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The influence of search engines on knowledge production

Special issue call for papers from Aslib Journal of Information Management

The influence of search engines on knowledge production

This special issue, to be published in 2016, is edited by Fredrik Åström, Lund University (Sweden) and Dirk Lewandowski, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany).

What is the focus of this special issue?

Search engines are nowadays the major means for finding information. They are not only the predominant type of search tool on the Web, but Web search has also substituted other forms of searching for information outside the Web. However, search engines are not only ways of finding information, but also shape the production of both information content and knowledge. This influence can be seen at least at two levels: (1) in the process of researching information needed for producing content, (2) in producing content in a way that it intended to increase its visibility in search engines.

For this special issue, we invite research papers focusing on search engines’ influence on the production of both information content and knowledge, as well as content management in areas like civil society, libraries, education, scholarly communication, news, research data, knowledge organization, encyclopedias and cultural heritage.
Potential topics include but are not limited to:

•    Visibility as a requirement for successful content
•    Qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse search engines’ influence on knowledge production; the use of digital methods
•    Theoretical approaches to search engines’ role in knowledge production
•    Knowledge production in different professional contexts (e.g., news, libraries, cultural heritage)
•    Gender issues related to knowledge production
•    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
•    Making collections visible
•    Visibility of collections in specialized search engines (e.g., Google Scholar)
•    Gaming ranking systems (e.g., search engines)
•    Manipulation of search engine ranking criteria
•    Changing roles of knowledge-creating professionals (e.g., journalists) and organizations
•    Ethical issues related to knowledge and information content production activities adapting to search engines and SEO


All methodological approaches are welcome. Case studies and proof-of-concept studies should present new and unique findings and highlight future research possibilities and developments. Opinion pieces and review articles will not be considered for the special issue.

Papers should be 4,000 to 9,000 words in length (including references) and in accordance with the journal’s author guidelines.

For all additional information prior to submission, please contact Fredrik Åström ([email protected]) or Dirk Lewandowski ([email protected]). Please submit to Aslib Journal of Information Management using ScholarOne Manuscripts, our online submission and peer review system. Visit the author guidelines for more information.

About the Journal

Aslib Journal of Information Management (AJIM; previously: Aslib Proceedings, ISSN: 2050-3806) is a peer-reviewed international journal providing key insights into the latest international developments in the research and practice of information management and information science. The journal is the major publication for ASLIB – the Association for Information Management in the United Kingdom - a membership association for people who manage information and knowledge in organisations and the information industry.
Information about the journal can be found here.

Schedule dates and submission deadlines

Paper submission: 30 November 2015
Notice of review results: 30 January 2016
Revisions due: 30 March 2016
Publication: Aslib Journal of Information Management, volume 68, issue 3, 2016 (June 2016)