[Siguse-l] Siguse-l Digest, Vol 79, Issue 4

Lynn Westbrook lynnwest at ischool.utexas.edu
Thu Aug 11 16:41:22 EDT 2011

Jenna ~~

That tension between nomothetic and idiographic perspectives on information behavior that you mention could be catalyst for further movement towards mid-range theory development.  Is the tension a nomothetic scaffold or an idiographic yeast?  Scalpel or filter?  The metaphors for that tension tend to reflect the dichotomy which is, in and of itself, a conversation worth having.  Thanks very much for this intro to ELIS -- an apartment complex, if not a home of many rooms, for that conversation.   

Thinking of information-behavior/interaction as a map, where are the broad distinctions (land/water), the socially/culturally grouped concepts (nations), and the underlying dynamics (plate tectonics)?



Lynn Westbrook, Associate Professor
lynnwest at ischool.utexas.edu

On Aug 11, 2011, at 7:05 AM, siguse-l-request at asis.org wrote:

> Send Siguse-l mailing list submissions to
> 	siguse-l at asis.org
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> 	http://mail.asis.org/mailman/listinfo/siguse-l
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> 	siguse-l-request at asis.org
> You can reach the person managing the list at
> 	siguse-l-owner at asis.org
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of Siguse-l digest..."
> Today's Topics:
>   1. Message 2: The Literature - ELIS (Jenna Hartel)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 07:41:08 -0400
> From: Jenna Hartel <jenna.hartel at utoronto.ca>
> Subject: [Siguse-l] Message 2: The Literature - ELIS
> To: siguse-l at asis.org
> Message-ID: <4E411CD4.5050806 at utoronto.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Dear SIG-USEers,
> If you missed my recent introductory posting about this new SIG-USE 
> mailing list initiative, you can check it out on my website 
> <http://jennahartel.weebly.com/index.html>[see Projects > Information 
> Behavio(u)r Blog].
> The first theme is "The Literature" of information behavior and today's 
> message focuses on a great resource, the /Encyclopedia of Library and 
> Information Sciences/, 3^rd edition (Bates & Maack, 2010), known for 
> short as /ELIS/. [This /ELIS/ is not to be confused with another beloved 
> information behavior ELIS, "_e_veryday _l_ife _i_nformation _s_eeking" 
> coined by Reijo Savolainen <http://www.uta.fi/%7Eliresa/index.html>(1995)].
> Encyclopedias are designed as gateways to topics and literatures. I have 
> personally slogged through many research projects only to learn later of 
> a succinct and authoritative encyclopedia article that would have 
> expedited my progress significantly. We are fortunate that one of the 
> /ELIS/ editors, Marcia J. Bates <http://gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/>, 
> was a pioneer of information behavior (teaching the first class on the 
> subject at Berkeley in the 1970s); she has given information behavior 
> generous treatment in /ELIS/. Dozens of leading information behavior 
> scholars have made excellent contributions to this encyclopedia.
> The articles in the /ELIS/ print and online versions are arranged in 
> alphabetical order by title, a traditional access strategy that scatters 
> related topics. Fortunately, there is a separate "Topical Table of 
> Contents" (TTOC) that restores the conceptual relationships between the 
> articles (available as a PDF <http://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php>on 
> Bates' website and also available in both the print and online versions 
> of /ELIS/). One can use the TTOC as a navigational device to the 
> information sciences and information behavior, specifically. It would be 
> time well spent for any newcomer to information behavior to peruse the 
> /ELIS/ TTOC just as one examines a road map to begin a journey. Here, 
> using the /ELIS/ TTOC, we will consider: /Within the library and 
> information sciences, where or how does information behavior fit?/
> Stepping back, the encyclopedia is structured around 11 topical 
> categories: 1.) Information Disciplines and Professions, 2.) Concepts, 
> Theories, Ideas, 3.) Research Areas, 4.) Institutions, 5.) Systems and 
> Networks, 6.) Literatures, Genres, and Documents, 7.) Professional 
> Services and Activities, 8.) People Using Cultural Resources, 9.) 
> Organizations, 10.) National Cultural Institutions and Resources, and 
> 11.) History.
> There are 4 places where information behavior scholarship is concentrated:
> Topical category 1, Information Disciplines and Professions, has a 
> section on Information Science. There, Information Behavior is one of 6 
> major constituents of information science (alongside Information 
> Architecture, Information Management, Information Retrieval 
> Experimentation, Informetrics, and User Centered Design of Information 
> Systems). This is where you can read the article Information Behavior 
