Generation X, personal reputation, and social media: new publication in Information Research

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Managing and evaluating personal reputations on the basis of information shared on social media: a Generation X perspective‘ has been published this week in Information Research. I co-authored this paper with Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Frances Ryan, and colleagues Peter Cruickshank and Alistair Lawson.

The paper reports some of the findings of Frances’ doctoral research. The full study – due to be completed in spring 2017 – takes into account prior research on the building and assessment of reputations through citation practice (as explored in the domain of scientometrics) to consider how people evaluate the personal reputations of others, and create and build their own reputations, through the use of online information.

Results generated from the initial analysis presented in the paper just published show some clear alignments with established knowledge in the domain, as well as new themes to be explored further. Of particular note is that social media users are more interested in the content of the information that is shared on social media platforms than they are in the signals that this information might convey about the sharer(s). It is also rare for these users to consider the impact of information sharing on personal reputation building and evaluation.

The findings reported in the paper were first disseminated at Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) 2016, which took place place last September in Zadar, Croatia. The slides for the conference presentation are also available. These can be found below (and on Frances’ SlideShare account), as can a review of ISIC 2016 on Frances’ blog at justaphd.com. (Three other PhD students from the Centre for Social Informatics also presented their work at ISIC 2016: see the summary of contributions, and the students’ conference reviews.)

The full versions of the other papers presented at the conference are also being published in Information Research. The first fifteen – on the themes of (1) theories and models of information behaviour, (2) methodological issues of information behaviour research, (3) information seeking and sharing in diverse contexts, (4) knowledge creation and information intermediation, and (5) social media and social networks in information behaviour – can be found in the December 2016 issue (volume 21, issue 4) as Part 1 of the proceedings. The remainder will be published in a supplement to the March 2017 issue (volume 22, issue 1).

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