Jul 29, 2007

[self] information behaviour

... and postponed access to information space, in my research routines, made me decided to start registering my own information behaviours and disturbances i encounter, and strategies i follow.

Looking for information, or following a lead or a clue, depends on:
  • the time/place where one is - different places allow different accesses to different spaces, namely information spaces (ex: if i was working in INETI and not in my house, i could have accessed the papers posted below. Instead, i have to leave a «to do» message to myself, with enough elements to recover it when I am back to INETI, or UMinho, or other place where i am granted access to that piece of information... or buy myself an entrance and have my own almost-independent-place password). What's different about my scenario experience in 2007 and that of someone 10 years ago? The time of access to information, the amount of information available, the tools, the infrastructure... the status of the work (in this case, the PhD work). Information space's time/place dependent.
  • the tools one has at the moment (and the supporting infrastructure needed for the tools to work). Information space's tool dependent. Need to explore if this kind of information spaces might configure also opportunistic access to information.
  • formato of the information (and the medium required to interpret the information). Information space's format dependent.
  • previous information to access information - examples can include: passwords and user IDs, bookmarks, reference lists, memos... since not every information is readily available, sometimes we need other pieces of information to be able to access the information we want. Information space's access dependent.
  • passing the information without having access to it - if one of the persons that has access to my blog, happens to be in a place where access is granted, this message might be confusing: here i am saying that i can not see something that i give the link, and yet, if that person clicks the link, might get the complete paper. Information space's mediation dependent.
  • interpret and make sense of the information around - this kind of information is best observed when one person moves from one country to another one, with a different language. This was of critical importance in the case of expatriates, when they where assigned to another country [refer to BCP study]. Information space's [code]/language dependent.
  • having previous knowledge - «Quem não sabe é como quem não vê». One can read all the words in a book and still not «see» the information contain in the book. Later, when one reads the book again with more knowledge on the book's subject, one can «see» the information while reading the very same words. Information space's knowledge dependent.
Following the above described cases, information spaces can depend on:
  • time/place
  • tool
  • format
  • access
  • mediation
  • [code] language
  • knowledge
Whittaker, S. and Hirschberg, J. (2001). Research alerts: the character, value, and management of personal paper archives. interactions 8, 4 (Jul. 2001), pp. 11-16.

Gwizdka, J. (2000). Timely reminders: a case study of temporal guidance in PIM and email tools usage. In CHI '00 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (The Hague, The Netherlands, April 01 - 06, 2000). CHI '00. ACM Press, New York, NY, 163-164:
"We describe our research in progress that explores the use of personal information management (PIM) tools in time and attempts to establish temporal attributes of information. We report on a short field study undertaken to examine relations between tools and information life-cycle. We propose four information types: prospective, ephemeral, working and retrospective. We outline relationships between PIM tools, email and different types of information. We use this framework to explain problems observed with handling information."
Wang, Y., van de Kar, E., and Meijer, G. (2005). Designing mobile solutions for mobile workers: lessons learned from a case study. In Proceedings of the 7th international Conference on Electronic Commerce (Xi'an, China, August 15 - 17, 2005). ICEC '05, vol. 113. ACM Press, New York, NY, 582-589:
"Based on recent literature of systems engineering, business engineering, information systems design, and project/process management, an analysis framework is presented that assesses the design approach of workforce solutions. An exploratory case based in the Netherlands was studied under the framework. The results indicate a need for a design approach that integrates "soft system thinking", collaborative business engineering activities, and process management strategy. The study provides a basis for further research to design mobile workforce solutions."

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