Q Dissertation: Merrill on intermediary enforcement in online advertising

Merrill, Kenneth (2015). Dedicated to infringement: The politics of intermediary enforcement in online advertising. Doctoral dissertation (Media Studies), Syracuse University.

Abstract: In the wake of recent legislative efforts designed to curb copyright infringement on the web—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA)—governments have increasingly come to rely on private industry (e.g., content providers and third party content networks) to serve as intermediaries for the enforcement of intellectual property rights on the web. Often this form of infrastructure-based content mediation occurs through private ordering and the creation of industry standards and in-house best practices designed to deal with alleged intellectual property infringement. The emergence of these indirect infrastructure-based modes of enforcement (DeNardis, 2012) raises several important questions for innovation, Internet interoperability, and freedom of expression on the web. This study seeks to shed light on this murky area of content mediation by examining how online advertising professionals construct meaning around value-laden concepts like intellectual property rights and how these cognitive constructs go on to influence the shape of the networked public sphere. The study uses a mixed method approach combining Q methodology and focus group interviews to examine cognitive and discursive patterns of meaning-making regarding intellectual property infringement among online advertising professionals, a key industry in this increasingly privatized infrastructure-mediated regulatory environment.

Q Dissertation: Lopienski on educational leaders’ understandings of career readiness

Lopienski, Sarah A. (2016).  How do educational leaders understand career readiness: A Q-methodological study.  Doctoral dissertation, Department of Educational Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Abstract: The journey to understanding career readiness has never been more difficult for today’s Kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) educational leaders. In this study, data was analyzed using Q-methodology which discovered three factors holding five interpretable viewpoints. K-12 educational leaders not only presented an understanding about career readiness as developing the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to compete in the 21st century global economy, but also identified with aspects of vocational psychology’s perspective of career including self-awareness, making meaning in one’s life, and having a drive and desire to succeed. Data interpretation and analysis emphasized the need for K-12 educational leaders to re-create K-12 school culture by developing students who are employable while strategically positioning each student’s unique life stories to find purpose and meaning in life.
Sarah A. Lopienski <slopienski@gmail.com> is Vice President of School Operations, Educational Empowerment Group <http://www.edempowerment.com>, Akron, OH, U.S.A.

Q Bibliography: Chandran et al. on designing a transboundary enforcement monitoring system

Chandran, Remi, Robert Hoppe, W.T. De Vries, & Yola Georgiadou (2015, October 15). Conflicting policy beliefs and informational complexities in designing a transboundary enforcement monitoring system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 105, 447-460. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.12.068) (previously posted as in press)


Recognizing the need for a crowd sourced geospatial decision support system to monitor wildlife crime, in 2005, a team of scientists at the United Nations University (UNU) designed a GIS-based transboundary monitoring system, called Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS). The tool was intended to support the compliance monitoring task of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES Secretariat questioned the WEMS prototype due to the significant role it accorded to certain Non-governmental organizations in the information collection process. Subsequently, it led to the redesign of WEMS, where governments were the custodians of enforcement information. In this paper, we explain why the previous NGO based design of WEMS was a concern for CITES secretariat. We applied Q methodology, a research method used to study people’s “subjectivity”, to elicit the ways of thinking of wildlife conservation actors in India, Japan and Thailand, countries where the NGO based WEMS were intended to be piloted. Our analysis revealed four competing perspectives of wildlife conservation, namely – ecocentrism, mix of neoliberalism and anthropocentrism, authoritarianism and scientific rationalism; each with a particular implication on the adoption of a decision support system to monitor wildlife crime. The findings of our study reveal that scientific experts cannot expect unwavering support from the other groups for their aspirations, though they agree that some form of science mechanism is one way forward in bringing a policy consensus. We conclude that, transboundary enforcement information sharing is a complex problem where information system designers or policy makers alone cannot judge its acceptance within a policy context. Since very few studies have been carried out on linking the actor-belief dynamics in a decision support system and its use in environmental policy making within the context of a MEA, this study brings more insight in understanding the inherent policy challenges in information sharing within MEAs and broadly, across the disciplines of environmental governance.

Remi Chandran <r.chandran> <chandran.remi@nies.go.jp> is in the Department of Earth Observation Science, University of Twente, The Netherlands, and the Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba-City, Japan. He is responsible for having developed the Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) (see Government Information Quarterly, 28, 231-238).

Corresponding author. Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research,
National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba-City, 305-
8506 Ibaraki, Japan.

Kubier on religious perception and beliefs

Kubier, Patrick (2010, March 10). Varieties of religious perception: A Q-methodological approach to the study of religious beliefs. MA thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Central Oklahoma.

Abstract: Religion is at the heart of all cultures. Three of the most widely known religions are Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. To determine if differences exist, a Q-methodology study of religious beliefs was conducted. The experiment consisted of two parts: an extensive study and an intensive study. Experiment 1 involved participants completing a Q-sort asking about personal religious beliefs. A FANOVA, a combination of principle components analysis (PCA) and a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), was run. Two factors emerged: a religious factor and a nonreligious factor. The results for Factor 1 F(3, 157) = 82.188 , p <.001, ?2 = 0.661, and Factor 2 were F(3, 157) = 76.330 , p <.001, ?2 = 0.593; KMO =0.822. The null hypothesis was rejected. Experiment 2 was conducted to analyze beliefs from prominent members of religions. A Catholic priest, a Muslim Imam, and a Jewish Rabbi completed an intensive sixteen-item Q-sort. From the intensive study, three factors emerged in all participants: a religious factor, a parental factor, and a spiritual factor. These results show that religiosity differs from spirituality. Secondly, it suggests that parents have an overwhelming effect on religious beliefs. The results from both experiments suggest that the perception of religious beliefs is similar in all religions tested despite differences observed in the media.