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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2007

David Bawden

The paper seeks to outline an approach to a unified framework for understanding the concept ofinformation” in the physical, biological and human domains, and to see what…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to outline an approach to a unified framework for understanding the concept ofinformation” in the physical, biological and human domains, and to see what links and interactions may be found between them. It also aims to re‐examine the information science discipline, with a view to locating it in a larger context, so as to reflect on the possibility that information science may not only draw from these other disciplines, but that its insights may contribute to them.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an extensive literature review and analysis, loosely based on the approaches of Stonier, Madden and Bates, and including analysis of both scientific and library/information literature.

Findings

The paper identifies the concept of information as being identified with organised complexity in the physical domain, with meaning in context in the biological domain, and with Kvanvig's concept of understanding in the human domain. The linking thread is laws of emergent self‐organised complexity, applicable in all domains. Argues that a unified perspective for the information sciences, based on Popperian ontology, may be derived, with the possibility of not merely drawing insights from physical and biological science, but also of contributing to them. Based on Hirst's educational philosophy, derives a definition for the information sciences around two poles: information science and library/information management.

Originality/value

This is the only paper to approach the subject in this way.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 59 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Geir Grenersen, Kjell Kemi and Steinar Nilsen

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the following questions: what is the origin of the concepts of documents and documentation? Are there a need for these concepts in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the following questions: what is the origin of the concepts of documents and documentation? Are there a need for these concepts in every culture? Who gives the terms for their definitions, and what are the consequences of different terminology?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use interdisciplinary methodology, combining document and information theory and Sámi linguistics. The aim of this paper is to discuss documentation from the perspective of the Sámi, with some examples from other indigenous groups.

Findings

Oral accounts, legends, traditional songs and traces in the landscape are seen as documents and documentation in Sámi and other indigenous cultures. The paper presents different theories in order to interpret and understand the specific information content in indigenous forms of documentation.

Practical implications

Indigenous ways of documentation have been accepted as valid proof of ownership or the right to extensive use of land resources. When no written records exist, oral testimonies and the landscape itself can be seen as documenting traditional use and has been accepted as evidence in high courts in Norway and Canada. The authors have also seen that the rich Sámi snow terminology is used as concepts in different fields of natural sciences.

Originality/value

The Sámi understanding of the concepts of document and documentation contributes to the traditional information and documentation disciplines by introducing ways of seeing natural phenomenon as fundamental forms of information.

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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2011

Margaret Lam

How does one classify instructional videos uploaded by musicians of different caliber and mastery on video‐sharing sites? What kinds of communities are forming around…

Abstract

Purpose

How does one classify instructional videos uploaded by musicians of different caliber and mastery on video‐sharing sites? What kinds of communities are forming around these content sources? How does one address the different perception and understanding of what music means to a diverse audience? How does one identify and address the needs of new kinds of users, who learn how to play music by using primarily online resources? While this paper does not seek to directly address all these questions, it aims to raise them with the aim of contextualizing the discussion as a necessary foundation to effectively address the more practical questions above.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a knowledge organization model of music knowledge based on the concept of musicianship as used in music education. A balanced and holistic approach is sought, especially in light of the interdisciplinary nature of the challenge being addressed. Drawing on Hjørland's work on domain analysis, and Hennion's concept of the user of music, this paper discusses music as a domain, music as information, and music as knowledge.

Findings

In particular, the concept of listening and genre are considered important ways through which one mediates one's understanding of music as knowledge. There are four “layers” in the model: Vocabulary of Music; Structures and Patterns of Music; Appreciation of Music; and Cultural‐Historical Contexts.

Originality/value

The model addresses knowledge organization challenges specific to the domain of music.

Details

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-075X

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Liangzhi Yu

The purpose of this paper is to redefine information and other associated library and information science (LIS) concepts and to reformulate the mission of the library and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to redefine information and other associated library and information science (LIS) concepts and to reformulate the mission of the library and information profession and the problem of LIS using these concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a deductive approach to conceptualization, starting from one given, a priori concept.

