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Informational uses of information: a theoretical synthesis

Jarkko Kari

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The article presents a theoretical synthesis of the informational uses of information (IUI). IUI entails applying information on representations of the perceived existence, rather than on tangible activities of the real world. The paper first reviews central scientific literature relevant to the subject. Scholars describe the informational uses of information in quite disparate terms, making it seemingly difficult to reconcile them. A combined typology of IUIs is nevertheless constructed by means of tabular comparison. As a result of synthesizing earlier research, three fundamental varieties of IUI emerged: internalizing information, processing information/knowledge and externalizing knowledge. This set of activities provides coherence and rigor to analysing information use, and its validity is supported by the fact that it is echoed in more general theories.

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