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Precarity and progression during a pandemic. Preliminary findings from a study of early career academics’ information behaviour during COVID-19

Willson, R., Makri, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5817-4893, McKay, D. & Ayeni, P. (2022). Precarity and progression during a pandemic. Preliminary findings from a study of early career academics’ information behaviour during COVID-19. Information Research: an international electronic journal, 27, ISSN 1368-1613 doi: 10.47989/irisic2225

Abstract

Introduction. COVID-19 has increased research, teaching and administrative pressures for all academics and, by doing so, exacerbated inequalities experienced by early-career academics, who were already dealing with several sources of uncertainty in trying to establish their careers. This study sought to understand the experiences of the academics during the pandemic.

Method. We conducted semi-structured remote interviews with 18 early-career academics (PhDs awarded in past 6 years), from a variety of countries; Canada, US, Australia, UK, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Analysis. Interviews were analysed using a reflexive inductive Thematic Analysis approach.

Results. Preliminary findings demonstrate that the pandemic has disrupted information acquisition and sharing among early-career academics. The increasing amount of incorrect and irrelevant information disseminated by universities, alongside the de-prioritisation of information that is particularly valued by these academics (e.g., information related to professional development and career development) has led some to avoid information

Conclusions. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the precarious situations faced. Universities need to acknowledge uncertainty, reduce information overload by providing relevant and useful information and provide useful information on and support for career progression.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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