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THE CONCEPT OF INFORMATIONThe concept of information as we use it in everyday English in the sense knowledge communicated plays a central role in today's society. The concept became particularly predominant since end of World War II with the widespread use of computer networks. The rise of information science in the middle fifties is a testimony of this. For a science like information science (IS) it is of course important how its fundamental terms are defined, and in IS as in other fields the problem of how to define information is often raised. This review is an attempt to overview the present status of the information concept in IS with a view also to interdisciplinary trends. In scientific discourses theoretical concepts are not true or false elements or pictures of some part of reality, but are constructions designed to do a job the best possible way. Different conceptions of fundamental terms like information are thus more or less fruitful depending on what theories (and in the end what practical actions) they are expected to support. In Chapter 1, we discuss the problems of defining terms in the light of the philosophy of science. The history of a word tells us mostly only anecdotes that are peripheral to the concept itself. But in our case the use of the word information points to a specific perspective under which the concept of knowledge communication was defined and designated. We explore this history in Chapter 2 and we believe that our results may help to better understand the complexity of this concept also with regard to its scientific definitions. The discussions about the information concept in other disciplines are also very important for Information Science because many theories and approaches in Information Science have their origins in other disciplines. This is surveyed in Chapter 3. The epistemological concept of information has lead also to a new perspective of non-human information processes particularly in physics and biology. And vice versa: processes of selection and interpretation may be considered when related to psychic and social phenomena with regard to objective parameters, leaving aside the semantic dimension or, more precisely, considering objective or situational parameters of interpretation. This can be illustrated also in physical terms with regard to release mechanisms as we suggest at the end of Chapter 3. Our overview of the concept of information in the natural sciences as well as in the humanities and social sciences does not aim at exploring different theories in depth. In most cases we can only refer to fragments of theories that the user may interpret within her own background or follow the hints of the bibliography. Readers mostly interested in information science may get more satisfied with Chapter 4 where we bring a more detailed explanation of diverse views and theories of information within our field, supplementing the ARIST article by Cornelius (2001). We show that the introduction of the concept of information about 1950 to what was formerly special librarianship and documentation in itself has had serious consequences for the kind of knowledge and theories developed in our field. The important question is not only what meaning we give to the term in Information Science, but also how it relates to other basic terms such as documents, texts and knowledge.
Credibility: A Multidisciplinary FrameworkThis chapter reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the concept of credibility and its areas of application relevant to information science and technology, encompassing several disciplinary approaches.
Semantics and Knowledge OrganizationContents: Introduction: The importance of semantics for information science (IS) The status of semantic research in information science. Semantics and the philosophy of science. Semantics and subject knowledge Semantics and its â warrantâ a) Query/situation specific or idiosyncratic b) Universal, Platonic entities/relations c) â Deep semanticsâ common to all languages (or inherent in cognitive structures) d) Specific to specific empirical languages (e.g. Swedish) e) Domain or discourse specific f) Other (e.g. determined by a company or by a workgroup, â user orientedâ ) Semantic relations The 'intellectual' versus the social organization of knowledge Conclusion
User acceptance of new information technology: theories and modelsThis item is not the definitive copy. Please use the following citation when referencing this material: Dillon, A. and Morris, M. (1996) User acceptance of new information technology - theories and models. In: M. Williams (ed.) Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Vol. 31, Medford NJ: Information Today, 3-32. ABSTRACT: Understanding the factors that influence user acceptance of information technology is of interest both to researchers in a variety of fields as well as procurers of technology for large organizations. The present chapter reviews literature which demonstrates the nature of technological acceptance is mediated by distinct factor groups related to the psychology of the users, the design process of information technology, and the quality of the technology in user terms. It is concluded that current research offers insights that can support the derivation of reliable predictions of user acceptance. However, potentially overlapping theories seem to exist independently of each other and there exists scope for a unifying framework to extend innovation diffusion concepts and systems design models (particularly user-centered design) into a formal theory of user acceptance of information technology.