Blurred reputations: new research on managing professional and private information online available on OnlineFirst

The fifth of the seven articles that I recently co-authored for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper. In this article the paper co-authors – Frances Ryan, Peter Cruickshank, myself and Alistair Lawson – report on some of the main findings of Frances’ doctoral study on personal reputation building and management in online environments with specific reference to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

We reveal that (1) the portrayal of different personas online contributes to the presentation (but not the creation) of identity, (2) information-sharing practices for reputation building and management vary according to social media platform, and (3) the management of online connections and censorship are important to the protection of reputation.

We also demonstrate that the maintenance of professional reputation is more important than private reputation to social media users who hold professional and managerial work roles. They are aware of the ‘blur’ between professional and private lives in online contexts, and the influence that it bears on efforts to manage an environment where LinkedIn is most the useful of the three sites considered, and Facebook the most risky.

Frances first presented this work as a conference paper at Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017 in June last year (slides available on SlideShare). The full manuscript of the article is also available to download from the Edinburgh Napier repository.

For further information about Frances’ research please see her blog at and her profile on the Edinburgh Napier web site.

Frances Ryan presents at #i3rgu

At i3 2017 Frances Ryan presented the conference paper on which the new article is based

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