Jul 19, 2006

space and time in information seeking

Savolainen, R. (2006). "Spatial factors as contextual qualifiers of information seeking". Information Research, 11(4), paper 261:

"Typically, an individual's local information field consists of an interpersonal communication network and information terminals (e.g., computers providing access to the Internet), both of which are embedded within a physical context. The physical context in organizations serves to stabilize an individual's information field, and largely determines the nature of the information to which individuals are regularly exposed."

"As individuals become more focused in their information seeking they change the nature of their information field to support seeking of information related to particular purposes. This interpretation significantly expands the applicability of the concept of information fields by showing that information seekers may rethink the role of spatial factors."

"The concept of information pathways differs from information fields in that the former is more dynamic and active, focusing on an individual's actions in selecting information sources over time. A pathway may be understood as the route someone follows in the pursuit of answers to questions within an information field."

"Local communities both enable and constrain information seeking. Spatial factors are related to social ones such as norms and values reproduced in the local community and the conceptions of useful or useless information sources."

Information Source Horizon: "This construct refers to a set of information sources and channels of which the actor is aware and of which he or she may have obtained use experiences over the years. (...) When construing an information source horizon, the actor judges the relevance of the information sources available in the perceived information environment and selects a set of sources and channels, for example, to resolve a problematic issue at hand."

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