This book would not have been possible without the advice, support and above all encouragement of Maria Mawson (Faculty Librarian, Social Sciences) and Helen Moore (Faculty Librarian, Engineering and Science) at the University of Sheffield Library. I have written nine previous books with various publishers but none have worked with me in such a collaborative way as Maria and Helen as we solved problems collectively in the course of the evolution of the book.
Val Skelton edited the book many times in the course of its development but any remaining errors and omissions are mine and mine alone.
An important factor in the approach I have taken to this book as a text book has been the inspirational research and teaching commitment from my colleagues at the Information School, University of Sheffield. They collectively have set a benchmark that I have aimed for but am under no pretensions that I have achieved. I am also very grateful to the Information School for my appointment as a Visiting Professor. This brings with it the ability to use the Digital Library to locate the significant amount of published research that is not open access.
Nancy Berlinger encouraged me to write this book when I started out on the research process and came across her book ‘Are Workarounds Ethical’. Carrie Elliott (Syracuse University) kindly made a copy of her PhD thesis ‘The Preclusive and Productive Power of Information Systems: Psychiatric Clinicians, Electronic Health Records, and the Making of Health Information’ available to me. James Robertson (StepTwoDesigns) was also very encouraging.
A number of colleagues have read through the book at various times on its journey. In particular I must thank my colleague Emeritus Professor Peter Willett and also Tim Barrett, CTO of Nylanda. Both provided invaluable mid-course corrections at a time when the book was trying to serve a multitude of potential readers, none of them at all well. I am also indebted to Tim for agreeing to write the Foreword to this book. Alan Pelz-Sharpe (Founder and CEO of Deep Analysis) and Frank Giroux (Bayer Pharmaceuticals) raised a number of issues that I needed to address in more detail.