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Grey literature – grey sources?: Nuancing the view on professional documentation: the case of Swedish archaeology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM. (ARKDIS)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0493-6845
2015 (Swedish)In: Journal of Documentation, ISSN 0022-0418, E-ISSN 1758-7379, Vol. 71, no 6, 1158-1182 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

This study aims at nuancing the perception about professional documentation (a.k.a. ‘grey literature’), assuming perception of documentation being a cultural aspect of accessibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The study explores variations within the archaeological report genre through a bibliometric analysis of source use. Source characteristics are explored as well as correlations between report authors and source originators. Statistical frequency distribution is complemented by a correspondence analysis and a k-Means cluster analysis to explore patterns. The patterns are interpreted as ‘frames of references’ and related to circumstances for archaeological work. The study also discusses source representations.

Findings

The source use patterns reveal a latent variation, not visible in the general analysis: a professional/academic frame of reference (mainly among authors affiliated with incorporated businesses and sole proprietorships) and an administrative frame of reference (mainly among authors affiliated with government agencies, foundations and member associations) emerge.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on Swedish field evaluation reports. Future research could 1) test the results in relation to other types of reports, and 2) go beyond the document perspective to explore source use in documentation practices.

Social implications

The results on variations in frames of references among report writers have implication for report readers and user. The results should also be considered in archaeology management and policy-making. On the level of source representation the results call for clarifications of vague representations and possibly omitted sources.

Originality/value

This study contextualises archaeological information use and focuses on variations in professional archaeology which has received little previous research attention. The bibliometric approach complements previous qualitative studies of archaeological information.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 71, no 6, 1158-1182 p.
Keyword [en]
Documentation; Reports; Grey literature; Information sources; Information use: Referencing; Bibliometrics; Sociology of professions; Archaeology
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246514DOI: 10.1108/JD-09-2014-0137ISI: 000369171600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-246514DiVA: diva2:793583
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 340-2012-5751
Available from: 2015-03-08 Created: 2015-03-08 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Resources for scholarly documentation in professional service organizations: A study of Swedish development-led archaeology report writing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resources for scholarly documentation in professional service organizations: A study of Swedish development-led archaeology report writing
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This information studies dissertation deals with the problem that results from research outside academia risk to receive little or no attention if communicated through reports, instead of in mainstream academic genres like research journal articles. The case in focus is Swedish development-led (DL) archaeology, i.e. state regulated archaeology preceding land development. Swedish DL archaeology is organized as a semi-regulated market. The organizations competing on the market are professional service organizations selling research services to land developers. Regional government departments, county administrative boards, function as intermediaries setting up procurement-like processes.

In previous research on archaeological documentation, the problem with non-use of reports has been described as depending on cultural issues of access, possible to solve if individuals make efforts to communicate and use extra-academic results. This dissertation offers an alternative definition of the problem, highlighting a different set of solutions. The aim is to further the understanding of how the distribution of research duties to professional service organizations affects the scholarly documentation in Swedish archaeology. The aim is met through identification, operationalization and analysis of resources available to report writing DL archaeology practitioners, and an analysis of how practitioners draw on these resources. The results further the understanding of how reports are shaped within the DL archaeology institution. In view of these results, efforts to solve issues of access should target the organization of research in the archaeology discipline, and specifically how scholarly documentation is governed on the archaeology market.

The dissertation draws on science and technology studies, practice theory, and document theory for the design of the study of documentation resources and contexts in extra-academic research. A mixed methods approach is applied to capture regulative, institutional, and infrastructural resources, and practitioners’ use thereof. Dissertation papers I-III contain analyses of concrete instantiations of the resources: information policy, documentation ideals, and information source use. The fourth paper presents an analysis of how practitioners draw on these resources in their everyday report writing. The dissertation concerns archaeology specifically, but serves as grounds to inquire into the premises for scholarly documentation in other areas of extra-academic research and knowledge-making as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of ALM, Uppsala University, 2017. 108 p.
Series
Skrifter utgivna vid institutionen för ABM vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1652-5353 ; 6
Keyword
Archaeology, Extra-academic research, Knowledge-making, Scholarly communication, Documentation, Report writing, Science and technology studies, Practice theory
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306157 (URN)978-91-506-2664-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-15, Humanistiska Teatern, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3H, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Archaeological Information in the Digital Society (ARKDIS)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 340-2012-5751
Available from: 2017-11-22 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2017-11-22

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