Information Seeking and Subject Representation: An Activity-theoretical Approach to Information Science

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Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1997 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 213 pages
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Information science has for a long time been drawing on the knowledge produced in psychology and related fields. This is reasonable, for the central issue in information science concerns individual users navigating information spaces such as libraries, databases, and the Internet. Because information science is about the definition and location of information, information seeking is the fundamental problem in information science, while other problems, such as document representation, are subordinate. This book proposes a general theory of information seeking as a theoretical basis for information science. The volume begins with an examination of subject representation and retrieval. It then considers subject analysis and the organization of knowledge, the interpretational processes by which documents are analyzed, and their explicit subject retrieval data are created. Existing theories are then criticized from four epistemological perspectives, and the author argues that information science should be based on methodological collectivism, in which society, rather than the individual, determines the meaning of knowledge. The work then analyzes information seeking as a methodologically collectivistic activity.

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Contents

Subject Analysis and Knowledge Organization
39
The Concept of Subject or Subject Matter and Basic
55
Methodological Consequences for Information Science
105
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