The many faces of practice theory in LIS

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

Introduction: This paper presents an exploration of how the notion of ”practice” is theorized and applied in library and information studies (LIS).
Method:To highlight how “practice” is conceptualized and to discern what methodological approaches are taken, a qualitative analysis was conducted of a selection of practice-oriented contributions to the LIS literature. A bibliometric study of publications relating to “practice theory” provided a complementary quantitative overview of the influence of “the practice turn” in LIS.
Analysis: Through reading a number of introductions to practice theories, a selection of prominent characteristics were identified. These characteristics provided guidance for the close-reading of the sample of practice-oriented LIS literature. As well as indicating direction for the qualitative analysis, the outcomes of the bibliometric study were recontexualized by the qualitative study.
Results: The practice-oriented LIS literature can be divided into four different areas based on disciplinary influences. Authors are highlighting different key tenets when adhering to practice theory. It is possible to identify at least four different methodological approaches to empirical studies in the discipline. Conclusions: There is not one “practice-based approach” in LIS, but rather a multifaceted strand, which exhibits many different characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventNinth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science - Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 27 Jun 201629 Jun 2016


ConferenceNinth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science
LocationUppsala University
Internet address

ID: 161990070