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Christina's LIS Rant
Sunday, December 21, 2008
  Comps readings this week
White, H.D. & McCain, K.W. (1989) Bibliometrics. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 24, 119-186.
Good, but like all ARIST articles, long. Not sure as valuable as some of the other things in this area.

MacKenzie, D. A., & Wajcman, J. (1999). Introductory essay: The social shaping of technology. In D. A. MacKenzie, & J. Wajcman (Eds.), The social shaping of technology (2nd ed., pp. 3-27). Philadelphia: Open University Press.
- in my initial set of readings I emphasized science, but it does really make sense to also look at technology (so sss became sts). This essay first looks at technological determinism - technologies change then they have a one-way impact on society - as a theory of society and then as a theory of technology. The authors are arguing for some middle ground. Technology is important and can shape society, but technology can also be political and can be shaped by society. It can require certain social patterns or be "more compatible with some social relations than others" (p5). They go on to discuss the relationship of science to technology and more about economic and other ways society shapes technology. I should probably re-read this to make sure I've got the whole thing.

Winner, L. (1999). Do artifacts have politics? In D. A. MacKenzie, & J. Wajcman (Eds.), The social shaping of technology (2nd ed., pp. 28-40). Philadelphia: Open University Press.
- this is the standard article on this topic that everyone cites. It's not as clear or thorough as the article above, but is worthwhile. He also takes the middle ground: "rather than insist that we immediately reduce everything to the interplay of social forces, [technological politics] suggests that we pay attention to the characteristics of technical objects and the meaning of those characteristics" (so not technologicial determinism of society and not societal determinism of technology). Here's a nice quote
to our accustomed way of thinking, technologies are seen as neutral tools that can be used well or poorly, for good, evil, or somthing in between. But we usually do not stop to inquire whether a given device might have been designed and built in such a way that it produces a set of consequences logically and temporally prior to any of its professed uses.(p32)
and "technologies are ways of building order in our world" - so the technologies society adopts reflect and influence the social order/ structure of the society. Otherwise, certing technologies might be "unavoidably linked to particular institutionalized patters of power and authority"(p.38).

Kazmer, M. M., & Xie, B. (2008). Qualitative interviewing in internet studies: Playing with the media, playing with the method. Information, Communication & Society, 11(2), 257-278. DOI:10.1080/13691180801946333
- An excellent article. It provides a review of the literature but adds examples from their own research. It provides the pluses and minuses of conducting interviews via IM, e-mail, and telephone or in person. Looks like one might have been surprised to note that a participant posted the entire IM chat transcript to their web page... the next participant apparently read those notes prior to the interview (that could be awkward if you weren't expecting it ).

The first 5 chapters of:
Borgman, C. L. (2007). Scholarship in the digital age: Information, infrastructure, and the internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
(more on this in a future post)

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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