Research teams

The Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship employs the leading experts in the fields of information science, book culture history and the new media studies. Our staff consists of three research teams, all of which are open to different forms of scientific collaboration for instance with memory and education institutes, or non-profit and private organizations.

Book Culture History Centre

Book culture teaching focuses both on theory and on the history of book culture in our lands since its inception in the Middle Ages until the 20th century.  Our institute strives to interdepartmentally connect book culture with information science and other subject fields at the Faculty of Arts at the Charles University (e.g. Czech Literature and Comparative Literature, Czech language, Art History). The institute also cooperates with the memory institutes and research institutes at the Czech Academy of Sciences. The institute does not only focus on the development of book culture but especially on letterpress printing as an innovative and constantly innovated technology, the history of readers’ reception of literary works and the history of libraries. In the years 2015-2017, the Institute has been working on a research grant project “The Czech Letterpress from Late Gothic to Renaissance, Volume II (“Český knihtisk mezi pozdní gotikou a renesancí, sv.2”) dealing with the history of the letterpress in the first half of the 16th century, funded by The Czech Science Foundation. Other areas of interest include 15th century literature, 17th century aristocrats’ libraries and 20th century belles-lettres.

Research Centre of Information Behaviour

The Research Centre of Information Behaviour focuses on a broad area of topics related to individuals’ behaviour and the social segments in the process of information search, acquisition, organization, storage and retrieval. Information behaviour can be broadly understood as all human behaviour in relation to information sources and communication channels that includes both active and passive information gathering, its use, interpretation and impacts. The term also covers the research topic of digital literacy as a key competence for life in the contemporary society. Mastered skills in the information behaviour domain are the most important prerequisite for a successful adaptation to constant change as a major factor in our contemporary society (often referred to as the information society).

The main objectives of our Centre are to enhance the research of information technologies impact on the individual information behaviour as well as the overall transformation of information processing in the society. The research of information behaviour includes the topics at the intersection of information science, new media studies, psychology, technology, sociology and education.

The Centre’s research activities focus primarily on the following topics:

  • Research of information and digital literacy as a key concept for life in our contemporary society.
  • The phenomenon of the digital divide and its impact on social segments endangered by digital exclusion (e.g. the elderly, undereducated, handicapped, migrants etc).
  • The impact of digital technology on the development of children and youth in the educational process.
  • Information technology and its impact on the transformation processes in the society.
  • The role of digital media in shaping minorities’ identities.
  • Quantitative research data from social networks as a representation of social behaviour.
  • The new methods for researching social networks (Facebook Normalized Distance), etc.

New Media Studies

In the field of new media studies we have been engaged in applied research in a wide range of domains. In game studies and the related experimental development we created Europe 2045 and an award winning series Czechoslovakia 38-89 (GLS Showcase 2015, Czech Game of the Year 2015), on which we cooperated with the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, and with the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences. We also developed a job searching application based on the principles of the semantic web. Among our empirical research outcomes are data visualisations methodologies and social sites analyses. Other fields of interests include data-mining, the merger of music and modern technologies, and the area of the quantified self and its impact on individuals. Currently we are establishing several research branches in the area of Digital Humanities and visual culture.

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