Proceedings of the International Conference Bratislava, Slovakia, University Library in Bratislava October 2011

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1 Proceedings of the International Conference Bratislava, Slovakia, University Library in Bratislava October 2011 Comenius University in Bratislava

2 Information Ecology and Libraries Proceedings of the International Conference organized on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Philosophy at Comenius University in Bratislava Bratislava, University Library in Bratislava, Slovakia, October, 2011 Informačná ekológia a knižnice Zborník z medzinárodnej konferencie organizovanej pri príležitosti osláv 90. výročia založenia Filozofickej fakulty Univerzity Komenského v Bratislave Bratislava, Univerzitná knižnica v Bratislave, októbra 2011 Bratislava Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave, 2011

3 Information Ecology and Libraries. International Conference Proceedings. Bratislava, University Library in Bratislava, Oct Informačná ekológia a knižnice. Zborník z medzinárodnej konferencie. Bratislava, Univerzitná knižnica v Bratislave, Organizers/Organizátori: Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava Partners/Partneri: University Library in Bratislava, Slovak Centre for Scientific and Technical Information, Slovak Library Association, Embassy of the United States of America in the Slovak Republic, Österreichisches Kulturforum Sponsors/Sponzori: Cosmotron Bohemia&Slovakia, Thomson Reuters, SVOP The publication was prepared as part of the research project VEGA 1/0429/10 Academic information environment modeling from the perspective of information ecology. Publikácia bola spracovaná v rámci riešenia výskumnej úlohy VEGA 1/0429/10 Akademické informačné prostredie modelovanie z hľadiska informačnej ekológie. Editor/Zostavovateľ: Jela Steinerová Reviewers/Recenzenti: doc. PhDr. Rudolf Vlasák, Prof. Ing. Pavol Návrat, PhD. Design and layout/grafická úprava a zalomenie: Irena Lányiová Publisher/Vydavateľ: Vydavateľstvo Univerzity Komenského, 2011 Dept. of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava Katedra knižničnej a informačnej vedy Filozofickej fakulty Univerzity Komenského v Bratislave International program committee/medzinárodný programový výbor : Jela Steinerová, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Diane Sonnenwald, UCD School of Information&Library Studies, Ireland David Bawden, City University London, United Kingdom Elena Maceviciutė, University College of Borås, Sweden, Vilnius University, Lithuania Arkadiusz Pulikowski, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland Richard Papík, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic Alojz Androvič, University Library in Bratislava, Slovakia Jaroslav Šušol, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Soňa Makulová, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Dušan Katuščák, Slovak National Library, Martin, Slovakia Michal Lorenz, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic Mirka Pastierová, City University of Seattle, Bratislava, Slovakia Beáta Sedláčková, Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic Pavel Rankov, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Miriam Ondrišová, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Mária Žitňanská, Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information, Bratislava, Slovakia ISBN

4 Foreword This volume contains proceedings of the international conference on Information Ecology and Libraries organized by the Department of Library and Information Science, Comenius University in Bratislava and the University Library in Bratislava, October 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The objectives of the conference are determined as follows: the echange of knowledge and eperience in investigating the comple topic of information ecology, information ecosystems and human information behavior the support of international intercultural dialogue and discussions on progress in library and information theory and practice finding connections among research, education and practice in interdisciplinary contets of information work. The target groups of the conference are especially information managers, library managers, university managers, researchers, teachers, academic librarians, students of information studies and other information programs, information technology professionals, information designers, knowledge managers, managers of electronic resources. The institutional background is formed not only by libraries and library schools in the Slovak and Czech Republic, but also by universities, information institutions, cultural and memory institutions, media, information technology institutions and producers of electronic resources. The topic of information ecology is both challenging and comple and covers mainly search for harmonious relationships between information and people in the information environment. The determined subtopics interconnect theory of information and information strategies, human information behavior (ecological models), cognitive ecological perspectives, social ecological perspectives, information ethics, information overload. It is also interesting to reflect upon libraries as part of information and media ecosystems and ask the questions about new positions and functions of libraries in contets of information technologies and information ecology. Conceptually, the conference is based on principal frameworks of information ecology in information science (e. g. Capurro, Davenport and Prusak, Floridi, Nardi and O Day). Ecological approach could help us better understand negative aspects of information technologies, information architecture and digital libraries and find new models of emerging library and information services and scientific communication. These models mirror interdisciplinary trends in information science, such as cognitive, contet and social searching, social networking, new media, and the determination of information concept. I am glad that we can present 23 papers by speakers from an international community of researchers, educators, and practitiones from the U.S.A., United Kingdom, Finland/ Sweden, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic. The papers presented in the main program of the conference analyze such topics as the nature of information, the changing position of libraries in information ecology, social aspects of information work, information ecology of universities, search interfaces, and cognitive aspects of information use and reading (Bawden, Moran, Huvila, Steinerová, Lorenz, Makulová Buzová, Sedláčková, Papík). The papers of doctoral students (mainly from schools in Bratislava, Prague and Brno) report on different topics based on their projects 3

5 (Chudý, Suchá, Stodola, Kaščák, Prágerová, Buzová, Šuchová, Haršányiová, Beitlová, Zbiejczuk, Štěpánovský, Kropajová, Špačková, Frankovičová). Some of these topics are framed within the information ecology concept and thus contribute to integration of cognitive, social and technological (digital) issues of information processing and use. Thus, information ecology is here embodied in aspects of philosophy of information, new models of information and library work, cognitive and social aspects of information activities (including social networks), and in practical tools and services of libraries and information systems. Common denominator of the volume is the quest for new emerging models of information use in education, science, culture. The models are needed for re-conceptualization of theory, methodology, and practice of information work. Practical implications lead to valueadded services of ecological digital libraries and ecological information systems. The new models can be of interest to information and media industry, information developers and designers, librarians, publishers, universities and producers of electronic resources, as they point to emerging conceptions of science 2.0 and web-based services. Surveys and theories of information in different contets present interesting results and ideas which can contribute to emerging new paradigms of science 2.0 and web-based services. (e. g. new models of publishing, scientific communication, and library services). Some papers are written in English language (10), but we also included papers in the Slovak and Czech languages with summaries in English (13). I hope that this volume can be beneficial for those who believe that information ecology represents powerful potential for the improvement of education, reserach, culture, and practice of information work. Of course, the first step is to start discussions on this topic in Slovakia and form new creative partnerships and collaborative projects of information professionals. Jela Steinerová Conference Program Committee Chair September

6 Table of Contents Mind the Gap: Transitions Between Concepts of Information in Varied Domains David Bawden... 7 Adaptation, Evolution, or Etinction: Libraries and the New Information Ecosystem Barbara B. Moran Social Aspects of the Ecology of Information Work Isto Huvila Information Ecology of the Academic Information Environment in Slovakia Jela Steinerová Information Ecology of a University Department Michal Lorenz New Trends in Designing User Search Interfaces as a Solution for Search Systems Soňa Makulová, Katarína Buzová... Kognitivní styl jedince a intuice: jeden vhled do informační ekologie Individual Cognitive Style and Intuition: An Insight into Information Ecology Beáta Sedláčková Metody rychlého čtení jako nástroj osobní informační ekologie Methods of Speed Reading as a Tool of Personal Information Ecology Richard Papík The Emerging Models of Scholarly Publishing Ladislava Suchá Empirical Studies of File-Sharing Motivations Andrej Chudý Primary and Secondary Function of Information in Human Life. Towards Holistic Understanding of Human-Information Relationship Michal Kaščák Information Ecology and the Concept of Information Jiří Stodola Informačné stratégie softvérových inžinierov pri využívaní informačných zdrojov Information Strategies of Software Engineers in Using Information Resources Linda Prágerová Prieskum kredibility elektronických obchodov Survey of Credibility of E-Shops Katarína Buzová Online sociálne siete a ich aplikácia v informačnej činnosti Online Social Networks and their Application in Information Work Jana Šuchová Sperryho syndróm v kontete nových médií Sperry s Syndrome in the Contet of New Media Martina Haršányiová

7 Systémy ERM jako důsledek převratných změn v knihovnách ERM Systems as the Consequence of Revolutionary Changes in Libraries Michaela Beitlová Monitoring sociálních sítí v ČR a na Slovensku Monitoring Social Networks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia Adam Zbiejczuk Outsourcing spisových, archívních a administrativních služeb jako nástroj informačního ekosystému průmyslového podniku Outsourcing of Documentation, Archival and Administrative Services as a Tool of Information Ecosystem of an Industrial Enterprise Štěpán Štěpanovský Historický vývoj výskumov tvorivosti a ich delenie Historical Development and Types of Creativity Research Mária Kropajová Informačná ekológia použiteľnosti Information Ecology of Usability Júlia Špačková Časopisy s otevřeným přístupem v České republice a na Slovensku: zmapování situace Open Access Journals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia: An Overview Ladislava Suchá Jazykové slovaciká zo začiatku 20. storočia: prehľad najvydávanejších autorov Production of Slovak Books at the Beginning of the 20th Century: The Most Published Authors Lenka Frankovičová Summaries of Papers Conceptual Approaches to Digital Information Ecologies the Case of Global Risk Governance Gerhard Budin Structured Abstracts as a Way of Ordering Information about Publication Contents and Improving Search Facilities Arkadiusz Pulikowski The Effects of Bibliometric Indicators on Publication Behavior Jana Ilavská Informačný systém kultúrneho dedičstva ako ekosystém Information System of Cultural Heritage as an Ecosystem Jana Šubová Intelligent Information Solutions from Thomson Reuters for research, discovery and administration. (The net generation of Web of Knowledge; Introduction of Book Citation Inde in WOS and Institutional Profiles in InCites) Malgorzata Krasowska Inde of Authors

8 Mind the Gap: Transitions Between Concepts of Information in Varied Domains David Bawden Department of Information Science City University London Northampton Square, London, EC1V 0HB, United Kingdom Summary The English word information is used to denote a concept now vital in each of three distinct domains. In the physical world, information is increasingly seen as a fundamental quality, analogous to matter and energy, in the new discipline of information physics. In biology, the ability to process and transmit information is regarded as a determinant for what is alive. In the social world, information is central to disciplines from sociology to communication, as well as underlying newer concepts such as Kvanvig s understanding and Deutsch s eplanatory knowledge. It is, however, unclear, to what etent the concept of information in different domains can be realistically regarded as having similar meaning, still less what the nature of the linkages may be between different forms of information. Unifying concepts, such Popper s three worlds, and formalisms such as Shannon s theory of communication and Floridi s philosophy of information, have all as yet failed to provide a fully satisfactory account. This presentation outlines the nature of the problem and some of the solutions proposed, and suggests an approach towards a resolution, which might be of relevance to information specialists dealing with recorded knowledge. Keywords Information science; information theory; information physics; biological information; nature of information 7

9 Introduction The word information, in the literature written in the English language, has come over time to be used much more widely, and to denote different rather different concepts in dif ferent contets: for a short review see Bawden (2001), and for a more detailed treatment see Gleick (2011). In particular, we can see that the word is used with rather different meanings in the physical sciences, in the biological sciences, and in the social world of human communication and recorded information. The question then is whether quite different things are implied in each case, and it is almost an accident that the same English word is used to denote them, or whether there is some link between the concept of information in these different domains. If the latter is the case, then we may be able to draw some conclusions of relevance to library and information science. We will first review, very briefly, the concept of information in the three domains, and then eamine, again very briefly, some unifying ideas which have been proposed. This will lead us to some tentative conclusions about a much broader view of information than is usually adopted in the library and information sciences. 1 Physical information Ludwig Boltzmann first introduced the concept of information into the physical sciences in the late 19th century, by showing that entropy, a thermodynamic quantity, could be related to incomplete information about the state of a system. This idea was developed by Leo Szilard in the 1920s, who introduced the concept of a bit of information as a measurable quantity in the physical world. Following Shannon s development of the mathematical formalism of information theory, this was more widely applied in physics, with information appearing as a fundamental feature of the physical world, associated with the degree of order in physical systems (see Leff and Re, 1990, and von Baeyer, 2003, for overviews). Since 1990, we have seen the emergence of a new sub-discipline within science, information physics, which treats information as a physical entity akin to matter or force (see Vedral, 2010, and Davies and Gregersen, 2010, for overviews). This allows physical laws to be rewritten, with information as a primary concept. Indeed, some argue that information is the physical entity, from which all of reality is built: the American physicist John A. Wheeler summed this up in this epigram It from Bit. 2 Biological information Erwin Schrödinger, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, ventured from physics into biology, in a book based on a series of lectures given in Dublin in 1943 (Schrödinger, 1944). In this, he attempted, as no-one had done before, to give an account of living systems in physical terms, and thereby arguably inaugurated the disciplines of biophysics and molecular biology. He argued that living organisms feed upon negative entropy, and was therefore the first to bring the idea of information directly into biology. 8

10 The discovery of the genetic code, and the subsequent great development of the field of the field of genomics, have put the idea of a measurable amount of information is contained within, used by, and transmitted by, living organisms, at the forefront of biological thinking. Transmission of information is now regarded as one of the defining characteristics of life, together with metabolism, reproduction, etc. (see, for eample Hazen, 2009, Reading, 2011, Auletta, 2011). 3 Social information This is, of course, the kind of information which is most familiar within library and in formation science. It includes all of the forms of material which constitute the human record : books, journals, data compilations, image collections, and social media, and all the rest. While the nature of such information is well understood in an informal sense, there has been little in the way of formal, theoretical or mathematical analysis of this kind of information, as there has been with physical and biological information. Analysis has generally been limited to qualitative frameworks or conceptual models. One well-known eample considers the entities data, information and knowledge as being on a line, or forming a pyramid; they are essentially the same sort of thing, and may be transformed from one to another (Rowley, 2006, Fricke, 2009). Information may be converted to knowledge, for eample, by organising, structuring, classifying, annotating, adding contet, etc. The end of the line, or top of the pyramid, is variously held to be wisdom, action, etc. Some writers add etra entities, such as capta, data in which we are interested, coming between data and information (Checkland, Holwell, 1998). An alternative view is that proposed by the American philospher Jonathan Kvanvig, who distinguishes understanding from information, knowledge and truth. He suggests that understanding requires the grasping of eplanatory and other coherence-making relationships in a large and comprehensive body of information. One can know many unrelated pieces of information, but understanding is achieved only when informational items are pieced together (Kvanvig, 2003, p. 192). The object of understanding, that which is understood, is, for Kvanvig, not a number of single propositions, such as normally constitute knowledge for the philosopher, but rather an informational chunk. He refers to the grasping of the structure within this chunk as an internal seeing or appreciating (Kvanvig, 2003, p 198). It has to cope with ambiguity, contradiction, missing information, and all the other messy features present in real-world information collections. It seems to have much in common with Luciano Floridi s view of knowledge, as distinct from information: Knowledge and information are members of the same conceptual family. What the former enjoys and the latter lacks is the web of mutual relations that al low one part of it to account for another. Shatter that, and you are left with a... list of bits of information that cannot help to make sense of the reality they seek to address (Floridi, 2011, p. 288). This again is similar to what Deutsch (2011) describes as eplanatory knowledge; objective, testable, and rationally related to other knowledge. 9

