Beyond eureka moments: supporting the invisible work of creativity and innovation

Publisher:
University of Sheffield
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Information Research, 2011, 16 (1), pp. 1 - 18
Issue Date:
2011-01
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Introduction. This paper is about the challenges of working creatively and reflectively in the information-intensive environments characteristic of our digital age. Method. The paper builds upon earlier work about uncertainty in library and information science by incorporating work exploring risk cultures and uncertainty as everyday phenomena. It presents arguments emerging from an ongoing investigation of the background work involved in scholarly research practice. These threads are used to invite discussion about the particular strategic contribution that the ISIC community might make in answer to calls for more creativity and greater support for the human spirit in all that we do. Analysis. Ethnographic material about scholarly research practice is combined with varied research exploring creativity and uncertainty. Results. Analysis of conditions that can stimulate creativity suggests that working through and being in uncertainty provides a site of creativity stimulation that addresses Howkins's query about how and where we wish to do our thinking. Conclusions. As information researchers and practitioners, we can act as stewards within our communities and help shape the information services and infrastructures that support organisations and communities striving to be more creative and to engage with information in inventive ways. Doing so will require us to not only support the creativity and innovation of others, but to be creative and innovative ourselves.
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