Um adeus digital do antropólogo electrónico e uma última prenda!

The Electronic Anthropologist: on sources of information, strategies,
techniques and timing of online research [A Farewell Gift]

www.ciolek.com – Asia Pacific Research Online, Canberra, Australia.

Supplied-note:
“With 5,869 reviews of the Asian Studies internet resources
successfully dispatched, the time has come to say goodbyes –

(1) So, thank you, all my 9,260 wonderful online- and off-line
collaborators, colleagues and friends.
(2) It was your steadfast love of information that has sparked and
guided my electronic labours.
(3) Now I take my egret-plumed hat off, and lower it to the
flagstones with a mighty sweep.
(4) I bow to You All most deeply. I promise to answer (alas,
inevitably with a delay) all your private messages that have reached
me in these last days. I bow to You again and present a compact,
43KB, parting gift (below). Have fun with it, if/when so inclined.

(5) Now, My Unforgettable Monitorians, au revoir: I am signing off
for good – tmc.”

Self-description:
“Information of relevance and value to social scientists is scattered
– as individual items as well as clusters and collections – across
three vast and vastly different habitats of knowledge. The first of
them is formed by the overlapping networks of interconnected,
data-swapping computers. There the information is stored as
electronic bits. The second habitat is a great planetary labyrinth of
interacting and competing museums, archives, and libraries. This is
the physical world where information is stored as tangible objects –
books, manuscripts, microfilms, artifacts – and kept on shelves, or
in vaults. Finally, there is the boundless archipelago of groups and
clusters of people themselves. Researchers, experts, archivists,
journalists, court-clerks, shamans, interested laymen, students,
librarians, managers, and so forth form the third habitat of
knowledge. There the information is stored in biological form, either
etched in the memories of people, or created by them afresh.
This article is concerned with research uses of the first of those
three informational environments, that is, with quests for digital
pointers and digital contents that are available via the Internet. It
represents an abridged extract from an extensive 2009 work [approx.
145KB] entitled ‘The logistics of effective online information
seeking,’ a research paper with a number of technical appendices, now
available online at
http://www.ciolek.com/PAPERS/logistics-of-online-information-seeking.html
address.

[The article evaluates] methods of electronic investigation that
people can undertake within the domain of the Internet. Therefore,
the questions posed by this paper are not ‘what are the best ways to
obtain information online?’, or ‘what are the best sources of
electronic information?’, but rather – ‘under what methodological
circumstances is our online research most likely to succeed?’ So it
is not an enumeration of tools and opportunities, but rather a
meta-assessment of these.”

Site contents:
1. Introduction
(# The habitats of scholarly information, # Earlier studies of
information-seeking practices);

2. Internet, The Electronic Environment of Information
[“Two things about the Internet, the electronic environment of
information, are immediately apparent to any observer: its dire lack
of organization and its enormous physical size. The Internet is a
highly unpredictable and confused place, and the materials it carries
are of very uneven quality.”];

3. The Logistics of Online Information Seeking
(# The First Logistical Element: Research Strategy [Confirm, Link,
Deliver, Chase, Form, Match, Explore, Mull], # The Second Logistical
Element: Online Resources [Databases, Search engines, Online
directories, Repositories, “Flowing” websites, “Frozen” websites,
Collaborative environments, Gatherings, Feeds], # The Third
Logistical Element: Work Schedules [Urgent, Standard, Long-term], #
The Fourth Logistical Element: Data-Gathering Techniques [Ask, Query,
Search, Browse, Track, Comb, Monitor, Collect input, Trigger input,
Invite input]);

4. Six Constraints of Information Seeking
[“None of the above four logistical aspects of online research – the
strategies, online resources, work schedules, and data-gathering
techniques – ever occurs alone. On the contrary – they always work in
concert, as a dynamic system. Together they form six unique
combinations, in some of which these variables seem to ‘work together
especially well’, that is, when they appear to be supportive of each
other, and appear (in the experience of this author) to be
productive.”];

5. Conclusions
[“[W]hile at the surface level the Internet appears to be defined
mostly by our interactions with the disembodied, cold-headed
technology, ultimately the full research value of the Net is best
realised through multifaceted intellectual relationships that we can
form with other human beings that are contactable online. Seen from
this point of view, the modern Internet becomes a virtual bridge
which links the three habitats of information. Firstly, the Internet
almost instantaneously connects the researcher with the online
containers of digital information he or she seeks. Secondly, it spans
the gap between a researcher and the pointers to the masses of
analogue data preserved in libraries, archives, historical monuments,
and museums. Thirdly, the Net is a superb tool for the closure of the
gap between a researcher and the wealth of skills and wisdom of his
or her colleagues, no matter who they are, and where they work.”];

6. Acknowledgments;

7. Bibliography [43 specialist publications from the years 1995-2008,
including online research notes of that mysterious, motley and
seminal man himself, Francesco Vianello, aka Fjalar Ravia
(1952-2009)].

URL http://www.ciolek.com/PAPERS/e-anthropologist.html

Internet Archive (web.archive.org) [the site was not archived at the
time of this abstract]

Link reported by: T. Matthew Ciolek (tmciolek–at–coombs.anu.edu.au)

* Resource type [news – documents – study – corporate info. – online guide]:
Study
* Publisher [academic – business – govt. – library/museum – NGO – other]:
Academic
* Scholarly usefulness [essential – v.useful – useful – interesting –
marginal]:
rating not available
————————————————————–
Src: The Asian Studies WWW Monitor ISSN 1329-9778
URL http://coombs.anu.edu.au/asia-www-monitor.html
URL http://mailman.anu.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/asia-www-monitor
The e-journal [established 21 Apr 1994 – closed down 21 Jan 2011]
has provided free abstracts and reviews of new/updated online resources
of interest to Asian Studies.
At the day of its closure, the email edition of this Journal had over
9,260 subscribers.
The AS WWW Monitor did not necessarily endorse contents,
or policies of the Internet resources it dealt with.

Any questions related to the past or future of the e-journal are to be directed
exclusively to the following email address: web.cap@anu.edu.au

– regards –

Dr T. Matthew Ciolek   mattew.ciolek–at–anu.edu.au
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific,
The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
also, Asia Pacific Research Online at www.ciolek.com

[You may freely forward this information, but on condition that you
send the text as an integral whole along with complete information
about its author, date, and source.]

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