11 4 Unifying frameworks We have seen that information is an important concept in the physical, biological and social domains. Within each, however, it is understood in different ways, and analyzed by different means; from the largely formal and mathematical understanding of the physical sciences, to the largely qualitative and conceptual understanding of the information sciences. Nor is it clear how the various understandings of information relate to one another, or even if it is sensible to seek such relations. There have, over several decades, been varied approaches to this problem, seeking in different ways to come to a unifying concept of information, applicable in all domains. Some of these have been purely qualitative and conceptual. Karl Popper (1979), for eample, famously suggested that we should consider three epistemological worlds : World 1 of physical items, such as books and computers, World 2 of personal and subjective know ledge, and World 3 of objective and communicable knowledge, which he categorised as the contents of books and journals. A somewhat similar model has been given in terms of the semiotic levels at which information may be understood (Liebenau, Backhouse, 1990): empiric (physical transmission), syntactic (language), semantic (meaning) and pragmatic (significance in the world). Similar again is Deutsch s (2011) concept of embodied knowledge (created by evolution and transmitted biologically) and eplanatory knowledge (created by humans and transmitted socially). These relatively simple conceptual models may be useful in understanding and eplaining comple patterns of recorded and communicated information in specific subjects (see, for eample, Bawden, 2002), but they do little to make any link between information in different domains. More detailed qualitative models and frameworks have been developed, for eample by Stonier (1990, 1992, 1997), by Madden (2004) and by Bates (2005, 2006), to eplicitly de scribe the relations between the concept of information in different domains. All take an evolutionary approach, suggesting that information in one domain may evolve into a different form in another. Bates work in particular, has attracted considerable interest, though far from general acceptance. She distinguishes Information 1 (a pattern of organisation of matter and energy) from Information 2 (a pattern given meaning by a living being), with equivalent formulations for Data and for Knowledge. It remains at the level of a qualitative and conceptual model. I have argued (Bawden, 2007) that we can see information in the physical world as in stantiated in organisation, in the biological world as meaning, and in the social world as understanding ; these three qualities being emergent properties of comple systems. Again, this is a conceptual framework, with no details as to the processes by which such emergence takes place. To date, the only fully-fledged scientific model of information is the mathematical theory of communication, developed by Clause Shannon, built on earlier work of Harry Nyquist and Ralph Hartley, and propounded by Warren Weaver (Shannon, Weaver, 1949). This gave a precise and formal definition of information, as a quantity determined by the probability occurrences of the symbols occurring in a message. It was clear from the start that this understanding of information took no account of meaning; it was intended solely to deal with the quantity of information which could be transmitted by a communication channel, regardless of the content of the message. Nonetheless, as the only scientific theory of information to date, many scholars have sought to apply it in a variety of areas, including the physical and biological sciences, and the social sciences, including library and 10

12 information science. It has to be said that success has been limited; see von Baeyer (2003), Vedral (2010), and Davies and Gregersen (2010) for overviews. Nonetheless, some interesting ideas were advanced on the interactions of information in different domains. The physicist Rolf Landauer (1991), coining the phrase information is physical, noting that all information must be physically instantiated in some way marks on a piece of paper, magnetised areas on a disc, etc. analyzed the ways in which the recording, storing, transmitting, processing and erasing of information are subject to the laws of physics. Again, however, meaning and content were not relevant to the analysis. The American philospher Fred Dretske (1981) created a theory of semantic information along information theoretic lines, building on Shannon s concepts and regarding information as content which is true. This has had considerable influence in epistemology, but as Furner says, Dretske s concepts of knowledge are not the norm for the library and information sciences. The most complete development to date has been the philosophy of information developed by Luciano Floridi (2011). This uses as its the basis the Shannon formalism for information, but develops it considerably, using an elaborate scheme of formal logic. For Floridi, information is meaningful data and knowledge, as we have seen above, is information enmeshed int a web of relations. Floridi also argues for information as a fundamental feature of the world, though in a rather different way from that proposed by information physics; he argues for what he terms informational structural realism. Conclusion We have seen that there have been a number of attempts to conceptualize the idea of information in different domains, but that none has achieved general acceptance; still less application in the library/information sciences. It should also be acknowledged that the idea of there being any relation at all between the idea of information in different domains is controversial, and is rejected by some scholars; see, for eample, Hjørland (2007) for an argument against relating the subjective and contet-specific information relevant to library/information work with the objective information of Shannon s theory and information physics. Since writing my 2007 paper, all the developments I have seen confirms me in my view that it is worth seeking relations and linkages between conceptions of information in the different domains. In the physical world, information is associated with pattern and order; more specifically with the interesting area between total order and total randomness. In the biological world, meaning emerges, in the form of what Deutsch terms embodied knowledge. And in the social world of human recorded information, understanding emerges, in the sense described albeit with different names by Kvanvig, Deutsch and Floridi. The task of determining the nature of, and the driving forces for, the emergence of these information qualities remains to be attempted. What, we may ask, is the significance of all this for scholars and practitioners of the library/information sciences, beyond a purely academic interest. It seems to me that, if it is indeed the case that there is some relation between the idea of information in the different domains, then this should be an aid to developing theories in each. I do not at all mean by this a simplistic reductionist view; that, for eample, human information-related behaviour 11

13 can be eplained by biology. By no means; the situation is much more comple, and interesting. We should be able to find eplanation and illumination going both ways. Theories and concepts of information in the physical and biological sciences should offer insight to library/information science; and perhaps vice versa. One evident eample is the study of patterns in bibliometric and webliometric data; it may be that these will provide interesting correlations and comparisons with information-related patterns in other domains. Another eample is the idea of very general laws: for eample the well-known principle of least effort in the human sciences, and the equally well-known least action principles in physics. Do such similar seeming principles have any kind of common basis; and if so, is it informationrelated? It seems to me that investigations of this kind may be among the most interesting and fruitful for the all the sciences of information in the years to come. References AULETTA, G Cognitive biology: dealing with information from bacteria to minds. Oford : Oford University Press. BATES, M. J Information and knowledge: an evolutionary framework. In Information Research, 10(4), paper 239. Available from <>. BATES, M. J Fundamental forms of information. In Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 57(8), BAWDEN, D The shifting terminologies of information. In Aslib Proceedings. 53(3), BAWDEN, D The three worlds of health information. In Journal of Information Science, 28(1), BAWDEN, D Organised compleity, meaning and understanding: an approach to a unified view of information for information science. In Aslib Proceedings. 59(4/5), CHECKLAND, P., HOLWELL, S Information, systems and information systems making sense of the field. Chichester : Wiley. DAVIES, P., GREGERSEN, N. H. (eds.) Information and the nature of reality: from physics to metaphysics. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. DEUTSCH, D The beginning of infinity: eplanations that transform the world. London : Allen Lane. DRETSKE, F. I Knowledge and the flow of information. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press. FLORIDI, L The philosophy of information. Oford : Oford University Press. FRICKE, M The knowledge pyramid: a critique of the DIKW hierarchy. In Journal of Information Science. 35(2), FURNER, J Philosophy and Information Studies. In Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. 44, GLEICK, J The information: a history, a theory, a flood. London : Fourth Estate. HAZEN, R. M The emergence of patterning in life s origin and evolution. In International Journal of Developmental Biology. 2009, 53(5-6),

14 HJØRLAND, B Information: objective or subjective/situational? In Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 58(10), KVANVIG, J. L The value of knowledge and the pursuit of understanding. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. LANDAUER, R Information is physical. In Physics Today. 44(5), LEFF, H. S., REX, A. F Mawell s Demon: entropy, information, computing. Bristol : IOP Publishing. LIEBENAU, J., BACKHOUSE, J Understanding Information. London: MacMillan. MADDEN, A. D Evolution and information. In Journal of Documentation. 60(1), POPPER, K. R Objective knowledge: an evolutionary approach (revised edition). Oford : Clarendon Press. ROWLEY, J Where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge? In Journal of Documentation. 62(2), SCHRÖDINGER, E What is life? The physical aspect of the living cell. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. SHANNON, C. E., WEAVER, W The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana, IL : University of Illinois Press. STONIER, T Information and the internal structure of the universe. Berlin : Springer-Verlag. STONIER, T Beyond information: the natural history of intelligence. Berlin : Springer-Verlag. STONIER, T Information and meaning: an evolutionary perspective. Berlin : Springer-Verlag. VEDRAL, V Decoding reality: the universe as quantum information. Oford : Oford University Press. VON BAEYER, H. C Information: the new language of science. London : Weidenfeld and Nicholson. About the author David Bawden is Professor of Information Science at City University London, UK. He has a first degree in organic chemistry (Liverpool University) and masters and doctoral degrees in information science (Sheffield University), and worked in research information services in the pharmaceutical industry, before joining City in His academic interests include history and philosophy of the information sciences, information-related behaviour, knowledge organisation, scientific information, digital literacy and academic-practitioner research collaboration. He is editor of the Journal of Documentation, and a member of the council of ASLIB; the Association for Information Management. web: blog: 13


16 Adaptation, Evolution, or Etinction: Libraries and the New Information Ecosystem Barbara B. Moran University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science Chapel Hill, NC, USA Summary The ecosystem in which libraries operate is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly more comple. The traditional niche occupied by libraries in the information universe is becoming more crowded, their competition is increasing and their environment is undergoing monumental change. This paper uses the principles of organizational ecology, first to discuss the challenges facing today s libraries and second to provide some suggestions that will enable libraries to adapt to meet the needs of a changing information environment. Keywords organizational development, organizational ecology, libraries of the future Information ecology is a term used to describe a persistent structure of people, practices, values and technology in a particular local environment (Nardi, O Day, 1999). Obviously, this is a broad topic and there are a number of ways it can be studied. Past research has e amined specific facets of the subject such as the user activities and information flows. Today, I would like to focus on information ecology at the organizational level. How do lib raries and similar organizations fit into the environment in which they function and how well are they able to respond to changes in that environment? I will be drawing upon re search done in the field of organizational ecology to eplore this topic. Research on organizational ecology began in the 1970s (Hannan, Freeman, 1989). However, the impact of the surrounding environment upon organizations has been recognized 15

17 since the time managers moved from thinking about organizations as closed systems to envisioning them as open systems with permeable boundaries which permit feedback from their environments. Organizational ecology is concerned with the modifications that organizations make in response to changes in their environment and with the factors that allow some organizations to successfully adapt to changes and thrive while causing others to fail. Organizational ecology draws its fundamental principles from general ecology and uses these principles to analyze not species of plants or animals but populations of organiza tions.1 According to Baum, organizational ecology is based on the following assumptions: first that diversity is a property of aggregates of organizations, second, that organizations often have difficulty making changes quickly enough to meet the demands of uncertain, changing environments, and finally that the community of organizations is rarely stable (Baum, 1999). The field of organizational ecology builds upon general ecological and evolutionary models of changes in populations. Some terms such as niche, adaptation, evolution and etinction taken from general ecology have proven especially helpful when applied to the evolution of organizations. A niche is a resource space defined by a set of physical, biological and social conditions that either support or place constraints on the performance of a particular organism (Hannan, Freeman, 1977). Different species take advantage of different niches to provide opportunities to thrive and those differences result in biodiversity which is desirable because every species contributes to the richness and the strength of the ecosystem (Wilson, 1992). As Nardi and O Day (1999) write: A natural environment offers many toeholds for life of various forms. With tenacity and vigor, species migrate and change to fill the available niches. These adaptations lead in turn to further change, as the entire system adjusts to new constraints and possibilities. The survival of a species depends upon it finding a niche into which it can fit. A species with limited ability to fit into a niche is much more likely to become etinct than one that has potential to spread to new niches or to adapt to meet changing circumstances. Adaptations are the changes resulting from genetic variations among individuals in a population and result in a species becoming better able to live in its environment. Evolution is the change in a population over time. And etinction, of course, is the death of an entire species or type of organization. It is easy to point out specific eamples that demonstrate the basic premise underlying organizational ecology. We can all think of certain organizations or whole sectors of organizations that no longer eist because the environment in which they operated changed and they did not. One eample often used is that of the buggy whip industry. Once automobiles became the dominant means of transportation, the makers of buggy whips had few customers. The daily newspaper is another eample of an industry in the modern world that is threatened by changes in its environment. In the United States alone, more than 208 newspapers have gone out of business since The newspaper industry is making many attempts to make its product relevant in the new digital age, but its ultimate future remains uncertain. Why organizations cease to eist is a comple issue, but the etinction of a type of or ganization usually occurs when the surrounding environment changes and the organization does not or cannot adapt. According to the open systems model the organization should have changed in response to feedback it received from the environment, but the organization did not respond appropriately. The feedback was either misinterpreted, ignored, or the 1 16 Although some organizational ecology eamines changes within individual organizations the more common approach is to look at populations of organizations.

18 organization decided that it was doing well enough as it was and did not need to change. In some cases, the organization tried to change but made the wrong choices and ceased to eist. So even with feedback from the environment, many organizations find it difficult to make the appropriate changes. Making the right changes in a rapidly shifting world is especially hard. It is not surprising that often organizations decide to remain the same. Making the right changes in a rapidly shifting world is especially hard. Drastic environmental changes frequently lead to the etinction of an entire species, for instance, the dinosaur. If environmental change is sudden and cataclysmic it may be impossible for adaptations to be made in time. Gradual changes in the environment provide the possibility for numerous small adaptions to be made and for a species to survive. However, gradual changes in the environment may lull an organization into ignoring the magnitude of the differences that are occurring. Charles Handy, the British management epert, recounts a story that can serve as a cautionary tale for everyone interested in organizational change. In his book, The Age of Unreason (1990), Handy states that if you place a frog in a pot of cool water and then gradually heat the water, the frog just gets more comfortable as the water warms and it slowly sinks into a tranquil stupor. The frog will not move even when the water reaches the boiling point and thus the slow temperature changes result in its death. This story does not seem to be rooted in scientific fact, but it is a powerful metaphor to describe how gradual change can lull an entity be it frog or organization into ignoring the larger consequences of what is happening in the world around it. Since the 1960s libraries have adjusted to many changes in their environment, but they have been able to make these changes in a relatively gradual manner. Bit by bit, libraries have incorporated information technology into almost all aspects of their operations, have become familiar with serving users virtually, and have grown comfortable with hybrid collections where many items are licensed and not owned. In many ways libraries seem to have adapted to the changing environment very successfully. But has the slowness of the gradual change lulled us into thinking that the water is just getting comfortably warm? Are libraries, like Handy s frog, in danger of being boiled alive? Can the principles of organizational ecology help us adapt to meet the changing world in which libraries operate? Libraries as institutions are under a greater threat now than ever before. The ecosystem in which today s libraries are competing is a dynamic and fast-changing one. A growing number of competitors are seeking to move into the niche traditionally held by libraries. We see evidence of the threats everywhere. In most parts of the world, library budgets are be ing closely scrutinized and cut. In many places, individual libraries or whole systems are be ing forced to close because of insufficient monetary support. There is a growing belief among many including some funding agencies that libraries are no longer necessary because everything is available online. The recent economic downturn has only eacerbated the problems encountered by libraries in the 21st century. Although libraries as organizations have undoubtedly adapted, the pace of change in the environment means that the niche that supported them for so long seems to be growing more inhospitable. Libraries have continued to survive by making incremental changes but are now entering a period when it is likely that radical change will be required if libraries as a type of institution are to continue to eist. If libraries are unable to adapt to meet the changes in their environments, they likely will become etinct in the near future and be re placed by another species of information organization better able to fit into the niches available in tomorrow s world. The field of organizational ecology can perhaps provide some guidance to help libraries make the adaptive changes necessary to ensure their survival. Hannan and Freeman (1989, 17

