ReSource: Transforming Reading and Source Criticism in Digital Cultures

ReSource takes as its starting point the current “crisis of information,” characterised by, among other things, the proliferation of misinformation and conspiracy ideologies, the commercialisation of the public information infrastructure, the entry of AI technologies into more and more areas, and the increasing distrust of traditionally trusted institutions. The research school explores practices of informational reading and source criticism through analyses of the interplay between changing and evolving (commercial) information infrastructures, societal institutions, and the expectations and experiences of people in different roles.

Advertisements for doctoral student positions

The announcement and appointment of 11 fully-funded doctoral positions will take place in the spring 2023 term. Each applicant is asked to formulate a research plan related to one or several of the themes listed below. Please adhere to the application instructions of each respective university.

Two PhD positions at Lund University

We encourage all interested applicants to contact the indicated contact person at each respective university if they have any questions.

Research themes

The doctoral projects and courses offered relate to one or more of the following four themes.

(Dis/mis)information, changing information infrastructures, and source criticism

This theme addresses the challenges of media and information literacy in digital environments, including the increasing involvement of algorithms, AI, the increasing instability of (scientific) evidence, individualisation, and commercial platforms. The theme contributes a critical perspective to calls for more media and information literacy in response to the current information crisis and the role of libraries and schools in this context. The theme examines how the changing information infrastructure is implicated in the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy ideologies.

Current and historical informational reading practices

Informational reading (or efferent reading) is the basis for source criticism but is rarely the focus of traditional reading research. This theme highlights informational reading as a reading practice and puts current concerns relating to both informational and experiential reading in the larger historical context that is often missing in current debates. This is done through the study of the expectations placed on people’s reading practices during different historical periods, all perceived as characterised by rapid technological change and development.

Libraries as institutional settings for promoting informational reading and source criticism

This theme analyses the role of public and school libraries in the promotion of informational reading and source criticism. These types of libraries, as social institutions for knowledge, culture, education, and life-long learning, have long provided a focal point for magnifying contemporary challenges, changes, and demands related to the information crisis. In these institutions’ promotion of informational reading and source criticism, the professional expertise of librarians is a key asset. This theme provides much-needed analyses of the professional and institutional roles developing in relation to new conditions for informational reading and source criticism.

The credibility and trustworthiness crisis of research

Higher education institutions are established institutions for credible information/knowledge. The crisis of information is, in a sense, a failure of research-based institutions to communicate both knowledge and credibility to a wider audience. This theme addresses the challenges of popularising research on the Internet, in popular journals, and in discussions with politicians, journalists, and influencers, in Sweden and globally. This research theme builds on a long tradition within the library and information studies sub-field of scholarly communication and provides critical perspectives on the production and dissemination of research-based credibility and trustworthiness in the 2020s.

Activities

  • Courses: ReSource offers four distance-based 7.5 ECTS courses, each tied to one of the four themes listed above: 1) Researching (dis/mis)information, changing information infrastructures, and source criticism; 2) Informational reading practices: historical and contemporary perspectives; 3) Informational reading and source criticism as institutional and professional tasks; and 4) Analysing contemporary scholarly communication practices.

  • An international seminar series: ReSource organises online research seminars together with Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, Canada and School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, Curtin University, Perth, Australia, respectively. Doctoral students from all three countries present their ongoing work and get feedback from their international peers and senior researchers.

  • Two annual gatherings:
    - During spring terms, a workshop is organised where doctoral students are invited to submit work-in-progress to get feedback from senior researchers other than their supervisors, as well as other doctoral students.
    - During the autumn term, a writing retreat is offered to all ReSource doctoral students.

  • Desk exchanges: ReSource doctoral students are offered the opportunity to spend at least two weeks during their studies at one of the participating schools/departments and/or at an international institution, and present their work-in-progress at the local seminar series.

  • Shut Up & Write: ReSource doctoral students and senior researchers are invited to join monthly online writing sessions structured according to the Shut Up & Write principle.

  • Co-supervision and third reader: ReSource doctoral students have a co-supervisor from another participating institution or, alternatively, so-called third readers who offer feedback at pertinent stages of doctoral students’ studies.

  • Introductory and final meetings: The ReSource coordinator has individual meetings with all ReSource doctoral students at least twice during their studies. The introductory meeting focuses on the contributions and requirements of the doctoral school, while the final meeting focuses on feedback from the student and career planning.

Contacts

Anna Lundh, Coordinator, Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås
Phone: +46 33 435 59 91
Email: anna.lundh@hb.se

Rickard Danell, Department of Sociology, Umeå University
Phone: +46 90 786 95 11
Email: rickard.danell@umu.se

Joacim Hansson, Department of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University
Phone: +46 470 70 89 71
Email: joacim.hansson@lnu.se

Isto Huvila, Department of ALM, Uppsala University
Phone: +46 18 471 34 20
Email: isto.huvila@abm.uu.se

Jan Nolin, Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås
Phone: +46 33 435 43 36
Email: jan.nolin@hb.se

Pamela Schultz Nybacka, Department for History and Contemporary Studies, Södertörn University
Phone: +46 8 608 41 31
Email: pamela.schultz.nybacka@sh.se

Olof Sundin, Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University
Phone: +46 46 222 09 66
Email: olof.sundin@kultur.lu.se

Zanna Friberg, Doctoral student representative, Department of ALM, Uppsala University
Email: zanna.friberg@abm.uu.se

Participating institutions

Linnaeus University, Department of Cultural Science, Library and Information Science

Lund University, Information Studies 

Södertörn University, Library and Information Science

Umeå University, Scientific Research

University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science 

Uppsala University, Department of ALM