International Journal of Libraries and Information Services
Vol 56 (2006), No 3, pages 133-199
ISSN 0024-2667

Table of Contents

Winner of LIBRI Best Student Paper Award 2006
Combining Quantitative Methods and Grounded Theory for Researching E-Reverse Auctions

Abstract. Even though many authors claim that e-reverse auctions (e-RAs) are detrimental to the effective building and management of buyer-supplier relationships (Emiliani and Stec 2004), not much is known about how specific characteristics of e-RAs may contribute to such negative effects on buyer-seller relations (Jap 2003). This study sets out not only to provide a first investigation of context, participants' information behaviour, and buyer-supplier relationships in e-RAs, but also to illustrate new methods for theory building in the e-RA and information systems domain. Following a grounded-theory approach, a comprehensive online questionnaire was developed (Lösch and Lambert 2006) based on the critical review of the literature and the results of a preceding exploratory study (Lösch 2005). Usable responses were received from 89 buyers and 54 suppliers, including both users and non-users of e-RAs. The data were analyzed using a novel approach to quantitative analysis based on suggestions by Glaser (1994). The re sults indicate that e-RAs have fewer negative effects on buyer-supplier relationships than currently assumed. They also show how context and the participants' information behaviour correlate with buyer-supplier relationships, thus providing first suggestions for a better management of e-RAs. The paper also thus provides a first illustration of how quantitative methodology might be use fully applied to information systems research, an area which is dominated by the use of qualitative methodology.

The Effect of Open Access on Citation Impact: A Comparison Study Based on Web Citation Analysis

Abstract. The academic impact advantage of Open Access (OA) is a prominent topic of debate in the library and publishing communities. Web citations have been proposed as comparable to, even replacements for, bibliographic citations in assessing the academic impact of journals. In our study, we compare Web citations to articles in an OA journal, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC), and a traditional access journal, New Media & Society (NMS), in the communication discipline. Web citation counts for JCMC are significantly higher than those for NMS. Furthermore, JCMC receives significantly higher Web citations from the formal scholarly publications posted on the Web than NMS does. The types of Web citations for journal articles were also examined. In the Web context, the impact of a journal can be assessed using more than one type of source: citations from scholarly articles, teaching materials and non-authoritative documents. The OA journal has higher percentages of citations from the third type, which suggests that, in addition to the research community, the impact advantage of open access is also detectable among ordinary users participating in Web-based academic communication. Moreover, our study also proves that the OA journal has impact advantage in developing countries. Compared with NMS, JCMC has more Web citations from developing countries.

The Google Effect: Googling, Blogging, Wikis and the Flattening of Expertise

Abstract. This article presents the consequences to librarians and teachers for the flattening of expertise, or the Google Effect. As blogs continue to fill the Web with the bizarre daily rituals and opinions of people who we would never bother speaking to at a party, let alone invite into our homes, there has never been a greater need to stress the importance of intelligence, education, credentials and credibility. The problem is not only accuracy, but also the mediocrity initiated through the Google Effect. The concern is not with the banality of information - there has always been a plurality of sources in the analogue environment. The concern is the lack of literacy skills and strategies to sort the trash from the relevant. This paper addresses not only the social choices about computer use and information literacy, but the intellectual choices we make in our professional lives as teachers and librarians. In such a time, the Google Effect raises stark questions about the value of reading, research, writing and scholarship.

Librarians and Technology in Academic and Research Libraries in Kuwait: Perceptions and Effects

Abstract. This study investigates the effect technology has on librarians working in academic and research institutions in Kuwait. The study addresses six job-related dimensions: (1) affective/ philosophical reactions, (2) personnel changes, (3) performance, workload, and rewards, (4) training and learning activities, (5) management issues and (6) sources of stress. A questionnaire distributed to 147 individuals yielded a 66 percent (n=97) response. Most of the participants are employed in public institutions, female and work in the information services area. The findings show that the respondents are optimistic about technology, believe that it improves their job performance and are up to the challenges that technology brings. However, they feel there is a lack of positive feedback from management acknowledging their effort and performance. Lack of technically oriented professional staff and technological breakdowns are the most frequently checked stressors. Insufficient formal training programs create the highest level of stress. Several recommendations are made for improving the workplace in a techno-environment. Suggestions for future research are also given.

Management of Knowledge, Information and Organizational Learning in University Libraries

Abstract. The dynamic advancement of technological development and the importance of information and knowledge in modern day society have determined that the principal competitive advantage of an organization is the capacity to manage these resources adequately. The abilities and knowledge that workers are capable of developing are transformed into a resource that modern organizations value in a growing way. Educational organizations, especially universities, must take advantage of their competitive resources. That is to say, they must know how to make intensive use of their knowledge in order to improve: the process of formation and learning of their students, the generation of new knowledge produced by research and the transference of said knowledge by means of publication and technical assistance. The processes of management of knowledge, organizational learning and information are intimately linked. Therefore, significant improvements can only be obtained in organizations if synergies are generated between each one of these processes. In order to study these three processes, the Universities' Library Systems of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso were selected as a unit of analysis, and considered as places of knowledge gathering, documentation centres and active agents in the development of abilities in the use and transference of information necessary to generate new learning and knowledge. The principal objective of this investigation was to characterize the management of information, knowledge and organizational learning in a university's library system, analysing its relationship and the way that these processes differ depending on variables such as department membership, the characteristics of users that rely on them, etc. The efficient management of organizational learning implies not only the use of previous knowledge but also the creation of new knowledge within the framework of what are termed communities of learning.

Examining the Coverage of a National Deposit Library: A Case Study in the Netherlands

Abstract. Generally, the purpose of deposit libraries is to gather all publications as part of the national cultural heritage and preserve them for future generations. A study was undertaken to determine the coverage of the deposit collection of the National Library of the Netherlands. Coverage amounted to circa 95% for books with an ISBN and circa 70% for books with out an ISBN. In both cases, the method of list checking was applied. However, definitive statements cannot be made for three reasons: uncertainties about the appropriateness of the checklists, difficulties in assessing the relevance of missing titles and the possibility that coverage increases over time due to late arrival of publications. Failure analysis showed that lacunae were caused by occasional failures from publishers rather than a structural lack of cooperation. Increasing coverage therefore would require listchecking at a large scale on a yearly basis. Procedures are described to reduce the workload on undertaking such a regular review. At present, no comparable studies were identified in the published literature. The authors hope that this paper will stimulate other countries to examine coverage of the collection of their Deposit Libraries and to publish the results of any studies that have been done. The methodology followed in this study may be helpful to other countries wishing to perform similar studies.