My research is centered on the big issue concerning people and their relationship to information. How and why individuals and groups of people find and make use of information, but also the consequences and outcomes of their information practices, is thus an overarching and reoccurring question in most of my research projects.
The work that I have done this far can be divided into three main cross-connected categories where each represents a specific facet of information practices research.
Information and work. In general terms, this category represents studies that deal with information practices in relation to work. Empirically, my contributions in this category display a variation that includes investigations of scholars’ (i.e. design researchers) sharing and use of work-related information (e.g. Pilerot, 2015), academic librarians’ information use in professional practices (Pilerot & Lindberg, 2018), and social workers’ professional information practices (Pilerot, 2016). To this category can also be added my work on public librarians’ work for newly arrived immigrants in Sweden (Pilerot & Hultgren, 2017; Pilerot, in press).
Information and learning. My work in this category focuses on what I consider being a specific branch of information practices research, namely the kind of research which commonly is referred to as information literacy research. At the core of my research within this area is the ambition to discover how people develop (learn) the capacity to understand and be familiar with how information is created, sought, used, and valued in a certain practice. The studies that I have conducted have specifically concentrated on students in higher education (e.g. Pilerot, 2018), including PhD students (e.g. Pilerot, 2016). In connection to this topic I have also addressed political and normative aspects of information literacy (Pilerot & Lindberg, 2011).
Information and newly arrived immigrants. Since 2015 I have been engaged in research on the information practices of refugees (e.g. Lloyd, Pilerot & Hultgren, 2017) and newly arrived immigrants. Regarding the latter, my interest has particularly been in the role that public libraries play for this user group. I have run two fair-sized research projects which have investigated, on the one hand, the work that public libraries do for newly arrived immigrants in Sweden (Pilerot, in press; Pilerot & Hultgren, 2017) and, on the other hand, how newly arrived immigrants perceive and make use of public libraries (Pilerot & Lindberg, in press).
In addition to these three main categories of my research, there are two specific themes that have reappeared throughout my work. One concerns a critical perspective on evidence-based practice or, as I prefer to phrase it, the use of research in professional practice. A recent example is found in my chapter on research use in public library-work for newly arrived immigrants (Pilerot, 2018). My study of social workers’ information practices, for example, does also contain a theory-driven critical discussion of the phenomenon of evidence-based practice (Pilerot, 2016). Likewise, my co-authored paper on academic librarians’ information use relates to this theme (Pilerot & Lindberg, in press). A study which is solely aimed at this issue, albeit with reference to a bibliometric investigation of the literature on information literacy, was reported in a paper titled Connections between research and practice in the information literacy narrative: a mapping of the literature and some propositions (Pilerot, 2016). The other specific theme is manifested in my use of practice theories. Since the completion of my doctoral thesis (Pilerot, 2014), which is firmly based in practice theory, most of my empirical studies of information practices have been framed by some sort of practice theoretical perspective. For my future research, I would in particular like to elaborate on the materiality-centered strand of practice theory that was central to my JASIST-paper from 2014 (Pilerot, 2014). Together with colleagues, I have furthermore explored the use and applications of practice theory in library and information studies (Pilerot, Hammarfelt & Moring, 2017).