19 p. 13) argue that ecological analysis is especially helpful when organizations encounter changing, uncertain environments and are subject to strong inertial pressures. These factors cer tainly apply to today s libraries. However, even though libraries face tremendous challenges in the upcoming years, organizational ecology suggests that it is possible to achieve the necessary changes. For unlike plants and animals whose evolution is random, organizations are composed of humans who have the ability to reason and thus can purposefully adapt to meet changes in their environment. Organizations can be viewed as opportunistic structures that motivate behavior on the part of their participants to continue to eist. Organizational ecology does focus on organizations but the real actors are the individuals who work within those organizations. So the question, I am posing today is can we, today s librarians, make the organizational changes needed to ensure the successful adaption of the libraries in which we work? First we need to be aware of the magnitude of the change taking place in the environment. The habitat in which libraries reside has been transformed, and libraries no longer hold the position in the information environment that they previously occupied. Not to mi too many scientific metaphors, but at least since the 1970s libraries have realized that they do not function in a Ptolemaic information world with the library at the center; it is now obvious that they are part of a Copernican world with information at the center and the library as one of its planets (Taylor, 1979). Libraries may have never actually been at the center of the information universe, but for years we acted as if they were. Now it is very apparent that libraries are just one part of a vastly epanding information universe, and the number of planets revolving around the information sun is increasing daily. The information universe is becoming much more crowded. A number of new competitors are encroaching upon the library s traditional niche, and, in addition, the environment in which libraries function is in the midst of change that is coming both quickly and forcefully. This change is reshaping all the traditional institutions that were established to provide access to information before the advent of the digital revolution. In addition to libraries, many other types of institutions such as print journalism, publishing both trade and scholarly and bookselling are being affected by the rapid and pervasive change in the information ecology. What are some of those changes? Obviously, the most significant is the change from information being distributed primarily in print to being distributed in digital format and all the resulting consequences of the fading of one medium and the rapid rise of the other. In the print world, information was relatively scarce. In the digital world, it is becoming ever more abundant and less epensive. We have talked for years about information overload but we have gone beyond overload information deluge might be a better description. According to a recent study (Gantz, Reinsel, 2011) 1.8 zettabytes of information will be created in To get some perspective on the size of 1.8 zettabytes, it is equivalent to 1.8 trillion gigabytes. To store that much data would take 57.5 billion 32 gigabyte ipads. There is no end in sight for the creation of information. At the present time, the amount of information being produced is doubling every two years and the rate of production will only increase in the future. Technology has made information more abundant by driving down the cost of creating, managing, distributing and storing it. The production of information has changed from being institutional-centric to being individual-centric. In the print world almost all information was produced institutionally because the channels used to distribute it were controlled by publishing houses, newspapers, government agencies and other institutions that served as gatekeepers to control what was produced. Libraries served as another of these gatekeeping institutions with their collec18

20 tions development function sifting out what was considered the best of what was produced to acquire for the library and its users. Institutions have now lost the power to control what information is produced, and there are few barriers to anyone producing and distributing information. It is easy to self-publish books electronically, but that is just the beginning. Look at the blogs, the Twitter feeds, the Flickr accounts, the YouTube videos. The Internet provides a readily accessible and inepensive means of distribution. All the institutions that previously controlled the flow of information can easily be bypassed, so there is a diminished need for traditional journalists, publishers, booksellers and librarians in this new world of information. The Internet has changed everything, and the use of the Internet continues to skyrocket. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the UN agency concerned with information and communication, estimates that at the end of 2010, 2.08 billion people used the Internet up from 250 million a decade previously (International Telecommunication Union, 2011). However, we must keep in mind that despite the growth in numbers of Internet users, this new information world I am describing does not etend to the entire population of the world. While 71 % of the people living in developed countries use the Internet, only 21 % of those in developing countries do. Access to computers is still not ubiquitous in many parts of the world. The mobile phone is a much more prevalent means of information transmission worldwide. Five billion people used mobile telephones in 2010 with 68 % of people in developing countries having access to such devices (ITU, 2011). In the future more and more of those mobile phones will provide Internet access, thereby increasing the number of Internet users tremendously. With the growth in the number of people owning smart phones, tablet computers and other hand held devices, access to information is already becoming more and more disconnected from use ina specific location. Information is viewed as a portable commodity, and users are accustomed to having access to information when and where they need it. The information being produced today is also different because much of it has a social aspect that it had previously lacked. In the past, information flowed primarily one way from the producer to the consumer. Now in many instances the consumer has the ability to respond to what is presented or even participate in its creation. At the simplest level, there is frequently the option to comment or epress approval or disapproval. At a more comple level, information is being produced by groups of people a good eample is Wikipedia. Mashups allow users to combine works from the original producers in new ways. Crowd-sourcing is another method for large numbers of people to work together to create information. Information has become a decentralized commodity with more and more individuals involved in its creation. Most of us in the room today have become content creators we are all adding to that glut of information that is accumulating. The world is full of sor cerer s apprentices busily creating more information; it certainly seems that things have gotten out of control. But we know that there is no wise sorcerer we can call upon to restore order. There is no way to put the information genii back in the bo. Not only is ever more information being created, the competition for providing access to this information has become increasingly decentralized. Libraries never had a monopoly on information distribution, but at one time they did serve as an essential conduit for those who had information needs and did not want (or could not afford) to purchase the material for individual use. Now libraries are being pushed aside by a growing number of competitors who want to connect users with information. Most countries have produced their own set of competitors; in the United States, for eamples, the field consists of players such as Amazon, Google, itunes, Facebook and other social networking sites, Wikipedia, and pro19

21 ducers of ebooks available to be read on numerous platforms. Although almost every nation is developing its own set of home-grown information access organizations, many of these competing institutions are transnational and are used by individuals around the world. These competitors are often well funded and are encroaching upon the territory that used to be occupied by libraries. These organizations also have a different perspective on the value of information. Instead of the traditional library perspective that information is a common good, the for-profit sector usually views information as a commodity to be bought and sold. If one surveys the changing information environment through the lens of organizational ecology, it is clear that traditional libraries are threatened not only by the rapid changes in their environment but also by the growing number of competitors. The conditions in their traditional niche have changed and the number of competing organisms trying to crowd into it is increasing. The process of gradual change that allowed these ancient institutions to keep abreast of environmental changes is no longer sufficient, and they face the possibility of being driven to etinction. Last year, Chris Batt, former Chief Eecutive of the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council in the UK, gave a presentation (2011) at my university and posed the question, If libraries hadn t been invented, would anyone invent them now? The same question could be framed using the perspective of organizational ecology. If a new species were evolving to fill the niche in the information environment presently occupied by libraries, would that new species resemble the organism we know as libraries? In terms of organizational age, libraries are considered mature. Longevity in terms of organizations has both advantages and disadvantages. As organizations age they gain legitimacy. A mature organization is a known quantity and does not have to prove itself. However, increasing longevity is often associated with structural inertness; older organizations become less fleible and do not respond quickly to changes in their environments. Mature organizations have developed routines and procedures that allow them to perform reliably. Eternally, these types of organization have become embedded in networks of obligations and commitments therefore increasing the likelihood of their maintaining the status quo; internally, members of mature organizations become more homogeneous and have a vested interest in protecting traditional ways of doing things (Hannan, Freeman, 1989, p ). All of these attributes result in an organization being more reliable and accountable, but they also make it more difficult for it to change its fundamental properties. Thus organizational failure rates increase with age as the original fit the organization had with its environ ment erodes, and the organization is not able to make the needed modifications. Although libraries have adapted many times to meet changing conditions, nonetheless they still maintain many elements that are vestiges of past practices that worked well in the past but are not useful in today s new information environment. We must not forget that libraries have a long and respected history and have had past success in making successful adaptions including weathering the impact of the Gutenberg revolution when the manuscript collections of libraries made the transition to print collections. These past changes have allowed the organizational type known as libraries to survive for centuries in fact, they are among the oldest types of organizations in eistence. But if we look through the lens of organizational ecology, it is evident that libraries will need to continue to evolve if they want to maintain a place in the new information ecosystem. Gradual changes may not be sufficient for them to remain relevant in the Information 2.0 world. 20

22 It impossible to say whether libraries as we know them can successfully make the transition into a species that will be relevant, say 100 years from now. But unlike animals and plants, organizations are at least to some degree in control of their futures. An animal species is constrained by its evolutionary past. Humans cannot grow a third arm, helpful though it might be. Organizations are constrained by their past also, but the constraint is largely a mental set which can be assessed and changed. However, as we all know, it is tre mendously difficult to change our mental sets and to gain objectivity when we are very close to a situation. All of us are bound to some etent by our past eperiences, and thus it is hard for us to envision a vastly different library of the 22nd century. As a profession however, we need to eamine our stance and try to be as forward thinking as we can be. As much as possible we should try to set aside the model of the library organization we are all familiar with and think about the needs of future users. What should the library of tomorrow look like? What services should be provided and what values should be preserved? I do not pretend to be a futurist, which is probably just as well since we know most of the predictions of futurists do not come true. None of us knows what the future will hold, and there will inevitably be events and circumstances which are impossible to foretell. I am just beginning to think about organizational ecology as a way to envision the organizational changes that might occur in the future. I hope that each of you will contribute to and enrich these thoughts about the future evolution of libraries because the more of us who participate in thinking about what future libraries might be, the more likely we are to envision a model that will be successful. What follows are some of my initial thoughts, and I look forward to hearing yours. Looking at available evidence, I do not think that one hundred years from now many libraries will continue to eist in the traditional sense of a separate structure staffed by information specialists providing users with information contained in physical containers. Already many libraries have moved away from this model of service. Libraries as an organization will likely continue to evolve away from being organizations anchored in a specific space and,as a result,perhaps many of the types of libraries that we are familiar with now may disappear. However, there are functions performed by libraries that will continue to be relevant and endure, and there are certainly attributes of libraries that I would hope would continue to be valued whatever the future might bring. Let us assume that in the future again let s say 100 years from now many information organizations will eist, but few of them will resemble the traditional library we have known in the past. So what might these new organizations look like? According to evolu tionary theory there are two types of evolutionary processes that result in new species: anagenesis and cladogenesis. Anagenesis is the transformation that occurs within a single lineage. Cladogenesis is the splitting of a species into two or more species. Cladogenesis is sometimes referred to as speciation, as one population evolves into two simultaneously eisting species which continue to evolve separately ( Evolution, 2011). A third process that results in new species is hybridization. A hybrid is an offspring of a cross between dif ferent species. It is likely that the information organizations of the future (whether called libraries or not) will be formed as a result of all these processes. Perhaps instead of thinking about the niche occupied by libraries it would be better to think about multiple niches. Even now, it is evident that libraries do not occupy just one niche; instead they occupy several niches (or at least distinct subdivisions within the same niche). There are many types of library organizations; each has been shaped by the niche it occupies. Corporate libraries share some of the characteristics of school libraries which share some of the characteristics of public libraries, but each has its distinctive attributes. It 21

23 is unlikely that all types of libraries will evolve in tandem, and each will change in ways best suited for its specific habitat. Some evolution may be anagenetic or linear. A few types of traditional libraries may continue to eist into the future with some modifications necessary to keep them relevant. For instance, some special collections will likely to continue to eist. Despite the great growth in digitization of printed and manuscript material, there will still be people who want to work with the actual artifact. In this age of vast digitization projects such as Google Books it is tempting to think that all print objects will soon be digitized, but it is unlikely that everything now available in libraries will ever be digitized and in the future, some scholars and specialists will continue to need access to these objects. These special collections libraries will continue to contain large print collections but will take on many of the characteristics of museums museums of printed artifacts. These libraries will continue to eist as one type of cultural heritage institution. Perhaps libraries that serve young children might continue to endure to provide access to picture books and functions such as storytelling. So it is possible that 100 years from now there may be direct descendants of today s libraries modified to meet the needs of tomorrow users, but I do not think there will be many. The traditional model of a library being a warehouse of printed material will be only a small part of new information ecology. It will be through cladogenesis and hybridization that we will see the most interesting species of new organizations emerge. Many of today s library functions will survive, but they will survive as part of a new type of organization. The cladogenetic process would result in libraries being split into two or more new species. I cannot think of any clear e amples of that happening in libraries now, but there are some indications of how it might occur. One eample comes from many of today s schools of information and library science. These institutions used to prepare individuals to work in libraries. Now many of them have two separate functions. In effect, they are preparing individuals to work in what are today two separate types of organizations the not for profit library sector and the for profit information sector. In some ways, they are preparing two species of information specialists. Some libraries are also beginning to add departments that require patrons to pay for specialized services. Perhaps in the future we may see libraries splitting into two or more new types of organizations. But I think the more common model of library evolution will be hybridization in which libraries are blended with one or more other institutions. The idea of a library as a separate entity will largely disappear as libraries become hybridized by merging with other types of organizations. A forerunner of that type of new organization can be seen in the Idea Store, an innovative organization operated by the Tower Hamlets in London which is a mi of a public library and elements of social, health, and continuing education agencies. The Idea Store provides essential services to a largely disadvantaged population, and it is likely that such configurations of libraries blended with other social agencies all serving the general public will grow more prevalent in the future. Another possible library hybrid can be seen on many university campuses where libraries and computer services have merged. These mergers will continue to occur and become more common in the future. As more students take advantage of online courses, both the services that academic libraries once provided and the information technology support services will be provided virtually in some sort of networked university. Other types of partnerships are beginning to emerge such as those being forged by some libraries and publishers, and they will add diversity to the mi of in formation organizations of the future. Perhaps even the museums of books described previously will find common cause in merging with other types of museums. 22

24 Although the library as a separate place may largely vanish, many of the functions traditionally performed by libraries will remain critical. There will be an increasing need for information management in all types of organizations. The archival function of librarianship which used to ensure the collection, preservation and access to manuscript and printed records of organizations will continue to be needed to preserve and make accessible digital organizational records. Librarians especially in school and academic libraries have a long history of teaching users how to evaluate and use information. This need for information and digital literacy will not go away, especially as the amount of information being produced continues to grow. The traditional role of librarians to sift through and evaluate large amounts of information will certainly be needed. Information specialists who are skilled at filtering and evaluating information will be essential as the amount of information freely available continues to increase. Quality control and fact checking will continue to be value-added functions that will persists. The library has always been a trusted source of information and some organization will need to play that information validation role in the future. I am convinced the functions traditionally associated with librarianship will still be needed. However, I worry more about the survival of some of the core values that have traditionally been associated with libraries and librarianship. Those values vary a bit from country to country and reflect national and cultural differences. Although there is no one universal list of shared values, it is likely we would all agree that there are certain values and beliefs that are supported by most librarians. I will use the list compiled by Gorman (2000) to provide an overview of the core values espoused by most librarians in the Western world. His list includes stewardship, service, intellectual freedom, privacy, rationalism, commitment to literacy and learning, equity of access, and democracy. These values are what have distinguished librarianship as a profession and have provided the basis for the service librarians have performed for society. This is genetic material I would like to see survive in the information agencies of the net century, but I fear these values may not find the new information ecosystem hospitable, especially if the majority of information organizations are in the for-profit sector. In a world where information is seen increasingly as a commodity some of these values may come into conflict with the for-profit nature of many of the new information organizations. Yet these values will continue to be needed. Unless things change radically and the world s wealth and resources become more evenly distributed, we know that problems such as the digital divide will continue into the future. Regardless of how information and access to that information changes, there will be still be some sectors of so ciety which will not have adequate access to it. I hope the information organizations of the future will contain professionals who are still committed to providing information to all and to protecting intellectual freedom. This is a genetic heritage we should be committed to preserving. To date, libraries as institutions have been able to make the changes necessary to remain relevant in a digital world because of the willingness of librarians to change their traditional ways of providing services in order to take into account the desires of today s users to have access to information when and where they want it. In fact, most of the librarians I know are among the most advanced advocates for information technology and digital materials. The skills that librarians have traditionally provided will remain relevant in the future. So al though I do think that in the long run traditional libraries may evolve into some new types of organization, there will still be individuals needed to help information consumers learn to use, evaluate and preserve information. I also hope that some part of the future information sector will continue to be publicly funded so that there will still be a way for all the cit izens of tomorrow to have free access to the information resources and services they need. 23

