The future of information research

Kirsty Williamson, Graeme Johanson, Alex Byrne, Lisa M. Given, Mary Anne Kennan, Gillian Oliver

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This chapter is unusual in that it departs somewhat from the pattern of authorship and content in the rest of this book. The editors begin the chapter with a re-examination of some of the key themes of the book, for example, the focus on methodology as the entire framework or design of research: the choice of paradigm, methods and tools or techniques to explore research questions and to create new knowledge. The necessity for rigour in every stage of research is emphasised. Having stated reservations about efforts to gaze into a crystal ball, to predict a specific future for information research, the editors then draw on their own knowledge, as well as that of other expert researchers, specialists in specific areas, to help to identify future paradigms, research methods and data collection tools; the effects of big data; the role of cultural differences in future research; and the delicate (but essential) balance of keeping research relevant to professional practice, and vice versa. The main points of the chapter are illustrated with up-todate examples, including an account of a fascinating PhD thesis which combines a postmodern paradigm, second generation (constructivist) grounded theory, and innovative data collection techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Methods
Subtitle of host publicationInformation, Systems, and Contexts
EditorsKirsty Williamson, Graeme Johanson
Place of PublicationCambridge MA USA
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022214
ISBN (Print)9780081022207
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Big data
  • Cultural differences and information
  • Data collection techniques
  • Future information research
  • Globalisation and research
  • Information environments
  • Information pracitioners
  • Information research
  • Methodology
  • Nationalism and research
  • Practitioners and researchers
  • Research and practice
  • Research methods

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