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Human Information Interaction

An Ecological Approach to Information Behavior

Raya Fidel

Publication Year: 2012

A fresh research approach that bridges the study of human information interaction and the design of information systems.

Published by: The MIT Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

Life is complex. Every activity a person undertakes, whether physical or mental, is governed by rules, conventions, traditions, social position, personal preferences, the specific situation in which the activity takes place, and other constraints. Moreover


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pp. xv-xvi

I Introduction to Human Information Interaction

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1 Basic Concepts

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pp. 3-16

Since human information interaction (HII) is a multidisciplinary field, it is not surprising that its basic concepts have various definitions and interpretations, with researchers giving these concepts the meanings common in their discipline. Yet the state of...

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2 What Is Human Information Interaction?

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pp. 17-44

Researchers in human information interaction investigate the interaction between people and information with its multiple forms and purposes. That is, they focus on the relationships between people and information, rather than on those between...

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II Conceptual Constructs and Themes in Information-Seeking Behavior

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pp. 45-48

Researchers in library and information science (LIS) who study human information interaction (HII) focus on the area of human information behavior (HIB). Similar to scholars in most branches of the sciences, they wish to contribute to the understanding...

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3 Theoretical Constructs and Models in Information-Seeking Behavior

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pp. 49-82

The bazaar of conceptual constructs created and used in information-seeking behavior (ISB) research offers a great variety of these items, such as theoretical constructs, conceptual and methodological frameworks, guidelines for analysis, and models of various...

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4 Information Need and the Decision Ladder

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pp. 83-96

The concept information need is fundamental to human information interaction across all its areas of research. For instance, evaluating information is carried out in reference to an information need, and representing information is guided by predictions about...

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5 Five Search Strategies

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pp. 97-118

The concept search strategy has been part of the vocabulary of human information behavior (HIB) since the earliest user studies. However, researchers only began to investigate search strategies after the development of digital technology, when the concept became a popular focus...

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III Conceptual Traditions in Human Information Behavior

Human information behavior (HIB) is one of the most active research areas in library and information science (LIS). Since it became a recognized research field in the early 1960s, it has grown by leaps and bounds. A testimony to this growth is the number of...

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6 Two Generations of Research

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pp. 121-144

Human information behavior (HIB) made its first steps as a scholarly area in the early 1960s. Typical of an emerging field, it has undergone several transformations since then, the most noticeable of which was the shift from the first research generation to...

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7 In-Context Research

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pp. 145-166

As we have seen in chapter 6, first-generation research (considered system-centered) investigated contextual variables of users of certain systems, while second-generation research (considered user-centered) focused first on the person, regardless of the...

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8 Theoretical Traditions in Human Information Behavior

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pp. 167-182

Theoretical traditions play an important role in empirical research, whether or not a researcher recognizes them, and human information behavior is no exception. Each method used in an empirical study has roots in methodological and theoretical...

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IV Human Information Behavior and Systems Design

Research projects in human information behavior (HIB) have often claimed to offer contributions to HIB research, to practice, or to both areas. Contributions to research typically occur in the following forms...

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9 Interlude: Models and Their Contribution to Design

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pp. 185-198

Every design is informed by some representation of a section of reality. That is, the design of all artifacts, whether a chair, a bridge, an airplane, or an information system, is informed by some kind of model. The models can be presented in various forms...

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10 Human Information Behavior and Information Retrieval: Is Collaboration Possible?

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pp. 199-224

Scholars in human information behavior (HIB) are actively continuing to construct the field ’ s theoretical and conceptual foundations (e.g., Godbold 2006; Nied z´ wiedzka 2003; Pharo 2004). Not all studies in HIB, however, aim at developing conceptual...

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11 Cognitive Work Analysis: Dimensions for Analysis

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pp. 225-240

Cognitive work analysis (Vicente 1999) is a work-centered conceptual framework developed by Rasmussen, Pejtersen, and Goodstein (1994) at Ris ø National Laboratory in Denmark. 1 Its purpose is to guide an analysis of cognitive work that leads to design...

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12 Cognitive Work Analysis: Harnessing Complexity

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pp. 241-252

Human information interaction is a complex phenomenon reflecting the variability inherent to human cognitive processes and the highly complex contexts in which humans operate in the modern world. The CWA dimensions (see figure 11.1) provide...

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V An Ecological Approach to Information Behavior: Conclusions

The ecological approach focuses on the environment 1 — that is, it gives primary importance to the context in which information interaction is situated. As Vicente (1999) writes, it “ suggests that … analysis should begin with, and be driven by, an explicit...

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13 Enhancing the Impact of Research in Human Information Interaction

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pp. 255-272

Research in human information interaction (HII) has the potential to improve both its conceptual basis and the practice of information interaction in various ways. Clearly, materializing this potential requires that research in a particular area be conducive...


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pp. 273-276


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pp. 277-278


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pp. 279-304


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pp. 305-336

Index of Authors

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pp. 337-342

Index of Topics

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pp. 343-348

E-ISBN-13: 9780262301473
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262017008

Page Count: 364
Publication Year: 2012