25 The ideal of a physical information space open to all is one that I hope will continue to have resonance in the future. Society will continue to need places where access to ideas and learning is available in a shared community setting. In summary, organizational ecology places the evolution of libraries within the larger contet of changes in the natural world and the surrounding environment; it emphasizes the necessity for all organizations to continuously adapt to meet the challenges of their changing habitat. Organizational ecology is an empowering method to use to analyze organizational development because it places the responsibility for making needed changes to prepare for the future upon the individuals who are members of the organization at the present time. The message is clear. Unless we, the people working in libraries today, begin to purposefully plan, libraries will likely not be successful in making the transition into tomor row s world. We need as a profession first of all to recognize that change is inevitable. If we try to remain as we are, the profession in which we work will wither and eventually disappear. Instead we should welcome the change that lies before us. We should not waste our energies defending our old niche but be looking for ways to colonize new ones. Thinking about the future is always difficult and some of the plans we make will not be successful. Nonetheless, we need to keep our eye firmly on the future we hope to achieve. At the very least, we should attempt to identify those practices and values that we value most and think how they might be preserved into the future. The information organizations of 100 years from now will probably bear scant resemblance to today s libraries, and they will be the better for it because they will be the organizations best suited for their times. However, if we have been successful in planning for our profession s evolution, the functions we think most important and the values that we treasure most highly will continue to eist in these new organizations. Our genetic material will have been successfully transmitted to the future. References ALDRICH, H Organizations Evolving. London; Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage. BATT, C If We Did not Have Libraries, Would Anyone Invent Them? Presentation, UNC, Chapel Hill. [Retrieved 11 Sept. 2011]. Available from: < chris-batt)>. BAUM, J Organizational Ecology in Studying Organization Theory and Method, Ed. by Clegg, S.R. and Hardy, C. London : Sage (pp ). Evolution Encyclopedia. Today s Science. Facts on File News Services, n. d. [Retrieved 4 Sept. 2011]. Available from: < DBType=TSOF>. GANTZ, J., REINSEL, D Etracting Value from Chaos. Framington, MA : ID. [Retrieved 4 Sept. 2011]. Available from: <>. GORMAN, M Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21 st Century. Chicago IL: ALA. HANDY, C The Age of Unreason. Boston, MA : Harvard Business School Press. HANNAN, M. T., Freeman, J Organizational Ecology. Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press. International Telecommunications Union The World in 2010: ICT Facts and Figures. [Retrieved 4 September 2011]. Available from: <>. 24

26 NARDI, B. A., O DAY, V Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press. TAYLOR, R. S Reminiscing about the Future: Professional Education and the Information Environment. In Library Journal. 104, WILSON, E. O The Diversity of Life. New York : Norton. About the author Barbara B. Moran is Louis Round Wilson Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the UNC Chapel Hill where she served as Dean from 1990 to She teaches primarily in the areas of management and academic librarianship but has other interests including library leadership, genre fiction, readers advisory services, and international librarianship. Her research has been focused on various aspects of management including leadership, organizational structures, and career progression patterns. Moran is co-author of the widely used tetbook, Management of Libraries and Information Agencies and is also the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and three other books on various aspects of management and leadership. 25


28 Social Aspects of the Ecology of Information Work Isto Huvila Uppsala University Department of ALM Thunbergsvägen 3H, SE Uppsala, Sweden Abstract The model of the ecology of information work (Huvila, 2006, 2009) describes the relation of knowledge organization systems, or in broader sense, the relation of information infrastructures and human information work. The present paper discusses the social aspects of information work and their impact on the interplay of information infrastructures and human activity. The theoretical underpinnings of the discussion build on the ecological approach of Gibson, infrastructural theory and social information theory. The concluding remarks summarise a reading of the earlier model that places a specific emphasis on foregrounding the social processes relating to the emergence of information infrastructures and their related information work patterns. Keywords information work, ecological approach, social capital, information foraging, communities of practice Introduction The model of the ecology of information work (Huvila, 2006, 2009) describes the relation of knowledge organization systems (KOS), or in broader sense, the relation of information infrastructures (being traditional KOS or any other means of organizing information and knowledge) and human information work. The present paper discusses the social aspects of information work and their impact on the interplay of information infrastructures and human activity. The theoretical underpinnings of the review are based on the Gibsonian ecological approach, infrastructural theory and three major social theories. 27

29 Capurro (1990) highlighted the interwovenness of the question of information ecologies and the social sphere already in the late 1980s by underlining the social character of in formation. He was sketching a pragmatic approach for addressing the problem of abundance of information and the difficulty of discerning the limits of individual messages in a global perspective. The particular issues of control, information or message pollution and the continuum from earlier information infrastructures to the newer ones are relevant in the contet of the ecological interplay of information interactions and infrastructures. Even more so, is the broader question of the influence of the social sphere on information work and its infrastructures (and vice versa) and its diverse theoretical and practical underpinnings. The present article aims at eploring some of the pertinent aspects of that inter play, but considering the scope of the issue, this discussion should be considered more as an opening paragraph rather than a comprehensive analysis of the entire question. 1 Ecology of information interactions and information infrastructures The ecological model of information interactions and infrastructures (Fig. 1; for a detailed description of the model see Huvila, 2009) is based on an observation of the dynamic relation of how knowledge is organized in information infrastructures (comprising traditional and non-traditional knowledge organization systems, information systems and all other conceivable types of systems of how information is structured or organized) and how information is present in information interactions. Different scholars have referred to various ecological notions in the information science research (e. g. Steinerová, 2010; Williamson, 1998). It is not uncommon that different authors use the terms information ecology and ecological model or approach with slightly different connotations. Besides the concept of information ecology of Davenport (1997), one of the most cited notions of its kind is discussed in the work Nardi and O Day (1999). The ecological perspective of the present model builds on the soft systems theory (Checkland, 2000) and the ecological approach of Gibson (1979) and the concepts of affordances and warrants. The notion of work has its underpinnings in the Straussian (1985) understanding of work as a comple and seemingly random yet coherent activity with certain, although often merely implicit, rules and codes. Information work is perceived as a constituent component of work, a sub-work that is present in all human activity (Huvila, 2009). The basic premiss of the model is that the process of collecting knowledge assets does not end up in a predestined knowledge claim (referring to the concept in the sense discussed by Hjørland, 2008). Reasons for a particular variation may be found both in individual people and their cognitive processes, and in their social contet, and in the structural factors of form, organization and presentation of the claims. The infrastructural characteristics (formation process, structure, and functionality of any individual KOS) afford certain distinct types of secondary knowledge claims to take shape. Respectively, certain competing knowledge claims are more unlikely to emerge (i. e. be warranted, Beghtol, 1986) within the confines of a given system than some others. 28

30 Fig. 1. Ecology and warrants of information work and knowledge organization (KO) The model is based on an empirical study of Nordic archeology professionals. Huvila (2006) points out that even though the contemporary archeology often prioritizes social and cultural readings of archeological evidence, the process of documentation and especially the one of storage and archival of the preserved objects is not necessarily very helpful for making these types of inferences. The prevalently used archeological information infrastructures (e. g. databases and cataloging systems) tend to afford the type of research that is based on the classification of archeological finds according to their material (e. g. wood or metal) or comparing the size of the objects and their provenance, instead of analyzing their functional categories or visual characteristics (Huvila, 2006, p. 239). The earlier information science literature provides other eamples of how information infrastructures and interactions affect each other, for instance, in the contet of nursing work (MacIntosh-Murray, Choo, 2005). The principal contribution of the ecological approach to the KO research may be considered to be in its capability to make the diverse contetual factors of the KO and information work eplicit in the form of constraints and affordances (Fidel, Pejtersen, 2005). The ecological viewpoint makes it easier to understand how infrastructures affect the ways how people work with information and how the information activity supports the emergence of certain types of infrastructures. The questions of choosing an appropriate content and eplicating a purpose for the provision of additional information may be based on a more precise motivation of tendering distinct affordances relating to the actual information work of a certain individuals or groups of people. Similarly, the constraints of information work may be lifted or maintained on a more warranted basis than by resorting to a guess of the user needs and behavior or to a semi-informed design decision. As pointed out earlier (Huvila, 2009), the ecological analysis of information work and KOSs does not eliminate the need for conscious design decisions, a necessary step in the development of KOSs underlined by Feinberg (2007). It rather provides means to make both information work and infrastructures more well-defined in the sense Haraway (1988) means with her notion of situated knowledges. 29

31 2 Social aspects of information interactions The present paper discusses the social aspects of information interactions within the framework of three social theories that shed light on somewhat different facets of social echange. There are obviously a plethora of other potentially relevant theories, but the choice of the three particular theories is motivated by the fact that they provide a practicable framework for eplicating the contets, outcomes and temporal and structural dimensions of social intercourse. Undoubtedly one of the most influential theories of social interaction from the 1990s onwards is the practice theory of Lave (1988) and especially the notion of community of practice introduced by Lave and Wenger in their book Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (1991). According to the authors, a community of practice is a contet where learning takes place. The notion highlights the significance of perceiving learning, knowledge creation, and in terms of the present study, information work, as an on-going activity that is embedded in authentic work and everyday life contets, meaningful activities and groups of people with shared interests, common language and procedures of work. The notion of the communities of practice has been popular in recent information science research, although as Talja (2010) remarks, the focus of the discussion has been on communities rather than practices. The notion of social capital highlights another aspect of social echange. With some eceptions (e. g. Vårheim et al., 2008), in information science research, the discussion on social capital has drawn typically from the work of Bourdieu (1980), Coleman (1988) and Put nam (2000) as in the studies of Hall and Widén-Wulff (2008), Suh and Shin (2010) and Huvila et al. (2010). The theory has also been used together with the notion of communities of practice, for instance, in the study of Audunson et al. (2011) on the role of public libraries as a meeting place for immigrant women. Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) have identified three different dimensions of social capital that according to a model of Widén-Wulff et al. (2008) have direct implications to the information behavior of individuals and groups. Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) distinguish structural, relational and content dimensions of social capital. The structural dimension is typically defined as network structures and the nature of the network ties between the actors. Structures provide channels for social interactions and information flows. The second, relational dimension is often conceptualized in terms of trust, identity, and roles. The relational dimension highlights the significance of underlying motives for sharing. Earlier studies have shown that the echange of information can be highly dependent on social relationships (Hall, Widén-Wulff, 2008). The third, content dimension is defined through shared goals, common eperience, language, and knowledge. Widén-Wulff et al. (2008) have argued that the content dimension or the social opportunities may be also seen as an outcome of the structural and relational dimensions. In contrast to the notions of communities of practice and social capital, the theory of information foraging and more specifically, the theory of social information foraging (Pirolli, 2007) presents another perspective to the social dimension of information activity. The theory is based on the similarities of the foraging behavior of early humans and the ways how people still tend to seek and find information in their environment. In addition to Pirolli and his colleagues, for instance, O Connor et al. (2003) and Spink (2010) have worked on similar premises and eplored the actual and metaphorical similarities of seeking information and sustenance. From the point of view of the present discussion, a significant implication of this type of theorizing is how the notion of foraging provides an apparatus for eplicating the temporal, social and strategic dimensions of information activity within a single framework. 30

32 3 Social information ecology The premiss of the present discussion is that the social theories are useful in eplicating the impact and of the social sphere in the ecological model. Considering the theoretical underpinnings of the model in the ecological approach and soft systems theory, the dimension of social echange may be argued to be implicitly present in the cycle of warrants, affordances and constraints. In spite of this implicit presence of the social, it does make sense to eplicate it in more detail. There are, however, certain factors that need to be considered in advance. From an analytical point of view, it is important not to confuse the surrogate level infrastructural aspects with the characteristics relating to the form and structure of the data itself. In the study of archeologists information work (Huvila, 2006, 240), one of the informants pointed out that in spite of the frequent eplicit theoretical undertakings to alter the prevalent viewpoints, the archeological view of the past tends to privilege object-centric interpretations of human thinking and activity, while historians perceive the past often in a conspicuously literary sense. In spite of their close relation to infrastructures, these material related tendencies do not necessarily relate to the affordances and constraints posed by a system of organising information, but to the form of the information objects themselves. It seems plausible to argue that material remains are bound to privilege materialistic interpretations and literary sources tetual information interactions. The form produces a separate set of constraints and affordances that may or may not resemble infrastructural, behavioral and for instance, cultural, facets of information ecology. Similarly to the relative eternality of the information object specific affordances and constraints, also the social sphere may be seen as partly independent of the infrastructural premises. There are social motivations that are parallel to the infrastructure and that (at least relatively) independently permit or restrain information interactions. Information infrastructures have certain characteristics that affect information work, but at the same time, it is possible to use them in a particular manner that affects the qualities of actual affordances and constrains. In the case of archeological information work, the social and professional ambitions to secure future jobs in an etremely difficult employment situation directed the use of available information infrastructures beyond the actual infrastructural affordances and constraints (Huvila, 2006). The correlation of information source use and perceived success in corporate finance work (Huvila, 2010) might indicate of similar eploitation of infrastructures. In spite of the reservations, the discussed social theories may be used to open up the social dimension of the ecological model. Firstly, the notion of the community of practice can help to place information interactions in the contet of specific communities i. e. particular groups with a shared interest, craft or a profession (Duguid, 2005). In the sense of Lave and Wenger (1991), the ecological cycle may be seen as specific to particular communities of practice. The process of developing and consolidating a shared interest in a particular domain and the evolution of the domain itself may be seen similarly as a result of the co-evolution of information practices and infrastructures. Both practices and infrastructures evolve over time to become increasingly particular for a specific community of practice. The formation of communities was clearly visible in the study of the information work of archeologists (Huvila, 2006). Standardized and to a degree, ritualized information interactions warranted particular types of information infrastructures and systems with direct affordances and constraints to future information interactions (Huvila, 2006). The emergence 31

33 and distinction between different informational and social value-based communities was similarly apparent in the case of corporate finance specialists (Huvila, 2010). The preference of certain types of sources and the according formation of the infrastructure of the most used information sources and the associated values of successfulness may be seen as a form of distinctive communities that share particular practices and values. There are also other eamples in the literature. The nursing work studied by MacIntosh-Murray and Choo (2005) incorporated a similar aspect of the interplay of how information was organized and how it was interlinked to the working practices of the nurses. The interaction of information practices and infrastructures may also be seen as a pro cess that increases social capital of individuals within participating communities. In the light of the three dimensions of social capital (Nahapiet, Ghoshal, 1998), the ecological model incorporates aspects of the structural dimension in form of infrastructures and relational dimension in social information interactions. The fact that information interactions and infrastructures are intertwined, may be seen as a source of social opportunities i. e. the content dimension of social capital. Their ecological relation is not only an observable characteristic of the interaction of the two entities, but also a process with perceptible social benefits for participating individuals. The interplay of the different dimensions is apparent in the formation of communities of archeologists. Archeological research report and associated documentation practices may be considered as a form of information infrastructure, in the sense of Nahapiet and Ghoshal a structure that supported social echange and the emergence of the social capital in the form of professional opportunities, prestige and, for instance, career advancement. The social information interactions and their relational underpinnings formed a relational dimension for the emergence of content as information and social opportunities. The findings of Huvila et al. (2010) from a study of social capital in the virtual world of Second Life provide corresponding evidence in the contet of virtual worlds. According to the negative correlation of social capital within and outside of the vir tual world, Second Life seemed to form a comparable infrastructure that supports distinct kinds of informational and social opportunities and activities for its residents. The notions of community of practice and social capital have been used to eplicate the implications of the ecological model for the formation of communities and the accumulation of social opportunities in the form of social capital. The social information for aging theory (Pirolli, 2009) suggests that there are certain boundaries that affect the shaping of the social and informational benefits in the ecological cycle. It is necessary to stress that the information foraging theory is specific to information seeking and use whereas the eco logical model is a model of structural interactions. Therefore, some caution is necessary while considering the reciprocal implications of the two frameworks. Firstly, the theory of social information foraging may be suggested to imply the benefits of social versus individual co-evolution of information interactions and infrastructures. From an information seeking perspective, social foraging has been observed to produce more relevant information for individual information seekers. In the general contet of social information interactions, it might be similarly assumed that social foraging does consequtively produce more relevant information infrastructures. Secondly, the theory suggests also that the direct benefits of social foraging decrease over time and when the number of collaborators increase. It may be assumed that time and the increasing number of collaborators may have similar effects in the ecological model. The effects of the social foraging of information may be observed in several contets of social information echange. The challenges related to the development of universal knowledge organization highlight the initial positive effect of collaborative work as the rep32

