Journeying without a map leads to…adventures or accidents?

adventureImage Copyright Janine Forbes. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence.

This contribution is from Zoë Johnson, called Journeying without a map leads to…adventures or accidents? A phenomenological study of drama academics’ approach to discovering information

I’ve been interviewing drama academics and researchers to find about their Information Discovery Journeys. My proposed chapter would use these transcripts to explore patterns of behaviour in how they make connections between the information need and turning it into knowledge. The experienced (time + study) seem to have developed their own customised mapping tools to help them on their journey but are equally content to step into unknown territory, have a wander around and savour the “experience” and see what information they trip over. In contrast, the inexperienced (undergraduates to which the interviewees referred) seem unable to connect with the information without some kind of map, or guidance and looked to the lecturer or librarian for such a tool or companionship on their journey.

The chapter would discuss the benefits and challenges of taking an information journey without a map or set of tools. It will ask whether this method is connected to the “practice as research” approach favoured by drama and other creative disciplines. Some interviewees emphasised the importance of “experience” in gaining knowledge, and where “information” is best located within the journey.  Drama favours the personal journey so the researcher finds their own way of experiencing, engaging with and exploiting the information they find. The discussion could lead into how a librarian might provide companionship or map-making skills for travellers old and new.