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Open Access Publications from the University of California


InterActions is an open access journal hosted by the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, edited and managed by graduate students, based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Our publication’s authors foster an open and critical dialogue with readers and colleagues through applying diverse social justice frameworks to the discussion of pressing issues in the fields of education and information.


Polyphony in Social Classification: Exploring Hybrid Forms of Speech, Practice, and Text in Digital Settings

As information technologies grow and the digital online spaces become increasingly popular places for social interaction, we are confronted with new forms of sociality, practice, and knowledge organization that defy traditional distinctions between document, text, speech, language, and practice. This paper argues that due to these shifts, we also need new theoretical frameworks that reflect these changes. This paper presents a study of a social classification system, from an ethnographic approach to introduce that concepts speech and practice into the study of digital engagement. This paper specifically introduces concepts of monologue and dialogue to elucidate the ways in which people participate in social classification systems and, more importantly, the ways in which they negotiate their relationships to a larger digital public.

Literature Review

Stuck in the Pipeline: A Critical Review of STEM Workforce Literature

In this critical review of the literature, I interrogate the assumptions underlying STEM workforce studies as it pertains to gender, race, class, and citizenship. First, I provide a brief overview of the pipeline model’s history and critiques. Next, I look at the contemporary use of the model in STEM workforce studies, focusing on the ways in which recruitment and retention, scientific work, and identity are represented, measured, and understood. I argue throughout that the pipeline model has a limited view of retention that is based upon socially constructed ideas about what constitutes “valid” scientific and engineering work and who counts as “real” scientists and engineers.

Market Values in Higher Education: A Review of the For-Profit Sector

This paper reviews the research literature on for-profit higher education within the context of an increasingly marketized system of higher education in the U.S. The paper describes how market values have influenced important aspects of the system, including federal student aid policy, accountability standards, and the rise of the private for-profit sector. The paper concludes with some suggestions for future research that can provide a better understanding of the role that for-profit institutions play in the U.S. system of higher education.

Featured Commentary

The Self-Imposed Limits of Library and Information Science: Remarks On the Discipline, On the Profession, On the University, and On the State of "Information" in the U.S. at Large Today

The topic of this paper is the self-imposed limits of Library and Information Science discourse and its institutional discipline. In particular, this paper discusses the disciplinary limits that the field places upon itself, its phobia regarding critical theory and interdisciplinary work (outside of computer science), and why public information, such as 'the news,' is not seen as part of our domain of inquiry. It also engages how persons are understood and constructed as 'information seeking' subjects in this field, including LIS students and researchers. Finally are questions of the overarching disciplining of students and researchers toward 'positive' research in the field, a research that is, in part, often founded upon very shaky 'foundational' theoretical models. Arguably, these questions are linked in the construction of an 'informationalized,' rather docile and uninteresting, political subject, both within and outside of information research in the university, both within and outside of information professionalism, and in the public at large, which should all now be educated to be "information professionals" in a critical manner. All of this is more striking given the amount of verbiage in the past twenty years or so about the presence and the importance of 'the information age.' These questions are specific to Library and Information Science, but they also extend out to information science more generally understood and to questions about the formation of subjectivity in the contemporary university and in U.S. politics. Issues regarding method and critique are central in this paper.