iSchool graduate student to present at ISIC conference

Cass Mabbott
Cass Mabbott

Cass Mabbott, PhD student, will participate in Information Seeking in Context (ISIC): The Information Behaviour Conference to be held September 20-23 in Zadar, Croatia. This biannual conference is devoted to information-seeking behavior and information use, focusing this year on analytical investigations of the connection between information research and information behavior and practices.

Mabbott will present, "Writing and reading the results: The reporting of research rigour tactics in information behaviour research as evident in the published proceedings of the biennial ISIC conferences, 1996-2014," with Heidi Julien, professor and chair of the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Buffalo, SUNY; Lynne McKechnie, professor of information and media studies at The University of Western Ontario; and Roger Chabot and Nicole Dalmer, PhD students at The University of Western Ontario.

About the research: This study examined if and how information behaviour researchers include research rigour tactics in reports of their research projects. A content analysis was conducted of the 193 research reports published in the 1996-2014 ISIC proceedings. Articles were coded for author affiliation, rigour tactics reported, and whether or not enough information was presented to allow readers to assess the quality of the research and replicate the study. Both quantitative (frequencies) and qualitative (excerpts from the articles) data are reported. In total, 698 research rigour tactics were reported for an average of 3.6 per paper, a median of 3 per paper and a range of 0-20 tactics across all papers. Twenty-six papers (13.5%) included no rigour tactics at all while 8 (4.1%) included ten or more. Only 76 (39.4%) provided enough information for readers to assess the quality of the study, with fewer (n=44; 22.8%) providing enough information to allow for replication of the study. Conclusion: Both quantitative and qualitative empirical work is not being reported in ISIC papers in ways that clearly demonstrate research rigour, nor assure replicability.

Mabbott also will participate in a preconference doctoral workshop based on her dissertation work, "The Information Seeking Behavior of Preschoolers." Her research and teaching interests include social justice and youth in public libraries, information behavior of young children, and the history of children's literature. She currently is a graduate assistant working with The Comic Book Readership Archive in collaboration with iSchool Associate Professor Carol Tilley.

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