Findings

This paper develops a constellation of concepts which offer mutual clarification for each other. Having defined data by drawing on its existing denotations, it defines “information” as the combined product of data and meaning, and “document” as the combined product of information and media; it defines “knowledge” as one type of meaning and “work” as one type of information. It shows that the mission of the library and information profession is to ensure maximum discoverability and accessibility of information, and that LIS is structured into two fields correspondingly, each consisting of three tiers of knowledge: philosophical foundations, theories, and technologies.

Practical implications

The redefinition of basic LIS concepts may have practical implications for LIS curriculum design and for the cultivation of professional identity among LIS students in the all-encompassing I-Schools.

Originality/value

This study has formed a coherent conceptual framework for LIS and has clarified the hitherto rather confusing relationship between data, information, and knowledge, and the rather nebulous structure of LIS problems; it sheds some light on the source of conflicts between the subjective and objective conceptualization of information and questions the prevailing understanding of work as ideas or meanings.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 71 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Claudio Gnoli and Riccardo Ridi

The different senses of the term information in physical, biological and social interpretations, and the possibility of connections between them, are addressed. Special…

Abstract

Purpose

The different senses of the term information in physical, biological and social interpretations, and the possibility of connections between them, are addressed. Special attention is paid to Hofkirchner's Unified Theory of Information (UTI), proposing an integrated view in which the notion of information gets additional properties as one moves from the physical to the biological and the social realms. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

UTI is compared to other views of information, especially to two theories complementing several ideas of it: the theory of the hypertextual documental universe (“docuverse”) and the theory of integrative levels of reality. Two alternative applications of the complex of these three theories are discussed: a pragmatical, hermeneutic one, and a more ambitious realist, ontological one. The latter can be extended until considering information (“bit”) together with matter-energy (“it”) as a fundamental element in the world. Problems and opportunities with each view are discussed.

Findings

It is found that the common ground for all three theories is an evolutionary approach, paying attention to the phylogenetic connections between the different meanings of information.

Research limitations/implications

Other theories of information, like Leontiev's, are not discussed as not especially related to the focus of the approach.

Originality/value

The paper builds on previously unnoticed affinities between different families of information-related theories, showing how each of them can provide fruitful complements to the other ones in clarifying the nature of information.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Boris Bosancic

The purpose of this paper is to propose an appropriate symbolic representation, as well as its metaphorical interpretation, to illustrate the special role of information

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an appropriate symbolic representation, as well as its metaphorical interpretation, to illustrate the special role of information in the knowledge acquisition process.

Design/methodology/approach

Besides the literature review, this is a speculative study based on a symbolic and metaphorical point of view.

Findings

The proposed symbolic representation was derived from the conceptual designation of information “as a flow” and, accordingly, by the corresponding redrawing of the data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) pyramid. The knowledge acquisition process is symbolically represented by the growth of a “tree of knowledge” which is planted on a “data earth,” filled with “information sap” and lit by the rays of the “sun of the mind,” a new symbol of the concept of wisdom in the DIKW model. As indicated, a key concept of this metaphorical interpretation is the role ofinformation sap” which rises from the roots of the “tree of knowledge” to the top of the tree and it is recognized as an invisible link between “world of data” and “world of knowledge.” This concept is also proposed as a new symbolic representation of the DIKW model.

Originality/value

On the basis of specific symbolic-metaphorical representation, this paper provides a relatively new concept of information which may help bridge observed gaps in the understanding of information in various scientific fields, as well as in its understanding as an objective or subjective phenomenon.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Mandy Lupton

Music and dance are art forms that involve a full mind-body experience, integrating the cognitive, affective and kinaesthetic domains. To engage in creating music and…

Abstract

Music and dance are art forms that involve a full mind-body experience, integrating the cognitive, affective and kinaesthetic domains. To engage in creating music and dance is to use information to express oneself and communicate. In this chapter I explore the information experience of two distinct groups: those who compose music for an audience and those who dance socially with a partner.

