We have a manageable issue this quarter, with six papers and nine book reviews. It is curious how the number of papers varies, with something like twelve one quarter and six the next. Of course, the fact that the journal is digital only and that we do not have to fill a certain number of pages for an issue, means that we could publish with just one paper–although we've never actually been in that situation. The variation in the number of papers is the result of the review, revision and copy-editing process: not everthing proceeds at the same speed, so of two papers, received in, say, January, one might be published in June, because everything moves swiftly, while the other may not be published until December, perhaps because of the difficulty in finding reviewers, or because the author has more revision work to do.

Mention of reviewers reminds me to point out that we are always interested in expanding the number of reviewers available to the journal: if you have the PhD and some years of experience in research, teaching or practice, and would be interesed in reviewing, let me know by mailing wilsontd@gmail.com. I don't need a full CV, just basic information on your qualifications and area of expertise.

This issue

As noted above, we have six papers in this issue, spanning a range of issues from the credibility of posts on social media sites, to what eye-tracking reveals about our trust in Google. Sang Yup Lee deals with the first of these topics, concluding that factors such as the number of friends and followers affects the perceived credibility of posters.

Next, Holmes Miller, explores the applicability of Veblen's theory of the leisure class to the presentation of self on social media, suggesting that people may choose to engage in conspicuous behaviour in their presentation of self through the media.

Rather surprisingly, the next paper by Jasmine Hong and colleagues, is related to a paper published in the last issue on the Sewol ferry disaster in Korea: both papers deal with collaborative behaviour on social media, but from different perspectives, and the authors are from different universities, having carried out the work, it seems, without knowledge of the others' activities.

The eye-tracking study comes to us from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany: the authors conclude that, 'although the viewing behaviour was more influenced by the position than by the relevance of a snippet, the crucial factor for a result to be clicked was the relevance and not its position on the search engine results page'.

The objective of the study by Shakeri and colleagues was 'to explain what motivates people to seek information when risk is involved'. It appears from the results of the research that the key factor is the individual's knowledge gap when involved in a risky decision, and that the strength of the perceived risk is less significant. The authors point out that the work confirms the ideas of Dervin and Belkin on the problem of the knowledge gap.

Finally, Melinda Oroszlányová and her colleagues ask, 'Can user and task characteristics be used as predictors of success in health information retrieval sessions?' They conclude that, '...users with higher computer literacy might feel more satisfied and successful after completing the search tasks. In terms of task features, the results suggest that users with clearer goals feel more successful. Moreover, results show that users would benefit from the help of the system in clarifying the retrieved documents.'

The papers show the usual geographical diversity, with authors from Germany, Portugal, South Korea, and the USA.

Book reviews

I can only really comment on books that I actually reviewed myself and, while all were interesting, I particularly enjoyed The deep learning revolution, by Terrence J. Sejnowski; Siva Vaidhyanathan's Anti-social media. How Facebook disconnects us and undermines democracy and Norbert Wiener—a life in cybernetics. Ex-prodigy: my childhood and youth and I am a mathematician: the later life of a prodigy, by Norbert Wiener, a re-issue of his two volume autobiography, in one volume.


My thanks, as usual, to reviewers, copy-editors, Regional Editors, and to Anna Andersson, our new Editorial Assistant.

Professor Tom Wilson
Editor in Chief
September, 2018