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Digital Consumers

Aug 2008 | 240pp

Hardback
9781856046510
Price: £64.95
CILIP members price: £51.95

eBook (PDF)
9781856047999
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Digital Consumers
Re-shaping the information profession

Edited by David Nicholas and Ian Rowlands

The information professions - librarianship, archives, publishing and, to some extent, journalism - have been rocked by the digital transition that has led to disintermediation, easy access and massive information choice. Professional skills are increasingly being performed without the necessary context, rationale and understanding. Information now forms a consumer commodity with many diverse information producers engaged in the market. It is generally the lack of recognition of this fact amongst the information professions that explains the difficulties they find themselves in.

There is a need for a new belief system that will help information professionals survive and engage in a ubiquitous information environment, where they are no longer the dominant players, nor, indeed, the suppliers of first choice. The purpose of this thought-provoking book is to provide that overarching vision, built on hard evidence rather than PowerPoint 'puff'.

The authors of the acclaimed CIBER Google Generation study, and an international, cross-sectoral team of contributors has assembled together for this purpose. Key strategic areas covered include:

  • the digital consumer: an introduction and philosophy
  • the digital information marketplace and its economics: the end of exclusivity
  • the e-shopper: the growth of the informed purchaser
  • the library in the digital age
  • the psychology of the digital information consumer
  • the information-seeking behaviour of the digital consumer: case study - the virtual scholar
  • the Google generation: myths and realities about young people's digital information behaviour
  • trends in digital information consumption and the future
  • where do we go from here?  

Readership: No information professional or student can afford not to read this far-reaching and important book.

1. The digital consumer: an introduction and philosophy - David Nicholas, Ian Rowlands, Richard Withey and Tom Dobrowolski 
2. The digital information marketplace and its economics: the end of exclusivity - Richard Withey 
3. The e-shopper: the growth of the informed purchaser - Chris Russell 
4. The library in the digital age - Michael Moss 
5. The psychology of the digital information consumer - Barrie Gunter 
6. The information-seeking behaviour of the digital consumer: case study – the virtual scholar - David Nicholas, Paul Huntington, Hamid R. Jamali and Tom Dobrowolski 
7. The ‘Google Generation’ – myths and realities about young people’s digital information behaviour - Peter Williams, Ian Rowlands and Maggie Fieldhouse 
8. Trends in digital information consumption and the future - Barrie Gunter 
9. Where do we go from here? - David Nicholas

"There is no doubt that the information professions would benefit from reviewing and reenergizing their customer orientation, and this book offers a wide range of valuable insights on the behaviour of the digital information consumer from one of the leading teams of information behaviour researchers in the UK…this book is to be recommended, and should be obligatory reading for all information professions."
- Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

"Overall, this is an important, even seminal work...The book is well designed and easy to read with a clear layout and a good index. At one point, somewhat flippantly, the authors suggest that for many, serious reading is only undertaken on holiday; if that is the case you could do worse than to pack this enjoyable read in your luggage."
- Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

"Buy the book: it is an important review of the state of the art in these early years of the 21st century and worth its price."
- Information Research

Professor David Nicholas MPhil PhD is Director of the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, where he is also Director of the UCL Centre for Publishing and a director of the CIBER research group. He is a member of the British Library Research Board and Editor of Aslib Proceedings.

Dr Ian Rowlands BSc MSc PhD is Reader in Publishing at the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, where he is also an active member of the UCL Centre for Publishing and of the CIBER research group. He recently led the Google Generation project for The British Library and JISC.

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