Information Systems

Dec 2017 | 288pp

Price: £69.95
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Information Systems
Process and practice

Edited by Christine Urquhart, Faten Hamad, Dina Tbaishat and Alison Yeoman

This new book takes a holistic view of information architecture to offer information professionals a vital critical analysis of library and information service architecture with discussion of methods, tools, techniques, and trends.

The editors argue that library assessment literature has primarily dealt with performance measurement and change management strategies, leaving little on the ways of looking at the process architecture of library and information services and on methods for business process analysis. Information Systems: Process and practice aims to fill that gap with a combination of theory and supporting case studies, written by an international line-up of contributors.

This book:

  • discusses research and methods that help libraries and information services work from strategic business objectives through to the organisation of processes that support the information services offered
  • opens a new area of research/investigation on the link between information behaviour research and information systems and architecture, illustrated by case studies and projects
  • uses introductory sections and chapter commentary from the editors to draw the discussions together.

This will be essential reading for researchers in Information Science, specifically in the areas of digital libraries, information architecture and information systems. It will also be useful for practitioners and students in these areas seeking to understand research issues and challenges and to discover how they have been handled in practice elsewhere.

List of tables and figures

Series editor’s foreword Gobinda Chowdhury

About the authors

1. Introduction – Christine Urquhart

2. Approaches to information architecture Faten Hamad

3. â€‹Taxonomy testing for information architecture – Christine Urquhart

4. The enterprise website and its information structures – Sally Burford

5. Analysing activities, roles and processes – Christine Urquhart and Dina Tbaishat

6. Libraries and organization of library processes – history of operational research, and use of process modelling – Dina Tbaishat

7. Using RIVA process modelling to study book acquisition in academic libraries – Dina Tbaishat

8. Workflow analysis and process mapping in US academic libraries – Christine Urquhart

9. A Theoretical framework for designing and evaluating semi-structured document triage interfaces – Fernando Loizides and Aekaterini Mavri

10. Resource discovery case studies – Karen Colbron and Christine Urquhart

11. Increasing social connection through a Community of Practice inspired design – Catherine M. Burns and Adam Euerby

12. Methods for studying information provision, networking and communication in patient support groups – Cristina Vasilica and Paula Ormandy

13. Health information systems: clinical data capture and document architecture – Faten Hamad

14. Producing systematic reviews and getting evidence to the clinician – Faten Hamad


‘The book is an especially good resource for anyone who is working in the library science profession, wanting a better understanding of IA's capabilities, or seeking improved methods to provide information services to customers...Each chapter is excellently researched and referenced, containing more than 500 works cited'
- Information Managment

'Information Systems: Process and Practice is an anthology of scholarly essays by expert authors about library and information architecture. Written especially for professionals in the field, with analysis of methods, tools, techniques, and trends, Information Systems offers theory and supporting case studies...an excellent reference and resource, highly recommended especially for Library Science collections.'
- Library Bookwatch

'Recommended for libraries that support LIS research and independent LIS researchers that wish to broaden the scope and application of their work.'
- Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

Christine Urquhart was a full-time member of staff in the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University. Since retiring from full-time teaching she has continued to pursue her research interests.

Dr Faten Hamad is an Assistant Professor in the Library and Information Science Department, University of Jordan.

Dr Dina Tbaishat is an Assistant Professor at the University of Jordan, Library and Information Science Department.

Alison Yeoman was formerly a Research Officer in the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University and is now an independent researcher.

With contributions from: Sally Burford, Catherine M. Burns, Karen Colbron, Adam Euerby, Fernando Loizides, Aekaterini Mavri, Paula Ormandy and Cristina Vasilica.

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the book: detailing the background to its inception, its use for professionals and the structure of the book. The book aims to take a holistic interpretation of information architecture, but to move beyond the view of information architecture that focuses on content architecture alone. To achieve this goal the contributors look at methods, research approaches and research evidence that consider the workflow and the processes going on in library and information services, and other organisations

Chapter 2 provides an overview of information architecture, the various approaches and emphases of information architecture, the development of pervasive information architecture, information and knowledge organisation, and information behaviour and how they may influence design of navigation and visualisation.