For the composer, information sources can be a stimulus for creation. Sounds, feelings, moods, images, ideas and life experiences can trigger a creative idea. These ideas are shaped by existing musical styles and structures, and by the composer’s personal aesthetic. The intention of the composer is to communicate their expressive ideas to an audience.

For the social dancer, information sources are those used to communicate with a partner. There is no intention to perform for an audience. A social dancer aims to express the music and style of the dance while creating a strong connection with their partner. Information sources include the music, the partner’s body, the emotions generated by the dance, the position of other couples on the floor and the feeling of the floor.

Use of information in the arts is an under-researched experience. Most information studies are based on the assumption that information is documentary and codified. Subjective and affective information is rarely recognised and legitimised. Information-as-it-is-experienced through creative practice such as music and dance is holistic in acknowledging mind, body and spirit as well as traditional documentary forms of information. This chapter draws on empirical research to illustrate experiencing information as creating and expressing.

Details

Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-815-0

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Article
Publication date: 24 December 2020

Shuqing Li, Li Ding, Xiaowei Ding, Huan Hu and Yu Zhang

With the continuous change of research contents and methods of intelligence science, its integration with other disciplines is also deepening. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

With the continuous change of research contents and methods of intelligence science, its integration with other disciplines is also deepening. The purpose of this paper is to further explore the interdisciplinary research characteristics of intelligence science in theoretical depth and application value.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper summarizes and explores in two aspects. The first is a large number of literature review, mainly combined with the historical characteristics of the development of intelligence science researches in China and international comparison. The second is to refine the discipline construction ideas suitable for the development of contemporary intelligence science.

Findings

From the perspective of the historical development of discipline relevance, the development characteristics and positioning of intelligence science in China are introduced, with the comparison of many disciplines including information technology, library science, information science, data science, management science and other disciplines. In order to better meet the practical needs of intelligence service in the new era, this paper mainly analyzes the construction method of intelligence science research system and the relocation of intelligence science research content.

Originality/value

This paper summarizes the historical characteristics and international comparison of the development of intelligence science in China. It proposes the development characteristics and orientation of intelligence science in China from the perspective of historical development of discipline relevance. It also proposes the discipline construction ideas suitable for the development of contemporary intelligence science.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this article is to elaborate the picture of the processes of information use by comparing conceptualizations provided by the constructivist approach and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to elaborate the picture of the processes of information use by comparing conceptualizations provided by the constructivist approach and the human information processing approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is a conceptual analysis of major articles characterizing information use and human information processing in the fields of information studies and consumer research.

Findings

It is found that both research approaches share the assumption that interpreting, relating and comparing qualities of things is fundamental to the information use process.

Research limitations/implications

The picture of information use processes is based on the comparison of two research approaches only.

Originality/value

Compared to the numerous studies on information needs and seeking, the questions of information use have remained under‐researched. The study elaborates the conceptual picture of information use processes by identifying similarities and differences between two major research approaches.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 65 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2011

John M. Budd

This paper aims to examine the relationships between meaning and truth as they may contribute to a constitutive definition of information. The thesis is primarily that …

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationships between meaning and truth as they may contribute to a constitutive definition of information. The thesis is primarily that “information” cannot be defined unless within the context of meaning and truth, and that any theory based on, or related to, information is not possible without the foundational definition.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of related literatures and an arrangement of frameworks forms the design of this conceptual proposal.

Findings

While other definitions of information have been presented, the present one integrates meaning and truth in ways that others do not. The thoroughgoing semantic examination provides a starting‐point for a much deeper analysis of the integral role that language plays in the formation of any theory related to information. Truth tends not to be spoken of a great deal in information science; the definitional positioning of truth adds to a more complete definition and basis for theory.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a new definitional and theoretical construct for information.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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