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Exploring New Ways of Working using Virtual Research Environments in Library and Information Science

Journal article
Authors Diane Sonnenwald
Monica Lassi
Nasrine Olson
Inga-Lill Mårtensson
Ann-Sofie Axelsson
Published in Library Hi Tech
Volume 27
Issue 2
Pages 191-204
ISSN 0737-8831
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Library and Information Studies
Pages 191-204
Language en
Keywords Virtual work, Virtual organizations, Information science, Data collection
Subject categories Other information technology, Library and information science


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present current and ongoing research investigating new ways of working across geographic distances and time within library and information science (LIS). Design/methodology/approach – A total of four studies were conducted focusing on: the design of a virtual research environment (VRE) to facilitate the sharing of data collection instruments among students, researchers and professionals; new ways professionals and researchers can collaborate; collaborative decision making in the context of purchasing a library management system; and collaboration among LIS professionals. Findings – Early results show that VREs within LIS can build on previous VRE research which focused on other domains. However, there are several unique characteristics of LIS that place requirements on VREs and which are not yet implemented within VREs and that offer unique opportunities for VREs to enhance LIS research, education and practice. Originality/value – This paper reports on ongoing research and preliminary findings of unique studies investigating how VREs could enhance LIS research and professional practice, and how LIS research and practice can inspire the next generation of VREs.

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