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Scientific Information Infrastructure Design: Interdependent Provinces and Knowledge Environments

Karen Baker and Florence Millerand

(Submission #70)


Conceptual models and design processes shape the practice of information infrastructure building in the sciences. We consider two perspectives: (i) a cyber view of disintermediation where information technology enables data flow from the ‘field’ and on to the digital doorstep of the general user, and (ii) an intermediated view with bidirectional communications where local participants act as mediators. Drawing from the literatures of information systems and science studies, we argue that differences in conceptual models have critical implications for users and their knowledge environments. While the cyberinfrastructure view is receiving a lot of attention in current scientific efforts, highlighting the full variety of information infrastructure provinces opens up understanding of design processes and of knowledge workers.


[Paper (PDF)]  

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