34 resentativeness of the system (information infrastructure) increases and the impending problems of accommodating all relevant viewpoints and information interactions into a single framework. The parado of the prevalence of local information and knowledge practices and generally acknowledged benefits of universal infrastructures is apparent in the contet of archeology. The diverse, but in their local contets relevant forms of information and information practices have been very difficult to accommodate in centralized registers that would be highly useful in comparative research and, for instance, cultural heritage management (Huvila, 2009). The present discussion has made ecursions to the implications of social echange in the ecological model of information interactions and infrastructures. Even if the systemic perspective of the model incorporates a social dimension, a broader consideration of relevant social theories can provide useful insights into the social aspects of the ecology of in formation interactions and infrastructures. It may be concluded that the reciprocal influence of information interactions and infrastructures have both an informational and a social impact, and the both have a further reciprocal repercussions in the process of the emergence of warrants, and affordances and constraints. In the light of the discussed theories, it may be suggested that the relation of the discussed theories and the model may be conceptualized in terms of that the ecology of information interactions and infrastructures have a propensity to impact the formation of the communities of practice and social capital. At the same time, however, the informational opportunities of the interplay are bounded by the duration and heterogeneity of socialisation and the number of participating individuals suggested by the social information foraging theory. Conclusion The relevance of eplicating the social dimensions of the ecological approach for information lies in the possibility to eamine the knowledge formation and the processes of organizing and using knowledge as socially interlinked and anchored projects following the recommendation of, for instance, Chatman (1996). According to the model, knowledge formation is an evolving process rather than a series of actions related to a thing called knowledge or a knowledge claim. The present discussion has highlighted the social as pects of the interplay by referring to three different theories of social echange. The notion of social does not pertain only to information interactions and infrastructures as individual components, but also to the ecology of their interplay as well. Besides having social under pinnings, the ecology of information interactions and infrastructures have social implications as well. The notions of communities of practice, social capital and social information foraging can be used to shed light on the contetuality of the ecological process in communities, the social outcomes of the process in terms of social capital and its dynamics in terms of the theory of social information foraging. The new perspectives to the model can be useful in eplicating the social aspects of the consequences and causes of implementing KOSs and other information infrastructures. Similarly it can be used to elucidate the non-informational factors of success and failure in their implementation and use. The approach also has implications on the design of systems. The augmented framework provides further means to conceptualize how information systems links to human activity, and how and why the users choose to use and not to use different types of information infrastructures. 33

35 References AUDUNSON, R., ESSMAT, S., AABØ, S. (2011). Public libraries: A meeting place for immigrant women? Library & Information Science Research, 33(3), Available from: < x>. BEGHTOL, C. (1986). Semantic validity: Concepts of warrant in bibliographic classification systems. Library Resources and Technical Services, (April/June), BOURDIEU, P. (1980). La capital social. Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, (31), 2 3. CAPURRO, R. (1990). Towards an information ecology. In I. Wormell (Ed.). Information Quality. Definitions and Dimensions. Proceedings of the NORDINFO International seminar Information and Quality, Royal School of Librarianship, Copenhagen, August London: Taylor Graham. Pp ). Available from: <>. CHATMAN, E. A. (1996). The impoverished life-world of outsiders. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47(3), CHECKLAND, P. (2000). Soft systems methodology a thirty year retrospective. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 17(1), COLEMAN, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. The American Journal of Sociology, 94, S95 S120. Available from: < >. DAVENPORT, T. H. (1997). Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment. New York: Oford University Press. DUGUID, P. (2005). The art of knowing: Social and tacit dimensions of knowledge and the limits of the community of practice. Information Society, 21(2), FEINBERG, M. (2007). Hidden bias to responsible bias: an approach to information systems based on Haraways situated knowledges. In Proceedings of the COLIS6 conference Featuring the Future. Available from: <>. FIDEL, R., PEJTERSEN, A. (2005). Theories of information behavior: A researcher s guide, chap. Cognitive Work Analysis. Medford, NJ : Information Today. Gibson, J. J. (1979). The perception of the visual world. Houghton Mifflin. HALL, H., WIDÉN-WULFF, G. (2008). Social echange, social capital and information sharing in online environments: lessons from three case studies. In M.-L. Huotari, E. Davenport (Eds.). From information provision to knowledge production: Proceedings of the international conference for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Information Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Finland, June 23 25, 2008, vol. 8 of Studia Humaniora Ouluensia. Oulu: Oulu University Press. Pp HARAWAY, D. (1988). Situated knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies, 14(3), HJØRLAND, B. (2008). What is knowledge organization (ko)? Knowledge organization, 35(23), HUVILA, I. (2006). The ecology of information work A case study of bridging archaeological work and virtual reality based knowledge organisation. Åbo: Åbo Akademi University Press. Diss. Åbo Akademi University. HUVILA, I. (2009). Ecological framework of information interactions and information infrastructures. Journal of Information Science, 35(6), Available from: < v1>. 34

36 HUVILA, I. (2010). Information sources and perceived success in corporate finance. JASIST, 61(11), Available from: < /asi.21387>. HUVILA, I., HOLMBERG, K., EK, S., WIDÉN-WULFF, G. (2010). Social capital in second life. Online Information Review, 34(3), LAVE, J. (1988). Cognition in practice : mind, mathematics, and culture in everyday life. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. LAVE, J., WENGER, E. (1991). Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press. MACINTOSH-MURRAY, A., CHOO, C. (2005). Information Behavior in the Contet of Improving Patient Safety. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 56(12), NAHAPIET, J., GHOSHAL, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), NARDI, B. A., O DAY, V. L. (1999). Information ecologies: using technology with heart. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. O CONNOR, B., COPELAND, H., KEARNS, J. L. (2003). Hunting and Gathering on the Information Savanna. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press. PIROLLI, P. (2007). Information Foraging Theory: Adaptive Interaction with Information. Oford: Oford University Press. PIROLLI, P. (2009). An elementary social information foraging model. In CHI 09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems.. New York, NY, USA: ACM. Pp PUTNAM, R. (2000). Bowling alone. New York: Simon & Schuster. SPINK, A. (2010). Information Behavior: An Evolutionary Instinct. Berlin New York: Springer. STEINEROVÁ, J. (2010). Ecological dimensions of information literacy. In Information Research. 15 (4). Special Supplement: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science Unity in diversity Part 2. Available from: <>. STRAUSS, A. (1985). Work and the division of labor. The Sociological Quarterly, 26(1), Available from: < / j tb00212.> SUH, A., SHIN, K.-s. (2010). Eploring the effects of online social ties on knowledge sharing: A comparative analysis of collocated vs dispersed teams. Journal of Information Science, 36(4), Available from: <>. TALJA, S. (2010). Jean laves practice theory. In G. J. Leckie, L. M. Given, J. Buschman (Eds.) Critical theory for library and information science eploring the social from across the disciplines. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. VÅRHEIM, A., STEINMO, S., IDE, E. (2008). Do libraries matter? Public libraries and the creation of social capital. Journal of Documentation, 64(6), WIDEN-WULFF, G., et al. (2008). Information behaviour meets social capital: a conceptual model. Journal of Information Science, 34(3), Available from: <>. 35

37 WILLIAMSON, K. (1998). Discovered by chance: The role of incidental information acquisition in an ecological model of information use. Library & Information Science Research, 20(1), Available from: < 07101b7da3e464f2e1a66b1aa15800f0>. About the author Isto Huvila is working as a post-doc research fellow at the department of ALM (Archival Studies, Library and Information Science and Museums and Cultural Heritage Studies) at Uppsala University in Sweden and is an adjunct professor (docent) in information management at the School of Business and Economics, Department of Information Studies, Åbo Akademi University in Åbo, Finland. His primary areas of research include information work, information management, knowledge organization, cultural heritage information, participation in archives and documents management and library 2.0 related issues such as information service, information literacy and information in virtual worlds. 36

38 Information Ecology of the Academic Information Environment in Slovakia Jela Steinerová Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Philosophy Dept. of Library and Information Science Gondova 2, Bratislava, Slovakia Summary Introduction. The paper is aimed at integration of the concept of information ecology with empirical data from the academic information environment in Slovakia. The concept of information is briefly reviewed. Information ecology is determined as quest for harmony among social actors, information resources and systems. Main question concentrates on possible benefits of information ecology for new models of information activities. Methods. Within the grounded theory three methods for data acquisition were used, namely semi-structured interviews with information managers, a questionnaire survey of university repositories, and concept mapping. Results. Data were analyzed and categorized into si categories: values, problems, community, tools, ecological elements, information literacy. Eperimental concept maps and topic maps of final theses in Library and information Science are described. As a result ecological information is determined and an ecological model of academic information environment is presented (behavioral, semantic, and visual components). A new model of digital library for education and science is eplained. Conclusions. Surveys confirmed the importance and benefits of ecological models of academic information environment. Practical and educational implications are derived for design of ecological digital libraries and integration of social and technological components in science 2.0. Keywords information ecology, information, academic information environment, empirical surveys, digital libraries, concept maps 37

39 Introduction Information ecology is a concept that could enrich research and practice of information sciences. This paper is aimed at integration of the concept of information ecology with re search data on academic information environment in Slovakia (including questionnaire sur veys of library users behavior, interviews with managers, and eperiments with knowledge organization tools in repositories). Main questions of the research concentrate on possible benefits of information ecology concept for the improvement of academic information environment including digital libraries and digital scholarship. New models of information ecology are needed for information strategies in academic institutions. 1 Information concept and information ecology Determination of the concept of information is an issue which belongs to fundamental questions of information science. Philosophy of information (Floridi, 2010, Furner, 2010) asks what information is, in which form it can eist, which its characteristics are, and what are the conditions of its eistence. The unified definition of information has not been accepted so far. The reason is mainly that information is not a unitary concept, but a concept which emerges from integrative levels of interactions between humans and information environment. It is a result of transformations of cognitive structures directed to changes of knowledge states. First theoretical models of information are represented especially by the Mathematical Theory of Information formed by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver. This theory and the famous communication model are concentrated on the amount of information, however, it does not deal with the meaning of transferred information. Neuroscience and cognitive sciences emphasize information as electro-chemical signals in brain, results of cognition, or genetic coding. At cognitive level information can be determined as any difference that makes difference (Gregory Bateson) (Bates, 2010). At metaphysical level information links with recognition of structure in the environment. Of course, many approaches and concepts of information in information science are influenced by other human and social science, e. g. philosophy, logics, psychology, cognitive science, informatics. Bates (2010) divided these approaches to communicative (semiotic), activity (information as event), structural/evolutionary, or social perspectives. For studies of information ecology changes in cognitive states are important (Capurro, Hjørland, 2003), as well as structural approaches (information as a type of structure and pattern of ordering of information objects). In information ecology a framework for definition of information in its lifecycle (from creation, through processing and managing to information use) can be productive, as it is closely connected with human behavior and changes of different manifestations of the substance of information. Environmental information is included in the environment and different contets help its different interpretations. This concept is interesting for information ecology based on evolutionary structural approaches (Bates, 2005, Furner, 2010). Environmental (contetual) factors help integrate cognitive, linguistic and social patterns in the concept of information which is close to concept creation. These are brief background principles for framework of information ecology. 38

40 2 Information ecology and ecological information use Information ecology is an established concept in information science, especially in information management and information behavior studies. It is based on comple relationships between humans and technologies while using information in communities and organizations. Information ecology was determined by Davenport and Prusak (1997) as making information meaningful. Information ecology as a metaphor should help manage information environment and information styles. Another concept of information ecologies (Nardi, O Day, 1999) is based on relationships between information technologies and people in transforming information to knowledge. Information ecologies represent procedures, goals, community values supported by technologies. Information ecologies are places where people use tools and in social relations help each other in information activities. Ecological model of information seeking and use (Williamson, 2005) depicts a social actor involved in such settings as information needs, specific personal, physical, working and social contets. The ecological features of adaptations and monitoring of information environment are here emphasized. Based on environmental psychology an ecological constructionist model of user information behavior was developed (Nahl, 2007). It integrates affective, cognitive and sen sorimotoric parts of information activities (in the ACS model). Information ecology is also connected with studies of affective information behavior (Nahl, Bilal, 2007). Emo tions influence perception and use of information as well as relationships to information technologies. Information ecology is a concept that can enhance not only practical applications of libraries, services and systems, but also the understanding of the notion of information. The reason is that it presents broader view on relationship between human beings and information environment including information technologies, and broader view on the information lifecycle. Information ecology concept helps us identify those factors that make an impact on the information environment. Critical components are tools for eliminating information overload, redundancy and risks of information use. At micro-level we determine such components as individual cognitive, affective, sensomotoric skills as part of information styles and relevance assessment in the information environment. At macro-level information ecology includes management of information sources, systems, and environments. Ethical, legal and security awareness, values and standards are ecological parts of information behavior as well. Based on our analyzes we determine three principles of the ecological information use. The first principle covers new features of information systems which regulate information processing. It is aimed at harmonious adaptations of people and information environment. The second principle is based on knowledge of information behavior patterns and information styles. It means cognition, visual thinking, communication, adaptations, interactions, satisficing and optimizing. It is managed by constant movements between internal knowledge environment and eternal information objects and sources. The third principle is ecological re-use of information objects in new contets and situations. We regard ecological relevance as a new concept representing the interplay between information styles and emotions on part of people, organization and construction of meanings on part of information, and communication, contets and information mash-ups on part of technologies. Ecological relevance in the electronic environment involves added va39

41 lues of personalization, contets, collaboration, and visualization. Special filters for intake of information from information environment include inbuilt mechanisms of evaluation of objects and concept categorization and classification. Cognitive turn in information seeking and retrieval was eplained by many authors (e. g. Ingwersen, Järvelin, 2005, Ford, 2005). Cognitive abilities and cognitive styles are parts of information styles. Cognitive styles are regarded as individual preferences in perceiving, memory, thinking and problem solving. Eamples include field dependence and field independence, or visual and verbal styles. Better knowledge of information styles in the electronic environment can help find ecological framework for information use. Information ecology connects sense-making, participation and collaboration in interactive information environments. Ecological principles as organization of information, interactivity and visualization are emphasized. Ecological approach could help understand how information places and spaces in web can add value to information. Active information use in the electronic environment includes personalization, filtering, collaboration and integration of information. Traditions of information behavior are connected with contets and situations. Eperts call for more studies devoted to new conceptual frameworks and features of systems for future (Vakkari, 2008). 3 Academic information environment surveys of the project The project VEGA Academic information environment modeling from the perspective of the information ecology was concentrated on potential of information ecology for the improvement of academic information environment (Steinerová, 2009). Research questions include: Is information ecology a productive concept for reconceptualization of the information environ ment? What are ecological features and components of the academic information environment? Can information technologies and other knowledge organization tools enhance the ecological in formation use? How can we enhance sense-making and provide contets for better ecological information use (learning, research, etc.)? The conceptual framework for the project is depicted on Fig. 1. It shows the interconnections between social actors, tools, values, and communities. For this framework we used results of our previous empirical studies (information behavior styles, and relevance assessment behavior) (Steinerová, Šušol, 2005, 2007, Steinerová, Grešková, Šušol, 2008). The project itself was divided into the following three lines: 1. survey of perceptions of information managers of the academic information environment in Slovak universities, 2. survey of building university digital repositories in Slovak universities, 3. eperimental concept mapping as part of creation of the tetbook and concept mapping in a database of selected final theses in Library and Information Science. 40

42 Fig. 1. The conceptual framework of the project In further conceptual work we developed a more detailed view on basic categories of research in three dimensions: semantic, behavioral, and visual (cognitive) (Fig. 2). The semantic dimension conceptualized the constructions of meanings, sense-making and relevance assessment. The behavioral dimension concentrates on values, building of communities (social networking), and information behavior (seeking) styles. The visual (cognitive) dimension includes especially tools that can support information behavior and manipulations with meaning. The representation of these tools can be information horizons, concept maps (or other knowledge and topic maps, and other knowledge organization tools (e. g. ontologies, taonomies, etc.). Fig. 2. The conceptual framework of the research in three dimensions and categories 41

