries in a paper in Spanish. Veros explores collection development practices emphasizing attitudes towards donations in public libraries. Zhan, Yu and Wang analyse library related Instagram captions. Pierson, Goulding and Campbell-Meier studies public librarians professional identity with a “metaphorical-critical incident technique”.

Alamettälä and Sormunen, report on research into the effect of a new pedagogical approach for improving students’ online research skills.

Book reviews

An impressive load of books, ten in total, is reviewed in this issue. They cover a very broad field, including the Publication manual of APA, cuneiform scholarship in first-Millenium Assyria and Babylonia, artificial intelligence, and Luciano Floridi's The logic of information. There should be something for everyone in this selection. I wish you all a good Summer reading!

Professor Nils Pharo
Regional Editor
June, 2020