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An exploration of concepts of community through a case study of UK university web production

Cox, A.M. (2008) An exploration of concepts of community through a case study of UK university web production. Journal of Information Science, 34 (3). pp. 327-345. ISSN 0165-5515


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The paper explores the inter-relation and differences between the concepts of occupational community, community of practice, online community and social network. It uses as a case study illustration the domain of UK university web site production and specifically a listserv for those involved in it. Different latent occupational communities are explored, and the potential for the listserv to help realize these as an active sense of community is considered. The listserv is not (for most participants) a tight knit community of practice, indeed it fails many criteria for an online community. It is perhaps best conceived as a loose knit network of practice, valued for information, implicit support and for the maintenance of weak ties. Through the analysis the case for using strict definitions of the theoretical concepts is made.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © CILIP. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Information Science. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: online community; the professions; occupational community; social networks; community of practice; web site design
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Andrew M. Cox
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2009 11:26
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2014 09:30
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165551507084354
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1177/0165551507084354
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9044

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