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A phenomenographic approach to the effect of emotions on the information behaviour of doctoral students: A narrative inquiry

Ahmed, A and Johnson, F and Walton, G and Bayounis, S (2020) A phenomenographic approach to the effect of emotions on the information behaviour of doctoral students: A narrative inquiry. In: iConference, 23 March 2020 - 26 March 2020, University of Boras, Sweden Virtual Conference.

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Abstract

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. This article is to examine how emotions affect the doctoral student’s journey by analyzing diverse aspects of the information behaviour that emerged from their narratives through a phenomenographic perspective. Narratives are a rational way of communication that focuses on how people perceive different phenomena regarding themselves, their inner thoughts, their states of mind, and how it affects their lifeworld’s. This phenomenographic study employs interview data from 36 doctoral students. The data collected from the narratives were studied drawing from the variation theory and iterative data analysis resulted in categories of doctoral student experiences and their emotional journey. The holistic phase of the thematic analysis revealed a relatively balanced interplay of positive and negative emotions. The rich data obtained in the phenomenographic approach exposed significant links between participants’ heightened emotions in five common themes during looking for information, their interactions with key individuals (supervisors and peer) and situations in their doctoral lives. Whilst this paper focuses on the approach taken to explore the narratives, recommendations are made based on the findings and to further explore the information-seeking behaviour patterns of doctoral students.

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