Research case study: Library & Information Science – Information Seeking Behaviour & Cult Media Fans

Ludi Price is a PhD student (3rd year) in the Department of Library & Information Science at City,  University of London. Her multi-disciplinary research topic isSerious leisure: information behaviour in fan communities”  where she is researching the information seeking behaviour of cult media fans.


City, University of London Library

CityLibrary Search is a resource discovery tool which searches across a wide range of resources including  print and electronic books, journals, articles, theses and more.  CityLibrary Search has a new RSS feed functionality, for example for a search on  Cult media fans and information seeking behaviour.

Ludi uses a wide range of resources for her topic and finds City Library immensely helpful.  City subscribes to a wide range of electronic databases and journals. She often uses journal articles for her research and the databases LISTA  and LISA and Jstor.  She accesses approx 95% of her articles through City Library but being based in London also has access to other libraries as well.

For multi-disciplinary subjects, City Library staff have prepared a range of library guides.  There is also a comprehensive researcher guide.

Ludi has really benefitted from the City Library Read for Research purchasing scheme where research staff and students can recommend books for their research to be purchased by the Library.

Other libraries

The SCONUL Access scheme is very useful for staff and students to use University and other libraries throughout the country. Senate House, University of London is a large humanities and social science library.

The British Library is the national library and is based at St Pancras, all research staff and students should join the British Library.

Public libraries are useful for general reading and fiction etc.

The SOAS Library is useful for African and Asian studies and humanities and social sciences.

Useful research tools

“I have been using NVivo since my Masters research (also at City), which is a great resource for qualitative data analysis, and is free to use for City students. It is also able to store and categorise your articles. For the latter, however, I tend to use Mendeley, as I can access all my articles across devices, and I can highlight and annotate with the software. It’s also great for keeping track of citations – the metadata is very good, and the ‘save to Mendeley’ web buttons means that you can save articles to the software while browsing the web. I’m also a member of Figshare, though I haven’t quite got round to uploading my research yet” .

City subscribes to the  online reference management software RefWorks  and staff and students and City alumni can use this to store, manage and cite references. RefWorks accounts can be set up at

Links to some of your blog posts, open access articles etc?

“I keep a research blog although I don’t often have the time to update it these days! Most of my work has been uploaded there; otherwise they are all collated on my page.”

Social media resources and blogs

“A lot of fan activity takes place online so I almost have to be online as well! I use Twitter a lot to keep up with the #fanstudies hashtag, and with other fan- or library-related stuff. There are some fan academics on Tumblr as well, who host some useful resources”.

“ Researchers can now set up their own profile on Google Scholar as well, and it will collect your metrics automatically (although whether it’s accurate or not is up for debate!) Lastly, LinkedIn has some interesting stuff on it.  There is a body of scholars and professionals who are always debating and posting links to interesting articles”.

Advice to new researchers

“Always read the citations in papers that are relevant to your research. It seems obvious, but all too often it can act as a short cut to a lengthy article search. Also, don’t be afraid to engage with social media. There’s a lot of people out there who want to share their work and their ideas and who are happy to connect with you. It’s also a great place to get some feedback and to open up some horizons that you might never have expected to exist before”.


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