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Toward a new horizon in information science: Domain‐analysis

Birger Hjørland and Hanne Albrechtsen

Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 1995, vol. 46, issue 6, 400-425

Abstract: This article is a programmatic article, which formulates a new approach to information science (IS): domain‐analysis. This approach states that the most fruitful horizon for IS is to study the knowledge‐domains as thought or discourse communities, which are parts of society's division of labor. The article is also a review article, providing a multidisciplinary description of research, illuminating this theoretical view. The first section presents contemporary research in IS, sharing the fundamental viewpoint that IS should be seen as a social rather than as a purely mental discipline. In addition, important predecessors to this view are mentioned and the possibilities as well as the limitations of their approaches are discussed. The second section describes recent transdisciplinary tendencies in the understanding of knowledge. In bordering disciplines to IS, such as educational research, psychology, linguistics, and the philosophy of science, an important new view of knowledge is appearing in the 1990s. This new view of knowledge stresses the social, ecological, and content‐oriented nature of knowledge. This is opposed to the more formal, computer‐like approaches that dominated in the 1980s. The third section compares domain‐analysis to other major approaches in IS, such as the cognitive approach. The final section outlines important problems to be investigated, such as how different knowledge‐domains affect the informational value of different subject access points in data bases. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Date: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jamest:v:46:y:1995:i:6:p:400-425