• Evolving Perspectives of Human Information Behavior: Contexts, Situations, Social Networks and Information Horizons

      Sonnenwald, Diane H.; Wilson, T. D.; Allen, D. K. (Taylor Graham, 1999)
      This paper presents an evolving framework of human information behavior. The framework emerges from theories and empirical studies from a variety of research traditions, including information science, communication, sociology and psychology, that inform our understanding of human information behaviour. First, fundamental concepts, such as context, situation, and social networks, are discussed. Using these concepts, a series of propositions that strive to elucidate, that is, prove a framework for exploring, human information behaviour are proposed. Information exploration, seeking, filtering, use and dissemination, are included (to varying degrees) in the framework. The framework also incorporates cognitive, social and system perspectives. A key concept in the framework is the notion of an "information horizon" in which individuals can act. Information horizons, which may consist of a variety of information resources, are determined socially and individually, and may be conceptualized as densely populated solution spaces. In a densely populated solution space, many solutions are assumed, and the information retrieval problem expands from determining the most efficient path to the best solution, to determining how to make possible solutions visible--to an individual(s) and to other information resources.