Serendipity

Investigators: Victoria L. Rubin, Jacquelyn Burkell, Anabel Quan-Haase

Research Assistant: Jeremy Clark

Serendipity

Rubin, Burkell, Quan-Haase Serendipity Model (2011)

Serendipity has received much attention from library and information science, psychology, and computer science. Yet not much is known about serendipity in the context of everyday information behavior. In general, a key challenge in the project on serendipity is obtaining accounts of serendipitous experiences that provide insight into the phenomenon.

The exploratory research reported here approaches this problem by examining naturally occurring descriptions of serendipity as found on blogs. The paper shows how these data can be collected, stored, and analyzed. We also discuss strengths of the proposed approach in comparison to the use of descriptions elicited in controlled settings for the purposes of research.

Through a grounded theory approach, we develop a model of serendipity that can inform the design of information systems. The paper contributes to the LIS field by discussing an alternative data collection method for serendipity research, outlining a tentative conceptual model of serendipity, and showing the utility of this model for the analysis of everyday accounts of serendipity found on blogs.


Associated Publications

  • Burkel, J., Quan-Haase, A., and Rubin, V. L.(2012). Promoting Serendipity Online: Recommendations for Tool Design, iConfrerence 2012, Toronto

  • Rubin, V. L., Burkel, J., and Quan-Haase, A. (2011). Facets of serendipity in everyday chance encounters: A grounded theory approach to blog analysis. Information Research: an International Electronic Journal, 6(3) Special issue: Information by Chance: Opportunistic Discovery of Information

  • Rubin, V. L., Burkel, J., and Quan-Haase, A. (2011) Facets of Serendipity in Everyday Chance Encounters: Content Analysis of Social Media Accounts. The 39th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Information Science: Exploring Interactions of People, Places and Information (CAIS / ACSI 2011), Fredericton, N.B., Canada, June 2 - 4, 2011

  • Rubin, V. L., Burkel, J., and Quan-Haase, A. (2011) Everyday Serendipity as Described in Social Media.Joint Research Day for Faculties of Information Studies, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Faculty of Education, UWO, March 23, 2011.

  • Rubin, V. L., Burkel, J., and Quan-Haase, A. (2010). Everyday Serendipity as Described in Social Media. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology Annual Meeting: Navigating Streams in an Information Ecosystem,October 22–27, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. ASIS&T 2010



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