Document (#34966)

Author
Thornley, C.
Title
Dilemmas in information science (IS) and information retrieval (IR) : recurring challenges or new solutions?
Source
Aslib proceedings. 61(2009) no.3, S.323-330
Year
2009
Abstract
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyse the extent to which understanding information science (IS) and information retrieval (IR) as disciplines characterised by intractable dilemmas is a useful conceptual framework through reviewing and re-evaluating an important contribution to the field in light of more recent developments. Design/methodology/approach - This paper reviews the discussion of central dilemmas within IS and IR, through literature review and conceptual analysis. It assesses the extent to which they remain intractable problems or whether improved solutions have been developed and discusses the implications of these ongoing challenges. The main problem addressed is, in Neill's terminology, "the dilemma of the subjective in information organisation and retrieval" which is understood as the problem of how the meaning of documents can be represented to meet the needs of the user. Findings - Many of the dilemmas discussed within IS and IR remain fairly intractable primarily because information and meaning have both subjective and objective qualities which often have a complex relationship. Recent technological developments have, however, altered the nature of some of these dilemmas and also created some new dilemmas for the subject. Research implications/limitations - Historical perspectives within IR and IS should be used when discussing theoretical and technological developments in the subject. The conceptual framework of dilemmas remains a useful theoretical tool for IS and IR in terms of examining the nature of problems in research and practice. Originality/value - This paper re-visits an important theme in IS and IR and provides an updated perspective on some central issues.
Footnote
Beitrag in einem Special Issue: Irish Library and Information Schools: University College Dublin
Theme
Information
Field
Informationswissenschaft

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