Miller, F. & Wallis, J. (2011). Social interaction and the role of empathy in information and knowledge management: A literature review. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 122-132. (ERA rank ‘A’)

This literature review (developed over a couple of years of learning experiences!) grew out of a series of conversations over coffee with CSU academic Jake Wallis (co-author) and former CSU academic John Mills. The innovative use of social technologies for developing affective education and training of information professionals is a major focus of this article. Abstract is below:

This article provides a general review of the literature on the nature and role of empathy in social interaction for information professionals working in a variety of information and knowledge environments. ‘Relational agency’ theory (Edwards, 2005) is used as a framework to re-conceptualise education for empathic social interaction between information professionals and their clients. Past, present and future issues relevant to empathic interaction in information and knowledge management are discussed in the context of three shifts identified from the literature, 1) the continued increase in communication channels, both physical and virtual, for reference, information and research services, 2) the transition from the information age to the conceptual age and 3) the growing need for understanding of the affective paradigm in the information and knowledge professions. Findings from the literature review on the relationships between empathy and information behaviour, social networking, knowledge management and information and knowledge services are presented. Findings are discussed in relation to the development of guidelines for the affective education and training of information and knowledge professionals and the potential use of virtual learning software such as Second Life in developing empathic communication skills.

Literature review, Empathy, Information profession, Virtual learning, Affective education, Relational agency

Miller, F. (2008). Research information needs of public policy oriented researchers at a regional university: Issues emerging from a pilot study. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 253-268. (ERA rank ‘A’)

A small scale study was conducted for my masters research, which resulted in my first journal publication. Part of this study (particularly the interview with an early career academic) was a catalyst for my PhD research focus. Abstract is below:

This article presents the results of a pilot study of the research information needs, behaviour and source preferences of academic researchers at a regional university engaged in a public policy research project. In-depth interviews with three public policy oriented academic researchers undertaking interdisciplinary research projects at Charles Sturt University were analysed. Issues emerging from the study include the development of research literacy of academics and information professionals working in complex public policy landscapes and the nature of motivating and demotivating factors in the policy research process. Research questions for future studies are suggested.


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