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                            The Information Practices of People Living with Depression: Constructing Credibility and Authority
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The Information Practices of People Living with Depression: Constructing Credibility and Authority
                        
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Western University Western University

[email protected] [email protected]

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

11-10-2010 12:00 AM

The Information Practices of People Living with Depression: The Information Practices of People Living with Depression:

Constructing Credibility and Authority Constructing Credibility and Authority

Tami Oliphant
The University of Western Ontario

Supervisor

Dr. Catherine Ross

The University of Western Ontario

Graduate Program in Library & Information Science

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree in Doctor of

Philosophy

© Tami Oliphant 2010

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Part of the Library and Information Science Commons

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Authority" (2010). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 35.
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Original post

obvious from their total lack of the most vital knowledge and skill of their

profession.





Response 1: Bullshit. Self diagnoses are usually wrong. Even the doctor will not

But even when self diagnosis is correct, it is usually not likely that the patient will

know more than the doctor about treatment options, even after hours of internet

research.



Doctors don t know everything, but you don t know shit.





Response 2: a) how on earth would you even know the first F IN thing about the

ll just go

ahead and answer my own rhetoric - YOU WOULDN T.



b) Knowledge is not ever completely obvious. Therefore a statement like that

doesn s SO absurd, it s not even





c) The obvious truth is simple: Some doctors are good, some are mediocre, some

are bad, and there are probably many layers on a continuum in between these







Response 3: Doctors are useful for a diagnosis. But if a person has looked into

their health for a long time, and thought about it and tried different things, they

eventually begin to see what can make them healthy. Most people have been

dumbed down to a considerable degree, by the mass media and the education

system, and they think that the official health system is the best because it is

scientifically proven.



However, if you look into the w

that it means manipulation and half truths, all in the cause of propping up the

business with disease (pharmaceutical cartel), who are in business to make money -

simple as that. They claim they are concerned with people s health, but they have

to say that otherwise everybody would be onto them.



Newsgroup postings





Respondents one and two vigorously challenge both the original poster s category

s claims

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undermining the authoritative knowledge of conventional medicine. While the third poster

acknowledges the value of doctors, he suggests that those with experiential knowledge

have some expertise in knowing what treatments work for them. The third poster argues

that most people are ill-equipped to think about, and make good decisions about, their

health due to a poor educational system, mass media, and a medical system based on for-

profit research and not because people are inherently poor information users. The third

poster suggests that most people who have been proactive about taking care of their health

and who have acquired experiential knowledge are capable information users and

consequently capable of negotiating biomedical knowledge.

Interviewees also portrayed themselves as knowledgeable information-seekers and

evaluators, as exemplified by Anne in the passage below:



Tami: Well, it sounds also that you ve done a lot of reading about depression



Anne: Yeah, magazines. Very seldom will I read a book. When [name]

t

read books I am a knowledge seeker. I m a magazine junkie. If there s an

article that catches my interest I ll read it but to sit down and read a whole

book, no. But different articles and things like that I will read.



Tami: And so have you generally found that most of this information has been

helpful to you?



Anne: Yeah, because I think maybe I m intelligent enough to sort out what is

garbage and what isn t, you know. There is no little magic pill. And then

other things you think may be feasible but you d have to look into it and

then other things which you know would totally work for you. It s just like

de-stressing yourself by taking a walk or having a bath. I mean I ve had

more baths in the last six months then I ve probably had in the last ten years

because I found out it can relax me.



Tami: So how do you decide what information is helpful to you. Like if you read

a personal story does that give it [the information] more credence or

credibility?



Anne: I think so if it comes from somebody credible that you know has written to

help or you know to either heal or help yeah, it does. And personal stories,

one-to-one personal stories you know friends, family, acquaintances talking

I take that with a lot more weight than I would just somebody on the TV

doing an infomercial about something.

Page 220

207

Curriculum Vita



Name: Tami Oliphant



Education: University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario, Canada

2004-2010, PhD



University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1999-2001, MLIS



University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1992-1994, BA



Selected Awards and Scholarships

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Value: $15,000) 2005; 2008

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Value: $20,000) 2007

Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honor Society

(GPA of at least 3.75 on the 4-point scale) 2001

Lesley Heathcote Graduate Scholarship in

Library and Information Studies (Value: $6,500) 2000

Graduate Studies and Research Tuition Scholarship (Value: $3,095) 2000


Related Work Experience

Sessional Instructor

Faculty of Information and Media Studies

University of Western Ontario

2007-2009



Teaching Assistant

Faculty of Information and Media Studies

University of Western Ontario

2004-2008



Sessional Instructor

School of Library and Information Studies

University of Alberta

2003-2004

Page 221

208

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications



McKenzie, Pamela and Tami Oliphant. (2010). Informing evidence: Claimsmaking in

midwives Qualitative Health Research,
20(1), 29 41.





authoritative knowledge about treatments for depression. Canadian Journal of
Information and Library Science, 33(3/4), 215 232.



McKechnie, Lynne, Julien, Heidi, Genuis, Shelagh and Tami Oliphant. (2008).

Communicating research findings to library and information science practitioners:

A study of ISIC papers from 1996 to 2006. Information Research: An International
Electronic Journal, 13(4), http://informationr.net/ir/13-4/paper375.html



Oliphant, Tami. (2007). The enclosure of the knowledge commons: The role of publishers,

faculty, and librarians. International Journal of the Book, 4(4), 77 84.


Oliphant, Tami. (2006). The invisibility of alternative media. In R. Litwin (Ed.)., Library
juice concentrate: Invitations and reflections, 19982006 (pp. 93 106). Duluth,
MN: Library Juice Press.

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