In search of analytical categories between the holism and contextuality of information behaviour

Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 13:00 to 17:30

Poster at the Annual SIG-USE research symposium, Vancouver, BC.


Information behaviour research has moved from a strong focus on scholarly and professional focus to embrace leisurely and everyday information practices from the 1990s onwards, and further to underline first the deep contextuality and later on the cross-contextuality of how people interact with information. Information behaviour is situational and contextual but at the same time it is a holistic and information or life world wide phenomenon. Even if these have been important steps in advancing our understanding how people interact with information in different situations, the both approaches come with a risk of overemphasising either the uniqueness of individual situations and the boundlessness of information work.

The aim of this poster is to scope why, how and when to (re)introduce categorisations in the information behaviour field, and what types of categorisations would be analytically useful. The work draws on the work conducted in the context of the COST Action Archaeological practices and knowledge work in the digital environment ARKWORK ( for scoping what eventually could count as archaeological practices and knowledge work to develop preliminary conceptualisations of work related categories of information behaviour related to work information, workplace information and work-related information to interrogate and exemplify the possibilities of such categorisations. The poster proposes that instead of considering such categories as bounded sets it could be more useful to think of them as centred sets with a certain affinity, distance and direction to specific contexts.

Archaeology and Archaeological Information in the Digital Society shows how the digitization of archaeological information, tools and workflows, and their interplay with both old and new non-digital practices throughout the archaeological information process, affect the outcomes of archaeological work, and in the end, our general understanding of the human past.

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Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account: implications of a neglected element for success- ful implementation of consumer health technologies on older adults (HIBA) is an Academy of Finland funded research project at Åbo Akademi University.

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Sheds new light on the potential of extra-academic knowledge-making as a contribution in formations of knowledge throughout society, explores extra-academic knowledge as a useful resource in academy, policy development, evidence based practices, and innovation, and focuses on the informational dimensions, stemming from and grounded in an informationscience perspective, which provides the means to address practical information-related issues throughout knowledge-making processes.

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