43 3.1 Methods and methodology Methodological concept of the survey follows the principle of the grounded theory. The main tool for gathering the empirical data was the semi-structured interview with selected information managers and directors of libraries, deans and other managers of universities in Slovakia. We selected major universities in large Slovak cities (Bratislava, Nitra, Trnava, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Košice, Prešov), directors of selected academic and research libraries and several Czech eperts (Brno, Prague). 17 interviews were carried out and the material was categorized into si major categories. Demographic data confirm that numbers of interviewees were divided into 10 men, 7 women, the average age was 49, average number of years of professional eperience was 25. The review of positions of interviewees is presented in Table 1. The aim of the semi-structured interviews was to find out the opinions of managers on values, tools, and community in the academic information environment with respect to problems and possible improvement of the information activities. Academic information environment was eplained as a set of sources, institutions, services, and information systems and people in different roles who create and use information in education and research. It is that part of the university which provides information and includes information behavior. Information ecology is a concept that integrates technologies, people, and information resources in order to harmonize multiple uses of information. A special tool was developed a set of questions with methodical guidelines (22 questions in three topical sections). Methodological details and the whole set of questions will be included in the final report. For the analysis of empirical data we used content analysis. Data from interviews were recorded in tables and spreadsheets. The data were categorized into si main categories which form the conceptual model of perceptions of the academic information environment. They include: values, problems, tools, community, ecological elements, information literacy. The complementary method of an online questionnaire survey of university repositories was also applied. The online questionnaire composed of 30 questions was distributed to academic libraries in April and May The aim of the questionnaire was to identify the state of institutional repositories in Slovak universities with the emphasis on activities of academic libraries, ICT centers, publishing departments, and other parts aimed at the information process. The institutional repository is determined as digital sources including outputs of the intellectual capital of the university as part of the integrated interactive information system. Totally 27 responses were included into the analysis. The respondents came from major universities and faculties in Bratislava, Košice, Prešov, Trnava, Trenčín, Nitra, Banská Bystrica, Žilina. Topics of the questionnaire covered the initiatives in building Table 1. Numbers and positions of interviewees Position Director of library Director of IT center Head of the department Vice-rector Librarian Dean Project manager Total 42 Number

44 repositories, registration of outputs, e-learning, publishing, and cooperation. Methodological details and results will be included in the final report. Eperimental modeling and concept mapping was used as part of the terminological dictionary to the tetbook Information strategies in the electronic environment (Steinerová, Grešková, Ilavská, 2010). Several concept maps visualize the content of the tetbook and can help students learn and assess relevance. Concept maps show the most important topics and links between them that create information ecological structures of digital libraries for education and research (Steinerová, 2010). We also used concept mapping for knowledge organization in a digital repository of final theses in Library and Information Science. Most frequent topics were visualized and re vealed changes in topics in the last 10 years from traditional library services to information architecture and information behavior. 3.2 Results of surveys and eperiments of information ecology The si categories of the analysis of interviews helped the researchers provide structure for the interpretation of their opinions on the academic information environment (values, problems, tools, community, ecological elements, information literacy). In the category of values open education and research are regarded as benefits of the academic information environment. Accessibility of information sources is emphasized with supportive ICT infrastructure. Adaptability and creativity of people who work in bad conditions were highly appreciated. In the category of problems especially information overload and lack of integration of sources and systems were mentioned. Low level of managerial communication and information inequity are embedded in problematic communication and cooperation. Rigidity of organization structures, information overload, and insufficient integration of sources and systems were also mentioned. As for the tools more integration and electronic communication tools were required, but also finding strategic partnerships and creation of information strategies. In the category of community people represented the critical factor. The community should be strengthened by motivating leadership, common goals and the university culture. Many epressed the lack of university culture. The community could be strengthened by common goals and emphasis on quality of education and research, and informal electronic communication. Some respondents epressed the problem of the low-level of transfer of managerial information. The ecological elements were epressed metaphorically as cleaning, finding consistency of information worlds, or alchemy. The respondents put emphasis on creativity and innovations of people (students, teachers, researchers). The holistic perspective was also mentioned, especially in the contet of linking of sources and intellect. For the improvement of information literacy the most important challenges included interest, motivation, terminology and available technological tools. Interesting opinions on information literacy emphasized differences between the older and younger generations in access to information technologies, assessing and analyzing the information. Ecological information literacy was elaborated in detail in another work (Steinerová, 2010). Gaps are in support of creative potential of people and in building value system and culture of institutions. Most important results of the questionnaire survey of the academic repositories indicate that there is no central repository in most academic institutions, but that universities usually build several separately distributed repositories of electronic documents (44,83 %). Surprisingly, the academic library initiated the building of a repository (in almost 70 % cases) 43

45 and the role of the academic library is important for registration of publishing activities, especially tetbooks, but also final theses and the research outputs. In the category of problems as the most important problems emerged lack of legislation and coordination. The information systems in most universities are not fully integrated (registrations, e-learning, publishing, library systems). Availability of electronic documents is provided especially for the academic community (45 %), but in most cases the intranet is still missing for this purpose. Most important obstacles in building and distributing electronic documents are copyright issues and lack of internal rules. The closest cooperation was confirmed between libraries and IT departments. Generally, the benefits of the institutional repository are recognized (integration and systematic access to information, multiple re-use of information), but the realization is still problematic. In the third part of the research project we developed the concept-based terminological dictionary on the topic of information seeking, information retrieval and information strategies. It is based on a tetbook on Information Strategies in the Electronic Environment (Steinerová, Grešková, Ilavská, 2010). Main topics of the tetbook (e. g. information seeking in the electronic environment, digital libraries, categorization and classification) are represented by conceptual maps supplemented by definitions, schemas, models, pictures, eamples. The maps are developed in the system C-maps (Novak, Cañas, 2008, Steinerová, 2008). Mapping of contets in information science have been eplained by a number of authors (e. g. Chang and Lee, 2001, Hook and Börner, 2005, Allen and Kim, 2001). Concept maps are an efficient tool for representation of research results and for the enhancement of students learning. They provide students with support for information analysis and for terminological understanding. We also developed several concept maps based on 15 final diploma and dissertation theses in Library and Information Science. They are stored in a small eperimental database and represent features of organization of information for re-use of knowledge in further elaboration of the topics. These maps will be interpreted in detail in the final report. Based on keywords etracted from selected diploma theses in the last ten years we applied the frequency analysis (of keywords) to form clusters and links and visualized the top ics of diploma theses in 5 topic maps (for the years 2001 to 2010). We found the most frequent topics and correlations between them. While the topics in the first years ( ) were concentrated on internet and library services, in new topics of in formation behavior and history of book culture emerged. In 2010 dominated the topics of theory of information science and assessment of webpages. Most frequent topics in the last ten years revealed orientation on digital environment, webpages, metadata, and the shift was recorded especially towards information behavior and readers literacy. As an eample the topic map for the years is depicted on the Fig. 3. Concept maps show the most important topics and links between them that create information ecological structures of digital libraries for education and research. Concept maps can be used for knowledge organization in digital repositories. Visualization of concepts and relations can support community collaboration and new model of relevance. The most important is contet, ranking and linking, and users (who, where, when and for which purpose uses information. 44

46 Fig. 3. The topic map of final theses ( ) Concept mapping can disclose not only eplicit, but also implicit meanings of information. It can support emotional perception and faster understanding and derivation of meanings. Concept mapping as an ecological tool can have further implications for personal information management and academic environment. Concept maps support ecological use and re-use of key information elements and enhance personal understanding of topics and cognitive information processing. Concept maps are also ecological as they eliminate cognitive load in information processing by showing contets. 4 Ecological model of the academic information environment Based on main results of our surveys and eperiments we can determine the ecological features of the information environment. Categories of relevance, interaction, and cognition in contets can be regarded as factors which enhance sense-making in the information environment. Ecological features include eliminating information overload, adapting of information services to people. Ecological features are also characteristics of information embedded in social activities, cognitive processes, contets and situations. Rational managing of the information process is an ecological process in that it cleans information environment through communication of communities. The ecological tools of information environment are especially knowledge organization and knowledge representation languages. Ecological essence of information behavior is mirrored in evolving information strategies and information structures. 45

47 As a result we proposed a three-dimensional model of the academic information environment. (Fig. 4). It is based on ecological information which can be determined as semantic, behavioral, and visual filtering of the information environment. The ecological information can be manifested both in the level of humans and systems. The dimension of semantics means adding of contets to representations of information objects and rich semantic relations. The dimension of information behavior applies knowledge on information styles. From the viewpoint of human information behavior the ecological information strategies include collaboration and networking (visible in the electronic environment in communities or virtual teams), but also the principle of least effort. The other side of fleibility and serendipity of information strategies are information overload and problematic quality of information. The visual (mainly cognitive) dimension uses graphic representations of concepts and categories. The main ecological strategy is the construction of meaning from visual representations of contets which carry additional implicit information (shape, color, size, etc.). Ecological information helps apply semantic, collaborative and visual filters in concept mapping of the academic information environment. In practice ecological information is represented by concept mapping and organization of information, but also by relevance assessment and information behavior of social actors. Values, community and tools are interconnected in information sources, systems, services, and products. Ecological information can be modeled by means of new features of information systems and digital libraries. For eample visual representations of concepts (concept maps) can be built into the interfaces of digital libraries. Ecological information can be defined as a miture of in-built and directed filters (both human and system) which are ap plied to clean the information environment in the semantic, behavioral, and cognitive (visual) dimensions. It is a type of social information manifested in different levels which are analogical, not unitary. Ecological information is characterized especially by processes of sense-making, constructions of meaning and discovery of relevance. Fig. 4. Ecological model of the academic information environment: ecological information 46

48 5 Ecological digital libraries for education and research Ecological digital libraries for education and research can be determined on principles of ecological information. Ecological digital library is a space which evolves together with information needs and information behavior. Based on needs and preferences access to sources and information architecture is evolving. The priority of the digital library is support of presentation, communication, and collaboration. Intelligent interfaces are adaptable and fleible including linked contet seeking, collaborative and faceted searching. As an eample we can mention the concept of the digital library INVENT (Interactive Visual Environments) (Fast, Sedig, 2005). Digital libraries become parts of new ways of communication in short-term groups (e. g. classroom) or longer term groups (family, friends). Social community emerges in a variety of places and spaces. User-generated services can be tailored to social networking. Ecological characteristics of digital libraries are: the added value from disintegrated and integrated information objects, features of new social media, networking, visual features of interactive interfaces, adaptive personalization, object re-use and mash-ups. The following five components of digital libraries can be interpreted in terms of ecological information: the knowledge, communicative, value, semantic (representational), and technological components. The knowledge component can be organized on different levels of granularity and compleity with support of cognitive activities in filtering, analyzes, interpretation, categorization and classification (in special knowledge organization tools). In the communicative components preferences of communication styles of students, teachers, researchers can be taken into account. Typical social communicative activities in digital libraries are dialogue, discussions, sharing, comments, reviewing. Collaborative software can help realize different levels of participatory activities, namely collaborative writing and collaborative teamwork. The value component relates to a system of values in information processing. Digital library is here an ecological tool for adding value to information objects, from metadata to knowledge base. The added value emerges from simulations, eperiments, forecasting, data and tet mining. In scholarly communication a new value chain is formed by reviewing, quality and relevance assessments. The semantic component is composed of knowledge representations embedded in contets. Tetual, numeric, visual, and auditive representations can be integrated with human reasoning, decision-making, and problem solving. The technological component of digital libraries is framed in ubiquitous electronic information environments. While in traditional library documents are selected, acquired, stored, organized, and used, in digital library the epistemic and physical processes can be transformed into ecological interactions and adaptations to tasks, situations, and needs. Conclusions Concepts of information and information ecology were briefly presented as the framework for main results of the project on information ecology of the academic information environment. Results confirm that new models and concepts of the information environment are needed in search for the improvement of relationships between information and people 47

49 mediated by information technologies. Synthesized data confirm the need to better integrate systems, people, sources of the academic information environment. We determined ecological information as a type of information on which we can build a new model of the academic information environment. Ecological information means those cognitive (visual), semantic and behavioral filters that can help make sense and construct meanings in the information environment. The presented ecological model elaborates on three dimensions of the ecological information environment, both at human and systems levels. Educational implications of information ecology are involved in concept-based learning and user-centered information literacy. Information ecology can support sense making and relevance construction as part of information literacy. Concept mapping can disclose not only eplicit, but also implicit meanings of information. It can support emotional perception and derivation of meanings. In emerging new concepts and visions of science digital libraries can be integrated with publishing systems and e-learning. Information services are transformed into support of scholars ideas, visions and innovations. Information ecology is connected with science 2.0 which integrates technological innovations with social structures. Information services have to be part of scholarly processes, from creation to use of knowledge. Practical implications lead to building meaningful conceptual structures in digital libraries. Ecological features can support discovery of new information and learning. Designers of systems and services can be inspired by ecological information use. The idea of the digital networked social library is embodied in three dimensions of the ecological model (semantic, visual, behavioral) and helps understand and enhance interactivity, cognition, relevance, creativity and community building. New approach to the academic information environment is based on knowledge of human information behavior, surveys and analyzes of interviews with information managers. Ecological information means especially multiple re-use of successful information strategies and use. Three dimensions of the model are manifested in collaborative, semantic and visual seeking and use. The information ecology concept can help integrate information-related studies with other scientific disciplines in an effort to find hidden structural contets (e. g. neural networks, social networks). In this sense information science is important as part of the concept of science 2.0 integrating innovations and social relationships with advanced technologies. References ALLEN, Bryce, KIM, Kyung-Sun Person and Contet in Information Seeking: Interactions between Cognitive and Task Variables. In The New Review of Information Behaviour Research. Studies of Information Seeking in Contet. Vol. 2, Cambridge: Taylor Graham, (2001), BATES, Marcia An Introduction to Metatheories, Theories, and Models. Chapter 1. In Theories of Information Behavior. Ed. By K. Fisher, S. Erdelez, L. McKechnie. Meford, NJ., Information Today, 2005, s BATES, Marcia Information. In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences. 3rd ed. New YorK, Taylor & Graham, 2010, s

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51 NAHL, Diane, BILAL, Dania Eds. Information and Emotion: the emergent affective paradigm in information behavior research and theory. Medford, NJ: Information Today s. ISBN NARDI, B. A., O Day, V. L. (1999). Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge: MIT Press. NOVAK, J. D., Cañas, A. J The theory underlying concept maps and how to construct them, Technical Report IHMC CmapTools Rev Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Retrieved 30 November, 2010 from: <>. SARACEVIC, Tefko Information Science. In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences. Ed. By Marcia J. Bates, Mary Niles Maack. New York: Taylor and francis, SHNEIDERMAN, Ben Science 2.0 [online ]. In Science. Vol. 319, March 2008, p Retrieved from: <>. SONNENWALD, D. H Scientific Collaboration: A Synthesis of Challenges and Strategies. In ARIST Draft, January 2006 STEINEROVÁ, J., Šušol, J Library users in human information behaviour. In Online Information Review. 29, (2,) STEINEROVÁ, J., Šušol, J Users information behaviour a gender perspective. In Information Research. 11, (3), paper 251. Dostupné na: paper251.html STEINEROVÁ, Jela Seeking relevance in the academic information use. In Information Research. Vol. 13, No. 4, 2008, s Available at: <>. Also published in: Information seeking in contet. Vilnius: Vilnius university, 2008, p STEINEROVÁ, Jela Relevance assessment for digital libraries. In Mousaion Vol. 25, No. 2, STEINEROVÁ, Jela Ecological dimensions of information literacy. In Information Research. Vol. 15, No. 4. December 2010 Paper CoLIS 719. Available at: <>. STEINEROVÁ, Jela, GREŠKOVÁ, Mirka, ILAVSKÁ, Jana Informačné stratégie v elektronickom prostredí. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, s. ISBN STEINEROVÁ, Jela Veda 2.0. ekologické modely informačnej podpory vedeckej komunikácie. In ITLib Roč., č. 4, 2010, s VAKKARI, Pertti Trends and approaches in information behavior research. In Information Research, 13(4) paper 361. Available at <>. WILLIAMSON, K Ecological Theory of Human Information Behavior. In Theories of Information Behavior. Medford, Information Today 2005, s Acknowledgement The paper was prepared as part of the research project VEGA 1/0429/10 Academic information environment modeling from the perspective of information ecology and APVV TradiCe. 50

