Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A context-based study of serendipity in information research among Chinese scholars

Zhou, Xiaosong; Sun, Xu; Wang, Qingfeng; Sharples, Sarah

Authors

Xiaosong Zhou

Xu Sun

Qingfeng Wang



Abstract

Purpose: The current understanding of serendipity is based primarily on studies employing Westerners as participants, and it remains uncertain whether or not this understanding would be pervasive under different cultures, such as in China. In addition, there is not a sufficient systematic investigation of context during the occurrence of serendipity in current studies. This paper examines the above issues by conducting a follow-up empirical study with a group of Chinese scholars.
Design/methodology/approach: The social media application “Wechat” was employed as a research tool. A diary-based study was conducted and 16 participants were required to send to the researchers any cases of serendipity they encountered during a period of two weeks, and this was followed by a post-interview.
Findings: Chinese scholars experienced serendipity in line with the three main processes of encountering unexpectedness, connection-making and recognising the value. An updated context-based serendipity model was constructed, where the role of context during each episode of experiencing serendipity was identified, including the external context (e.g. time, location and status), the social context, and the internal context (e.g. precipitating conditions, sagacity/perceptiveness and emotion).
Originality/value: The updated context model provides a further understanding of the role played by context during the different processes of serendipity. The framework for experiencing serendipity has been expanded, and this may be used to classify the categories of serendipity.

Citation

Zhou, X., Sun, X., Wang, Q., & Sharples, S. (in press). A context-based study of serendipity in information research among Chinese scholars. Journal of Documentation, 74(3), https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-05-2017-0079

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 2, 2017
Online Publication Date May 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 1, 2018
Journal Journal of Documentation
Print ISSN 0022-0418
Electronic ISSN 0022-0418
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Issue 3
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-05-2017-0079
Keywords serendipity; context; model; information encountering
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/49032
Publisher URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JD-05-2017-0079
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf

Files


A Context-based Study of Serendipity in Information Research among Chinese Scholars.pdf (1.3 Mb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





You might also like



Downloadable Citations