Forskningen möter fältet : en kartläggning av branschtidskrifternas forskningsbevakning 1994-2002
Sammanfattning: Library and information science (LIS), is a research area marked by theoretical diversity and strong influence from both the developing library profession, as well as other social sciences. During the development of LIS several attempts have been made to define its scientific identity. The definition of what constitutes core, boundaries and the superior identity of LIS is still debated among researchers of this diverse area. During the period pertaining to our survey a debate regarding the professionalization of the library profession took place. The development, definition and comparative value of different aspects of modern LIS was discussed both inside as well as outside the profession. Our working hypothesis is that a gap exists between modern LIS and the field of profession.
Since library journals have had an active interest in the professionalization of the library profession, they are possible channels between LIS and the professional library field. This Master’s thesis investigates if Sweden’s library journals contributed to the communication between Swedish LIS and the field of profession. To investigate and evaluate this possible communication, a survey of published issues between 1994-2002 in three of Sweden’s most widespread professional library journals was made. The surveyed periodicals were Biblioteksbladet (BBL), bis and Tidskrift för Dokumentation (TD).
The theory behind our research was mainly derived from Richard Whitley’s theories of the development of science and its academic institutions. Whitley states that there is a discrepancy between the development of new theories and the time it takes for them to make an impact on academic institutions as well as society. This theory was applied to the context of the academic, institutional and professional development of LIS in Sweden. An application of Whitley´s theories on LIS in the Nordic countries has earlier been made by Vakkari et al (1993), and served as a guide and role model for our study.
The results indicate that Biblioteksbladet and Tidskrift för dokumentation had an overall positive attitude towards LIS during the period. An increase of communication of news from LIS during the investigated period indicates a gradually increasing interest in LIS. These results mean that LIS in fact started to reach out towards some of Sweden’s library journals. This may indicate that Whitley´s theories 3
work as an explanation for an increase of the communication between LIS and the professional library field. But the opposite development takes place in bis. After a positive start, bis coverage of current LIS research begins to dwindle, and later a slightly negative attitude is communicated. A possible way to interpret this development is the impact the debate regarding the professionalization of librarianship had during the investigated period, where the sometimes expressed hope of an increased status for the profession through LIS never had a breakthrough.
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