Chapter 3 takes the information and knowledge organisation one step further, and looks at methods of taxonomy testing for information architecture, with an overview of taxonomy development, and discussions of case studies from the literature on taxonomy testing in library and information services.

We move from the detail of taxonomy to thinking about the big picture of organisational website design in Chapter 4. Sally Burford discusses her research using grounded theory on practising web information architecture in large organisations. She describes the components of owning information architecture (the governance), negotiating information architecture (the human exchanges in design and changes), enacting information architecture (those implementing, improvising and acting on the website), and the knowing of information architecture (where and how learning takes place).

Chapter 5 introduces some of the methods and techniques for process analysis that are discussed in more detail in chapters 6–8. Chapter 5 explains how to describe the functionality from the user perspective using use case diagrams, and how use case descriptions consider the steps of the interaction between system users and the high-level functions, the use cases. The chapter goes on to describe the principles of process analysis and how to derive a process architecture for an  organisation or part of an organisation.

Chapter 6 provides more guidance on process modelling with the Riva technique. The chapter examines the history of operations research within libraries, and some of the more recent changes to academic libraries, the new roles required for staff, and the challenges to provide services that meet needs, within budgetary constraints. The chapter concludes with an overview of some examples of the use of business process modelling techniques.

Chapter 7 illustrates how these techniques may be used to help redesign internal processes within library services. This chapter uses the example of processes involved in book acquisitions to illustrate how Riva process modelling techniques for role activity diagrams are applied.

Chapter 8 compares two case studies of business process modelling for process improvement. The framework used to compare the studies considers how far each study examined job fit, job satisfaction and the viewpoints of the stakeholders.

Chapter 9 examines the design of online semi-structured documents, such as academic articles, and how to design interfaces that help users to evaluate quickly the information in those semi-structured documents. Design for this type of document triage requires combining research in information behaviour and human–computer interaction. The chapter covers aspects of the information architecture required, how designers can accommodate the likely ways that users may assess information quality, and the tools that can improve information seekers’ experience.

Chapter 10 provides examples of work in progress from practice. Three Jisc resource discovery projects are discussed, all different, but each emphasises user experience, or information behaviour (or both). The case studies cover the use of Flickr to promote a photograph collection at Queen’s University Belfast; Middlesex University’s Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture’s use of the balanced value impact model to help analyse the possible purposes of the collection for various stakeholders, and how to choose appropriate social media; and how a better content management system has been built at the Museum of English Rural Life and Special Collections at the University of Reading, to try to meet the challenge of how to work with and for different audiences, and their different reasons for using the website.

Chapter 11 takes the idea of the audience deeper, and discusses design for a community, a global community of practice for those with shared interests, in this case for the University-Community Partnership for Social Action Research (UCP-SARnet), an organisation based at Arizona State University. The longitudinal design and evaluation of UCP-SARnet combined a human factors approach and cognitive work analysis with the design principles for supporting a community of practice.

Chapter 12 discusses the design and development of an online patient support group for renal patients, where co-creation of information was vital. The chapter covers the identification of information needs for this group, how users might engage with the website, an evaluation of the website that demonstrated levels of engagement, and how activity theory contributed to an understanding of the way the information might lead to better patient outcomes.

Chapter 13 continues the health theme for these final chapters by examining the research evidence on design of systems for clinical data capture and how these might integrate with electronic health records. Chapter 13 also revisits the idea of document architecture but this time for clinical document architecture and information exchange.

Chapter 14 examines aspects of systematic review production and providing easy access to that evidence for clinicians. The chapter describes how to provide easy access to the evidence within clinical workflows, methods for searching for the evidence, management of the systematic review process, and the tools and techniques, such as text mining, that may help to streamline the process of producing a systematic review.

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