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Isolated, overwhelmed and worried Wins JASIST Best Paper Award

Ian Ruthven

Steven Buchanan

Cara Jardine










The Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) is delighted to announce that “Isolated, overwhelmed and worried:  young first-time mothers asking for information and support online” written by Drs. Ian Ruthven, Steven Buchanan, and Cara Jardine, published in Volume 69, Issue 9 of the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology (JASIST) is the recipient of the ASIS&T Best JASIST Paper Award for 2019. The award’s purpose is to recognize the best refereed paper published in the volume year of JASIST preceding the ASIS&T annual meeting. JASIST is published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The article was selected as the winner from among a pool of outstanding submissions that were judged based on these criteria: contribution; professional merit; and presentation quality.

In selecting this paper, jurors said,

“This paper studies the emotions expressed by young first-time mothers and pregnant women when they seek information and support in online forums. Through data collection, coding and analysis, the authors classify the emotions of the posts into three themes. This study has practical significance for online moderators to respond to such requests to help young first-time mothers.”

This article presents a “very clear outlining of the research questions investigated, detail of methodology provided and thorough discussion and support for findings and their implications in relation to important societal concern.”

This article is “A significant contribution to our understanding of the emotions present in everyday information seeking. [It is] an excellent example of information behavior research.”

Professor Ian Ruthven Ian is Professor of Information Seeking and Retrieval at the University of Strathclyde Information School. His research focuses on information seeking behaviour and interactive system design, particularly on the ways that people access information and the barriers to their successful access. He is Chair of the Board for the Scottish Library and Information Council, Scotland’s national advisory board for libraries and librarianship which provides support to over 540 Scottish libraries by offering funding, research, advice and skills development.

Professor Steven Buchanan is a Professor of Human Information Behaviour within the Division of Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling, UK.  Prior to this he was a Reader within the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK.  Much of his recent work has examined the information behaviours of people in marginalised and disadvantaged circumstances, including work with unemployed adolescents, maximum security prisoners, and young first-time mothers and their support workers from areas of multiple deprivations.

Dr Cara Jardine is a Leverhulme Early Career fellow, based at the University of Strathclyde. Her current work seeks to develop new research into people’s experiences of community from within prison, the permeability of the prison wall, and the resulting implications for citizenship, legitimacy and reintegration.  This project reflects her research interests in relationships, communities and social inclusion.

Upon learning of their article’s selection as the 2019 Best JASIST Paper Award winner, the team said, “We are very honoured and humbled that our paper was selected as the Best JASIS&T Paper for 2019. This paper was part of a larger project working to understand the information needs of young first-time mothers. We would like to pay tribute to these young women whose stories and experiences made this study possible. We are very grateful to the jury panel, our colleagues at JASIS&T and the kind and constructive reviewers whose input enhanced our work”

The team will accept the award at the 2019 meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) which will be held in Melbourne, Australia, October 19-23, 2019.