52 About the author Jela Steinerová is professor in Library and Information Science at the Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. She specializes in human information behavior, cognitive and social issues of information use, and information ecology. Her teaching activities include subjects of Information Behavior, Information Products, Semiotics, etc. She is the author of three monographs, published in foreign journals and lectured at many national and international conferences. She has managed several research projects and international conferences, won several international grants and study stays. Lately she has been the head of a research project aimed at the topic of in formation ecology (VEGA 1/2481/10 Academic information environment modeling from the perspective of information ecology). 51


54 Information Ecology of a University Department Michal Lorenz Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts Division of Information and Library Studies Arna Nováka 1, Brno, Czech Republic Summary This paper presents a conceptual survey of information ecology. Information ecologies of university departments constitute the ecology of the university, but they cross borders of the university as a whole as well. University departments can thus be considered as peculiar units of a university s information ecology. After pursuing analysis of different concepts of information ecology, conceptualization of information ecology of university departments according to the analyzed concepts is introduced. Finally, appropriateness of the concepts to research of information ecology of a university department is considered. Keywords information ecology, information management, knowledge management, implementation of technology, information ecology of a university department Introduction Information ecology is an approach that is currently applied in an increasing range of different disciplines. Even though the contets to which information ecology is applied differ, all of them aim at a description of an effective implementation of information and communication technologies with regard to human development and enhancement of human performance. The International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science defines information ecology as the study of the inter-relationships between people, enterprises, technologies and the information environment. 1 However, contemporary literature con1 FEATHER, John STURGES, Paul (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. 2nd ed. London : Routlegde, ISBN P

55 tains several attempts to apply the approach of information ecology to the university environment.2 The question remains whether it is necessary to create a new, specific concept of information ecology for the university environment, or whether the eisting approaches may be applied to this environment. The aim of the present paper is to analyze basic approaches to information ecology, identify their purpose, structure and critically evaluate them. The final part of the paper delivers a description of information ecology of a university and a university field, which implies that information ecology concepts based in information management, knowledge management and the field of implementation of technologies into the working environment provide a suitable framework for the study of information ecology of university fields. 1 Information ecology as a philosophical concept Delimitation: The notion of information ecology was first used in 1989 by Rafael Cappuro in his contribution Towards an Information Ecology presented at the NORDINFO International Conference on Information and Quality in Copenhagen. 3 Capurro understands information ecology as a balance between our thinking and action with regard to the nature of the technologies we use to communicate and disseminate knowledge in the information landscape. Information landscape is designed by Capurro in a three-dimensional perspective: in social dimension information is created and disseminated; historical dimension is linked with inserting information within the richness of the past and the constraints of the present. Linguistic dimension comprises theoretical or practical preunderstanding and therefore also a space for criticism, tacit aspects of information and the responsibility of the creator and user for directing and use of the information.4 Purpose: The main tasks of information ecology according to Capurro are harmonization of the relationship between humans and technology, preservation and protection of information and reinforcement of its social nature by conceptualization of opportunities, but also of the limits of interaction between different modes of organizing communication. The objective is to find such forms of representation of knowledge and its dissemination that will promote plurality of their use and interpretation, stimulate recycling of knowledge and re-use of free flow of information and contribute to overall optimization of the use of information and knowledge by humans. Capurro s pragmatic concept of information ecology can be perceived as a kind of information hygiene meant to protect the society against incompatibility of systems and languages, against redundant information, obsolete data and inefficient or unethical use of information and technology. Structure: Capurro connects information ecology with the notion of information pollution. As a negative side of information balance, Capurro distinguishes three types of information pollution of the environment: power pollution reduces the use-value of PERRAULT, Anne Marie. The School as an Information Ecology: A Framework for Studying Changes in Information Use. In School Libraries Worldwide. 2007, Vol. 13, No. 2, p STEINEROVÁ, Jela. Informačná ekológia využívanie informácií srdcom. In ITLib. Informačné technológie a knižnice. 2009, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp CAPURRO, Rafael. Towards an Information Ecology [online]. In WORMELL, I. (ed.). Information Quality. Definitions and Dimensions. London : Taylor Graham, Pp [cit ]. Available from: <>. Ref. 3

56 information for the society to its economic value, message pollution reduces the potential of knowledge technologies by ignoring the contet of the origin of the messages; historical pollution is caused by blurring of judgment due to the abundance of futurological and utopian ideas disregarding the risks and opportunities implied by the possibilities of knowledge management design. From the perspective of global information ecology, information pollution concerns the problem of digital division of the world into the information rich and the information poor that Capurro suggests to resolve by creating forms of generalized social access to electronic information (people s systems), similar to the creation of public libraries during the last three centuries. 5 2 Information ecology as an ethical concept Delimitation: The concept of infosphere introduced by Luciano Floridi can be viewed, along with Capurro, as a concept of information ecology. 6 Infosphere is a neologism used by Floridi to refer to the information environment forming the world of data, information, knowledge and communication. 7 Infosphere as such is defined as the environment constituted by the totality of information entities including all agents-processes, their proprieties and mutual relations. 8 Purpose: An ecological model of the infosphere allows Floridi to develop such universal ethical rules that will address the problems concerning handling, sharing and accessing of information. Adherence to these rules will in Floridi s opinion lead to an ethical use of ICT and will promote sustainable development and an equitable information society. Thanks to that, infosphere may become a public and safe space open to communication, collaboration and freedom of speech accessible for all without distinction. Structure: Floridi s information ecology is not centered around human, but is ontocentric, oriented toward human- as well as object-being. Cyperspace is a subsystem of the infosphere, as well as the spaces where information entities and processes are processed in an analogue way. Broadly-defined infosphere comprises all three basic types of information and the corresponding spheres physical, biological and social. Infosphere as an atopic space of mental life 9 is an area in which millions of people perform all sorts of activities and face a whole range of dilemmas presenting a challenge for information ethics. These issues include environmental issues (e. g. the issue of energy consumption, electronic waste, etc.), but also the issue of digital divide of the world. Criticism: Ecological model of the infosphere shares certain characteristics with Capurro s model. Both emphasize the problems related to the information and the natural environment at the same time. Both authors stress the necessity to deal with the issue of digital divide of the world in a comple manner. Nonetheless, Floridi s model is in its entire Ref. 3 CAPURRO, Rafael. On Floridi s Metaphysical Foundation of Information Ecology. In Ethics and Information Technology. 2008, Vol. 10, No. 2-3, pp FLORIDI, Luciano. Information Ethics: An Environmental Approach to the Digital Divide. In Philosophy in the Contemporary World. 2002, Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 39. FLORIDI, Luciano. Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics. In Ethics and Information Technology. 1999, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 44. FLORIDI, Luciano. Information Ethics: An Environmental Approach to the Digital Divide. In Philosophy in the Contemporary World. 2002, Vol. 9, No. 1, p

57 scope philosophically controversial. Capurro objects to his ontological distinguishing between the material and the immaterial components of the world, which is known already from Descartes or Popper, and his disregard for Heidegger s ontological difference. According to Capurro, we should de-ontologize the infosphere in order to weaken [our] demiurgic ambitions 10 that construe the infosphere as an autonomous hyperreality (Baudrillard) separated from the natural world instead of its integration within the natural daily routine of human activities and permeation of its influences into the physical component the natural environment. 3 Information ecology management Delimitation: Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak link the concept of information ecology with information management. 11 Information ecology focuses on organizational components of the information environment of a business in a holistic perspective in which the needs of people are in the forefront. According to Davenport and Prusak, information ecology is the science of understanding and managing whole environments, which include crisscrossing relations among people, processes, support structures, and the other elements of a company s information environment. The information ecology understood in this way can be designated as human-centered, holistic management of information which puts humans back at the center of the information world. 12 If technologies resolve as many problems as they themselves create, it is the same case with information. Information is not neutral. Quite within the intention of Capurro, information must be recognized as embedded in a particular contet, without which information is merely data, a given without content. However, research into information behavior has revealed the emphasis that people place not only on immediate availability of current information 13, but also on rich in contetual cues. 14 Purpose: Information ecology in Davenport and Prusak s concept is meant to help shift managerial practice towards effective use of information and at the same time facilitate the process of implementation of changes in organization of information in a business. Information should fulfill its actual function, that is to inform people and guide them to reach decisions appropriate for the situation or issue at hand and should not serve only as a tool of control and management of the structure of the business. A change in the perspective on information management will according to Davenport and Prusak lead to an effective deployment of an adequate technology and as a result to reduction of unnecessary costs and to support of effective information behavior of managers as well as stakeholders of a business by means of filtering and selection of relevant information. Effective use of in CAPURRO, Rafael. On Floridi s Metaphysical Foundation of Information Ecology. In Ethics and Information Technology. 2008, Vol. 10, No. 2-3, p DAVENPORT Thomas H. PRUSAK, Laurence. Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment. New York : Oford University Press, p. ISBN DAVENPORT Thomas H. PRUSAK, Laurence. Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment. New York : Oford University Press, ISBN Pp STEINEROVÁ, Jela. Informačná ekológia využívanie informácií srdcom. In ITLib. Informačné technológie a knižnice. 2009, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 4 16; JONES, Peter H. Information Practices and Cognitive Artifacts in Scientific Research. In Cognition Technology and Work. 2005, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp DAVENPORT Thomas H. PRUSAK, Laurence. Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment. New York : Oford University Press, ISBN P. 26.

58 formation leads to an increase in knowledge assets of the business and to a competitive advantage that will bring success to the business and enable it to remain at the forefront of current development. Holistic planning of the information environment within a business will enable the business to interpret the changes in the business environment correctly and to choose the right strategy to respond to them accordingly. Structure: The holistic model of information ecology of a business developed by Davenport and Prusak is comprised of three environments arranged as modules the information, organizational and eternal environment of the business. The information environment is comprised of information resources, people and support technologies establishing more or less functional evolving comple. 15 The information environment of a business consists of si components information strategy, information policy, information behavior within information culture, information staff, information processes and information architecture. Mutual interaction of these si components constitutes the core of information ecology moving around its central point human being as a social agent. The information environment of a business is rooted in two broader environments with which it interacts with the organizational environment consisting of business situation, investment in technologies and physical arrangement of the organization, and the eternal environment the e ternal world of an organization an adequate reflection of which enables the business to interact with this environment in such a manner that secures its survival and prosperity. The eternal environment is the broader ecosystem with which the information ecology of the business is interconnected by a network of information links. The eternal environment is formed by life niches created by the markets on which the business may realize its potential and develop. Basic characteristics of information ecology identified by Davenport and Prusak16 are: Diversity epresses the diversity of information forms the processing of which manifests itself in information ecology as integration of organizational structures and the processes taking place within them; Evolution constant change of arrangement of information needs and ecological relationships in the information environment requiring qualified decision-making and sufficiently fleible structure of the business; Compleity information needs of a business dynamically change in interaction with the information environment. Understanding these needs is conditional on long-term processing and description of changes of the entire ecosystem in their full compleity; Utility of the information accessibility, use and utilization of information by people; manifests itself in the information behavior of social agents of the ecosystem which sub sequently shapes the information culture within a business. Criticism: In the approach of Davenport and Prusak emphasis is placed on the use of information in organizations and in the business environment. The value of the information is determined by the strategic importance of the information for the organization. It is thus focused on the use of information reduced to its market dimension. Paradoically, the emphasis on this orientation instead of orientation on social value of information results according to Capurro in imbalance in the information environment and an uneven distribu15 16 STEINEROVÁ, Jela. Informačná ekológia východiská a princípy. In Knižničná a informačná veda 22. Library and Information Science 22. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, ISBN P. 8. According to DAVENPORT Thomas H. PRUSAK, Laurence. Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment. New York : Oford University Press, ISBN Pp

59 tion of knowledge in society. 17 Davenport and Prusak s approach is based on the assumption that the knowledge about what the correct arrangement of information ecology should look like is possessed by higher management. This approach builds on development of information ecology from the top management level18 without regard to social needs of ordinary social agents and their specific interaction with the information environment. Thus, what is missing in their holistic approach to information management is both the information whole and the social whole. Despite acknowledgement of dynamic variability of information ecology, Davenport and Prusak s approach focuses on its optimization, which hence brings a certain degree of rigid adherence to well-established techniques instead of adaptation to newly emerging changes by creation of new knowledge and its structural internalization.19 4 Knowledge ecology management Delimitation: Pór defines knowledge ecology as an interdisciplinary field that focuses on discovering better social, organizational, behavioral, and technical conditions for knowledge creation and utilization based on the best of current thought and action, including knowledge management; communities of practice; businesses as comple, adaptive systems; organizational learning; and the hypertet organization. 20 In contrast to information ecology, knowledge ecology emphasises the ability of a business to promptly respond to strategic opportunities, enhancement of cognitive skills of social agents and application of working knowledge as a way of boosting competitive advantage. 21 A different character of dynamic changes in the information environment requires focus on the turbulence of the environment with discontinuous dynamics of changes which replaces orientation on the compleity of the environment.22 Rather than on information, business management is focused on events that are based on reflection of feedback processes and learning performance. Purpose: The main strategic objective of knowledge ecology is mobilization and development of collective intelligence and organizational wisdom. Partial goals are reduction of time cycles in production and commerce; heightened attention to strategic opportunities and threats; reduction of the cost of coordination of work and business processes by cultivation of the community of practice; building of a virtual community of the business for an intimate contact with customers and a more rapid distribution of innovative methods CAPURRO, Rafael. Towards an Information Ecology [online]. In WORMELL, I. (ed.). Information Quality. Definitions and Dimensions. London : Taylor Graham, Pp [cit ]. Available from: <>. According to LETICHE, Hugo MENS, Lucie van. Dyslogistic Information Ecologies. In Management Learning. 2003, Vol 34, No. 3, p MALHOTRA, Yogesh. Knowledge Management for Organizational White-Waters: An Ecological Framework. In BRINT [online] [cit ]. Available from: < ecology.htm>. PÓR, George. Nurturing Systemic Wisdom Through Knowledge Ecology. In The Systems Thinker. 2000, Vol. 11, No. 8, p. 3. PÓR, George. Nurturing Systemic Wisdom Through Knowledge Ecology. In The Systems Thinker. 2000, Vol. 11, No. 8, p. 1. MALHOTRA, Yogesh. Information Ecology and Knowledge Management: Toward Knowledge Ecology for Hyperturbulent Organizational Environments. In KIEL, Douglas L. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS): Knowledge management, Organizational Intelligence and Learning, and Compleity. Oford : Eolss Publishers, ISBN:

60 within the business.23 Knowledge ecology builds and develops self-organizing knowledge ecosystems in which new information, inspiration and ideas without temporal or geographical limits emerge. It strives to connect static repositories of knowledge with the natural system of people and their activities and therefore it draws attention to social networks supporting communication and knowledge sharing as a topic. Structure: The elements of knowledge ecology are people, technologies and knowledge that are assigned a particular meaning and an appropriate interpretation in the activities. Knowledge ecology is comprised of a triple, intertwined network consisting of a network of the organization s stakeholders, their conversations, contacts, communities of practice and manners of organization of their cooperation, technological networks including telecommunications network and computer networks containing knowledge repositories and networks comprised of useful ideas produced by people in the course of their daily activities. People represent knowledge nodes connecting individual networks and using their infrastructure to establish a network of knowledge and for participation in the work and learning community. A community is a prerequisite of self-organization, enhancement of collective intelligence24 and cultivate relationships, tools, and practices for creating, integrating, sharing, and using knowledge. 25 Basic characteristics of knowledge ecology identified by Malhotra26 are: Social networking the chief role in creation of knowledge ecology is primarily played by social networks among people, instead of technological or information networks; Adaptation the survival of a business is based on anticipation of changes and unepected events; Cooperative competition the dynamic evolutionary process of knowledge creation takes place in diverse contets, which leads to creation of diversified forms of knowledge. Knowledge nodes (people but also business units) constantly compete to achieve a more effective use of the knowledge, while at the same time they also share it in order to complement their missing different characteristics through this cooperation. Differentiation echange of knowledge and the direction of knowledge flows in a business should take place between related but differentiated knowledge nodes. Criticism: Strategic orientation of businesses on future which is based on an immediate consumption of knowledge and discontinuous change affects the entire structure of a business and hinders fulfilment of one of the main strategic goals of a business mobilization of wisdom. The assumption of discontinuous change of the information environment does not take heed of the historical dimension of the information phenomena occurring in the information environment that can be according to Capurro characterised eactly by the fact that they are not discontinuous, but always placed in between the past and the present (see chapter 1.1.1). Wisdom emerges from systematic and long-term processing of knowledge with regard to its wider implications from which substantial principles as to how to PÓR, George. Nurturing Systemic Wisdom Through Knowledge Ecology. In The Systems Thinker. 2000, Vol. 11, No. 8, pp According to PÓR, George. Nurturing Systemic Wisdom Through Knowledge Ecology. In The Systems Thinker. 2000, Vol. 11, No. 8, pp LI, Junjun SUN, Jianjun CHEN, Haimin. Organizational Knowledge Architecture: in the Perspective of Knowledge Ecology. In International Conference on Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing (WiCom). Shanghai : IEEE, ISBN P According to MALHOTRA, Yogesh. Information Ecology and Knowledge Management: Toward Knowledge Ecology for Hyperturbulent Organizational Environments. In KIEL, Douglas L. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS): Knowledge management, Organizational Intelligence and Learning, and Compleity. Oford : Eolss Publishers, ISBN:

