Friday, April 25, 2014

Design researchers’ information sharing

Today I attended the successful “Disputation” (PhD viva) of Ola Pilerot, who teaches at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, Boras. His thesis title is: Design researchers’ information sharing: the enactment of a discipline and you can find the first section of the online dissertation (which is in English) here. I have known Ola for a while, and some years ago we gave a seminar about workplace information literacy.

In the UK, PhD vivas are private things, with just the examiners (internal and external), the candidate and possibly supervisors present. However in Sweden it is an open event, though there are various internal hurdles first. At the public event there is a disputant (in this case Ola), an opponent (in this case Dr David Allen, Leeds University), a chair, and a panel of judges, the examining committee. The opponent has to start by providing a summary of the research, then going on to pose questions for a debate with the candidate. The examination committee asks questions, and then anyone else in the audience can pose questions. It was an interesting occasion, and with good celebration afterwards.

It was a thesis by publication, in this case in the actual form of a book. The first part (available online, as linked above) uses the structure of a conventional thesis, but referring to and summarising four publications which give the main findings between them. The publications (presumably due to copyright) are not included with the online thesis. I have cited some of these already on the blog, they are:
- Pilerot, O. (2012) LIS research on information sharing activities: people, places, or information. Journal of Documentation, 68(4), 559-581
- Pilerot, O. and Limberg, L. (2011) Information sharing as a means to reach collective understanding: a study of design scholars' information practices. Journal of Documentation, 67(2), 312-333.
- Pilerot. O. (2013). A practice theoretical exploration of information sharing and trust in a dispersed community of design scholars. Information Research, 18(4)
- Pilerot, O. (2014) Making design researchers’ information sharing visible through material objects. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. (in press)

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