Exploring multiple spaces and practices : a note on the use of ethnography in LIS-research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Introduction. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in ethnographic research within the field of library and Information studies. Although ethnography has been used by information researchers for studying a wide variety of phenomena, discussions concerning methodological developments and directions, as well as ethnography’s wider applicability within the field are rare. Our intent is to contribute to the such discussions.
Method. The article draws on three on-going research projects to illustrate how the analytical and methodological concepts of following and translation are operationalized.
Analysis. Particularly the article addresses the tension between the site specificity traditionally associated with ethnographic methodology, and the fluidity and place transcending but yet situated character of the objects of study in the field.
Conclusion. The authors conclude that an ethnography of following and translation is a tool for handling the movability characterizing the phenomena studied in the field, thus turning the necessary uncertainty of inductive research into an advantage. This allows the researcher to stay open and let the object of study lead the way.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Studies


  • metodologi, biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, etnografi, ethnography, library- and information science, methodology
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation research : proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science
EditorsTom Wilson
PublisherT.D. Wilson
StatePublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
EventInternational Conference on Conceptions of Library and information Science, 2013 - Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 2013 Aug 192013 Aug 22
Conference number: 8

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1368-1613


ConferenceInternational Conference on Conceptions of Library and information Science, 2013