Publication details

Konference jako informační zázemí pro setkání s informací

Title in English A Conference as an Information Ground for Information Encountering
Authors

LORENZ Michal KUBALÍKOVÁ Elena WÖLFELOVÁ Veronika VOZÁROVÁ Viera HABARTOVÁ Nikoleta

Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source ProInflow
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
WWW http://www.phil.muni.cz/journals/index.php/proinflow/article/view/1745
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.5817/ProIn2018-1-3
Keywords Information grounds; information encountering; serendipity; OpenAlt Conference; scientific communication
Attached files
Description Purpose – The paper is a research study of information grounds of the OpenAlt conference. We chose OpenAlt as an example of Open movement conference, therefore a conference with the potential to openly share information. The theory of information grounds is suitable for exploring the unintentional and, to some extent, accidental interaction of a person with information called the information encounter which is characteristic for the phenomenon of serendipity. This type of research is difficult to plan. The purpose of the paper is to show that the conference has a accidental and unexpected acquiring of information between the conference participants and the approaching the conference as an information ground allows systematic exploration of the serendipity phenomenon in this environment. Design/methodology/approach – The main objective of the research was to find out whether information ground of the OpenAlt conference provides its visitors an opportunity to encounter information, what types of information are shared in the information ground and what the main factors affect the sharing of information. The key research method was quantitative research using questionnaire supplemented by a brief interview specifying respondents' answers. As a complementary method, observations was used. Within two days, 170 participants of the OpenAlt conference were approached via a questionnaire and a short interview. The topic of the interviews was the acquiring and sharing of information that took place outside the lecture halls. The quantitative analysis of the collected data was used to evaluate the results, as well as the content analysis of short inteviews. Results – The results of the research confirmed the conclusions of the previous studies of the information grounds carried out by K. Fisher and colleagues. Additionally, besides the key factors influencing the quality of information grounds such as atmosphere, equipment, or noise, we have found that time plays a key role in the information ground of the conference. The results show that the most informal information was gained by visitors in the coffee shop area and in the presentation stands. The topics of the acquired information in most cases concerned the IT field, as well as personal information or job opportunities and contacts. Serendipity is a phenomenon that can be traced to the conference. This is precisely why the conference is a suitable environment for deeper exploration of serendipity. Originality/Value – The uniqueness of the paper lies in its focus on conferences as an informational ground and the demonstrating the suitability of this approach for systematic research into the phenomenon of serendipity and human information encountering. Research results also show that they can be used to design and plan a conference.

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