> (Bates) and related but narrower articles on Information Behavior Models 
> (Wilson), Information Needs (Naumer & Fisher) and Information Practice 
> (Fulton & Henefer). That should get you warmed up!
> Topical category 2, Concepts, Theories, and Ideas, is the home of 
> several major concerns and discoveries of information behavior research. 
> Here you will find statements on the Information Search Process (ISP) 
> Model (Kuhlthau), Information Overload (Tidline), Library Anxiety 
> (Mizrachi), and Sense-Making (Dervin & Naumer), among others. Tip: read 
> these before attempting to reconnoitre the subjects on your own.
> In topical category 3, Research Specialties, a sub-section entitled 
> Information Behavior and Searching serves as a banner over several 
> research tributaries associated with information behavior, namely, 
> Information Searching and Search Models (Xie), Information Use for 
> Decision Making (Cokely, Schooler & Gigerenzer), Personal Information 
> Management (Jones), and Reading and Reading Acquisition (Byrne), among 
> others. There is also a well-stocked section on Information Retrieval, 
> which is closely related to information behavior.
> Finally, topical category 8, People Using Cultural Resources, showcases 
> the prevalent socio-cultural approach to information behavior, also 
> known as "information (seeking/use/behavior/practice) /in context/." 
> Here you can enjoy broad articles on the Internet and Public Library Use 
> (Jorgensen) and Reading Interests (Sheldrick Ross). Narrower articles 
> treat social worlds such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender 
> Information Needs (Keilty), Older Adults' Information Needs and Behavior 
> (Williamson & Asla), Students' Information Needs and Behavior (Julien), 
> and Youth Information Needs and Behavior (Gross), among others. There 
> are also articles that address information behavior in various subject 
> areas such as Area and Interdisciplinary Studies...(Westbrook), 
> Arts...(Zack), Biological Information...(Shankar), Business 
> Information...(Abels) and many more. [Doctoral students: set your sights 
> on becoming an authority in an undocumented social world and then write 
> the article for the next (4^th ) edition of /ELIS/.]
> To close, within the library and information sciences /ELIS/ casts 
> information behavior as:
>    * one of six major areas within the discipline of information science
>    * a unifying banner over a number of important concepts, models, and
>      ideas
>    * a research specialty and site of several active research tributaries
>    * an organizing lens on information phenomena in social worlds
> A /tension/ underlies these multiple perspectives on information 
> behavior within /ELIS/. Some represent the nomothetic (scientific) 
> tradition that seeks abstractions and generalities, and others reflect 
> an idiographic (humanistic) tradition that privileges texture and 
> distinctions. Reading these articles altogether requires a nimble mind 
> that can leap across the metatheories (or "isms 
> <http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1465009>") of the 
> information sciences.
> All SIG-USErs: Your general comments on /ELIS/ or this posting are 
> welcomed.
> ELIS is just one way to see the literature of information behavior; 
> complementary views will be presented in forthcoming posts. Up next: 
> /ARIS&T/ (/Annual Review of Information Science & Technology/) chapters 
> on information behavior.
> Jenna Hartel
> References
> Bates, M. J. and Maack, M.N. (Eds.) (2010). /Encyclopedia of Library and 
> Information Sciences, 3rd Ed./ New York: CRC Press. (Also available in 
> online form.) See also Introduction to ELIS 
> <http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/articles/pdf/Introduction.pdf>, 
> Topical Table of Contents 
> <http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/articles/pdf/topical-toc.pdf> 
> (penultimate version), and Alphabetical Table of Contents 
> <http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/articles/pdf/TOC.pdf>.
> Savolainen, R. (1995). Everyday life information seeking: approaching 
> information seeking in the context of way of life. /Library & 
> Information Science Research, 17/(3), 259-294.
> -- 
> Jenna Hartel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Faculty of Information 
> University of Toronto 140 St. George Street Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6 
> website: http://jennahartel.weebly.com/index.html
> -------------- next part --------------
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
> URL: http://mail.asis.org/pipermail/siguse-l/attachments/20110809/4e1771e5/attachment.html 
> ------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Siguse-l mailing list
> Siguse-l at asis.org
> http://mail.asis.org/mailman/listinfo/siguse-l
> End of Siguse-l Digest, Vol 79, Issue 4
> ***************************************

More information about the Siguse-l mailing list