61 act for the benefit of everybody and hidden models revealing the real values can be etrac ted. Wisdom draws on eperience and its nature is incremental. 5 Information ecology of the working environment Delimitation: Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O Day focused on social aspects of implementation and functioning of technologies at workplaces. For this purpose, they define information ecology as a system of people, practices, values and technologies in a particular local environment. 27 A smooth implementation of innovations into the work process and an efficient use of technologies require that their users are provided with a space for epressing their own values, attitudes and preferences, a space of operation where these people are able to influence the design of technologies and technological systems. Information technologies in Nardi and O Day s concept represent a map of this space, a map showing the places where an individual can influence the entire intricately interconnected system. Such approach to information ecology is aimed at opening up the space for the person using the technology in his/her decision-making and resolving his/her common and work issues. Purpose: The aim of information ecology as understood by Nardi and O Day is to present practical impulses and appropriate strategic questions leading to motivation to improve the given information ecology, to responsibility for the use of technology, to promotion and appreciation of social activities such as sharing and learning. The result of such support of participation of technology users in the construction of functional information ecology is reduced levels of confusion and frustration of people eposed to the effects of new technologies, as well as reduction of their fear and dissatisfaction. The final effect of partial goals is an effective implementation and subsequent use of technologies in line with ethics and stability of the particular workplace despite ongoing technological changes. Structure: Information ecology according to Nardi and O Day is comprised of four basic elements: people, practices, values, and technologies. People constitute, as in other information ecology concepts, the most important element. In order to understand their role in the particular information ecology, it is necessary to find out what attitudes towards technologies the people hold and what and how they routinely do. A successful implementation of new technologies into information ecology to a large etent depends on qualified people the so-called keystone species that can quickly discover the potential of new tools, the method of their effective implementation into working activities and are able to provide support and assistance to other users of new technologies. The role of a librarian is mentioned by the authors as an illustration: most of their work is invisible for the user of library services, despite the fact that it is absolutely essential for its functioning. 28 A particular information ecology is characterized by specific practices used by people when dealing with the technologies and by the social patterns and conventions connected with them. Such practices include all working procedures, methods, the services provided, but also the tactics reflecting the values on which they are based, but also e. g. transfers between different places, going for lunch together, answering phone calls and writing s, regular unofficial NARDI, Bonnie A. O DAY, Vicki L. Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge : MIT Press, ISBN P. 49. See NARDI, Bonnie A. O'DAY, Vicki L. An Ecological Perspective on Digital Libraries. In BISHOP, Ann Peterson HOUSE Nancy A. Van BUTTENFIELD, Barbara P. (Eds.). Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation. Cambridge : MIT Press, Pp

62 meetings, etc. During these activities, crucial and yet almost invisible events can often take place. The designer may ensure respecting these patterns by application of the methods of participative design. The third component of information ecology is represented by ethical values and related norms. Values form the ethical dimension of technologies affecting everything from social implications of technologies to the very identity of a person as a human being. Implementation of technologies opens up for instance the following questions: Whom will these technologies serve? Who will benefit from them? Who will control them? To what etent will they reflect the values of the group? What values will they assert? The last component of information ecology is formed by technologies as such. Our thinking is not only shaped by technologies, but it is directed and limited already by the way we speak about technologies, what metaphors we use to capture our technological concepts. Metaphors can bias our thinking, our approach to and our subsequent handling of them in an optimistic or pessimistic way. The metaphor of technology as ecology presupposes a creative role of the person in using it, the impact of local practices and procedures, as well as of his/her scale of values.29 Basic characteristics of knowledge ecology according to Nardi and O Day30 are: Diversity epresses the diversity of people, the diversity of their activities, professions and positions and also the diversity of tools and technologies taking part in the interaction in information ecology. The richness of forms is important for survival of continuous as well as of discontinuous changes. In a healthy information ecology these varied forms participate in a complementary manner; Coevolution mutual influence of social and technical development in which the activities of people and the tools they use in them constantly adjust to one another. As the process of development of information ecology never ceases, mutual adjustment of social and technical aspects is never perfect and always requires new attempts at improvement; Systemic nature internal interconnections of individual parts of the system and their mutual dependency cause changes of one part of the system affect continuously also all its other parts. Changes that are incompatible with certain parts of the system do not take roots in the system and disappear without a trace; Locality interconnectedness of a technology and a particular place where it is used. In every particular environment the use of a technology differs depending on local practice and local arrangement of relationships. The inhabitants of different ecologies understand the role of technologies in their activities differently, depending on how the technology is accessible to them, how useful it is for them, what the rhythm of work and the patterns for its use are. Socially constructed identity of a technology differs in individual ecologies; Keystone species the indispensable role of a particular profession or type of people bringing together other people, technologies and practices in a dynamic system. The keystone species fills and bridges over the cracks in information ecology whereby it prevents disintegration of the system. Criticism: Nardi and O Day s information ecology is, when the correct approach is applied, always aimed at convergence of technologies and harmonization of internal relationships. Information ecology in this conception gives the impression of being a trouble-free space in which all its inhabitants concordantly learn to cooperate with each other and build the system to general satisfaction of everyone. However, the metaphor of ecology is applied Ibid, pp According to NARDI, Bonnie A. O DAY, Vicki L. Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge : MIT Press, ISBN Pp

63 half-heartedly and in an idealized way. Bowker points out that nature is red in tooth and claw (quoting Darwin) and that parasites and viruses are part of ecosystems. And the inhabitants of an information ecology also often have to struggle for their survival and their own interests then prevail over the interests of the organization. Information ecology is plagued by various species that do not contribute to its flourishing, but these are ignored in Nardi and O Day s concept. Little attention is also paid to the dynamics of power in an organization.31 The objections raised by Bowker have been also confirmed by the research undertaken by Hugo Letiche and Lucie van Mens. In their analysis of information ecologies, they identified such types of people whose aim is to gain individual advantages for themselves, to survive within the business at the epense of other people, and whose conduct is driven by self-satisfaction, egoism and the effort to eploit weaker individuals. These persons are an eample of the fact that the system need not in each case work towards its own benefit, but that the desired coherence may be intentionally violated. Information ecologies are rather than predictable rational structures, which the direct participants know and (in principle) control structures emergent [ ], unconsciously internalized [ ],erratic and volatile. 32 Harmonization of the process of implementation of technologies into the working environment presupposes that it is necessary to come to terms with the issue of optimal support of learning. However, not every inhabitant of an information ecology wishes to gain knowledge, to learn. Strategic action of certain inhabitants forms dyslogistic information ecology that can lead to a failure of the entire system.33 6 University as an information ecology The university can be seen as a classic eample of information ecology. There is a wide spectrum of differently oriented or specialized persons who use in their work a broad range of scientific methods and procedures, modern technologies and information sources (tetbooks, journals, curricula, student lists etc.) involved in a university environment. 34 Activities at the university take place in an atmosphere of mutually shared values, dominated by the value of scientific truth and the value associated with the ethics of scientific work and the educational process. The keystone species is represented by teachers who, together with students, researchers and administrative staff, form the majority of inhabitants of the information ecology of a university. These properties correspond to the concept of information ecology of the working environment in which the university is eplicitly included as an information environment. In their activities, people at universities use various information sources that they obtain through information processes of different degrees of difficulty and they produce new knowledge themselves in the form of information products and cognitive artefacts. Various information activities and values constitute information culture of a university. Information ecology of a university is subdivided into individual faculties enjoy BOWKER, Geoffrey C. Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O Day, Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart Book Review. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work. 2001, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp LETICHE, Hugo MENS, Lucie van. Dyslogistic Information Ecologies. In Management Learning. 2003, Vol. 34, No. 3, p LETICHE, Hugo MENS, Lucie van. Dyslogistic Information Ecologies. In Management Learning. 2003, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp PERRAULT, Anne Marie. The School as an Information Ecology: A Framework for Studying Changes in Information Use. In School Libraries Worldwide. 2007, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp

64 ing a specific degree of autonomy. The fields taught at these faculties must adapt to the dynamics of the eternal environment that is specific for each field. A different configuration of information relationships may be identified for each field, which allows us to speak about sui generis information ecology. It is, however, necessary to distinguish between what is part of the information ecology of the field and what transcends it. Research and development of application solutions within a field take place simultaneously in two worlds: in the local environment of the faculty or university campus and within the network of unofficial relationships of the research community of the field which transcends the boundaries of the university.35 The contet of research practices moreover does not follow from information ecology, but is mediated by it. Research activities are directed and limited by eternal grants and research projects of the university itself; information services and sources are institutional services and sources 36 (e. g. a library does not belong to the information ecology of the field but to the information ecology of the institution as a whole). A field as an information ecology is firmly embedded within the system of the faculty and the whole university which form its organizational environment. Information culture of a field, despite being different from the culture of the institution, should not, however, conflict with it. The unique nature of an information culture of a field follows from the specifics of information behavior typical for individual fields, as well as from the emphases of informa tion strategy. A field develops as a network of people engaged in learning communities and communities of practice, i. e. two worlds from which a great deal of new impulses and pieces of knowledge flows into the information environment of the field through conversations and records of discourses via social and technological networks, shaping it knowledge network. Even in case of the concept of information ecology within information management the concept described may be applied, however, with certain difficulties as we need to proceed with greater caution when classifying the components of information ecology into the information, organizational and eternal environment. The concept of information ecology within knowledge management appears to be more fitting as it is easier to analyze etensive communication networks of cooperating specialists and learning communities, i. e. by application of the methods of social network analysis, within this framework. Floridi s concept of infosphere and the philosophical concept developed by Capurro have a somewhat lesser application. The latter may be, however, employed in resolving the pressing issue of information overloading of pedagogical staff as a problem of information pollution of the university environment. Conclusion Application of the approach of information ecology to a selected study field can make the configuration of its internal structure in a holistic contet more visible. As far as information and library science is concerned, this is a particularly convenient approach, since it al lows for combination of its social-humanistic orientation with new technologies entering its practice and enables us to monitor the impact of their configuration on formation of an in35 36 According to JONES, Peter H. Information Practices and Cognitive Artifacts in Scientific Research. In Cognition Technology and Work. 2005, Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 89. JONES, Peter H. Information Practices and Cognitive Artifacts in Scientific Research. In Cognition Technology and Work. 2005, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp

65 formation culture encouraging learning and adoption of appropriate work habits when handling information and knowledge technologies. Application of quantitative and qualitative methods enables us to describe both the structure and the orientation of the fields real izing the study program of information and library studies. On the basis of the analysis presented in this paper, the use of the concept of information ecology of the working environment in combination with the concept based in knowledge management, or information management, can be recommended as an optimal tool. References BOWKER, Geoffrey C. Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O Day. Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart Book Review. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work. 2001, Vol. 10, No. 1, str CAPURRO, Rafael. On Floridi s Metaphysical Foundation of Information Ecology. In Ethics and Information Technology. 2008, Vol. 10, No. 2-3, str CAPURRO, Rafael. Towards an Information Ecology [online]. In WORMELL, I. (ed.). Information Quality. Definitions and Dimensions. London : Taylor Graham, Str [cit ]. Dostupný z: <>. DAVENPORT Thomas H. PRUSAK, Laurence. Information Ecology: Mastering the Information and Knowledge Environment. New York : Oford University Press, s. ISBN FEATHER, John STURGES, Paul (Eds.). International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. 2nd ed. London : Routlegde, s. ISBN FLORIDI, Luciano. Information Ethics: An Environmental Approach to the Digital Divide. In Philosophy in the Contemporary World. 2002, Vol. 9, No. 1, str FLORIDI, Luciano. Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics. In Ethics and Information Technology. 1999, Vol. 1, No. 1, str JONES, Peter H. Information Practices and Cognitive Artifacts in Scientific Research. In Cognition Technology and Work. 2005, Vol. 7, No. 2, str LETICHE, Hugo MENS, Lucie van. Dyslogistic Information Ecologies. In Management Learning. 2003, Vol 34, No. 3, str LI, Junjun SUN, Jianjun CHEN, Haimin. Organizational Knowledge Architecture: in the Perspective of Knowledge Ecology. In International Conference on Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing (WiCom). Shanghai : IEEE, Str ISBN MALHOTRA, Yogesh. Information Ecology and Knowledge Management: Toward Knowledge Ecology for Hyperturbulent Organizational Environments. In KIEL, Douglas L. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS): Knowledge management, Organizational Intelligence and Learning, and Compleity. Oford : Eolss Publishers, ISBN: MALHOTRA, Yogesh. Knowledge Management for Organizational White-Waters: An Ecological Framework. In BRINT [online] [cit ]. Dostupné z: <>. 64

66 NARDI, Bonnie A. O DAY, Vicki L. An Ecological Perspective on Digital Libraries. In BISHOP, Ann Peterson HOUSE Nancy A. Van BUTTENFIELD, Barbara P. (Eds.). Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation. Cambridge : MIT Press, Str NARDI, Bonnie A. O DAY, Vicki L. Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge : MIT Press, s. ISBN PERRAULT, Anne Marie. The School as an Information Ecology: A Framework for Studying Changes in Information Use. In School Libraries Worldwide. 2007, Vol. 13, No. 2, str PÓR, George. Nurturing Systemic Wisdom Through Knowledge Ecology. In The Systems Thinker. 2000, Vol. 11, No. 8, str STEINEROVÁ, Jela. Informační ekológia východiská a princípy. In Knižničná a informačná veda. Library and Information Science. Zborník FiFUK. Roč. 22. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, Str ISBN STEINEROVÁ, Jela. Informačná ekológia využívanie informácií srdcom. ITLib. Informačné technológie a knižnice. 2009, roč. 13, č. 2, str About the author PhDr. Michal Lorenz, PhD. is an assistant professor at the Division of Information and Library Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. He received his PhD. degree from the Institute of Information Study and Librarianship at the Charles University in Prague. He is presently concerned with information science, information ethics, information ecology, social and community informatics. 65


68 New Trends in Designing User Search Interfaces as a Solution for Search Systems Soňa Makulová Katarína Buzová Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Philosophy Dept. of Library and Information Science Gondova 2, Bratislava, Slovakia Summary The search system is one of the most important pillars of information architecture and its design often influences the success of the whole web site. Nowadays, one of the most important qualitative factors of the websites is their findability that precedes usability, credibility and accessibility. If the users cannot find what they need, they cannot use it. In practice, there are ten search pattern designs. Based on a research of user behavior, they support users while formulating their search queries. The study analyzes new trends in designing search user interfaces and engages them in confrontation with search patterns of some Slovak scientific library web sites and the best practices abroad. A detailed analysis of Slovak library web sites shows that there are no such design patterns as personalization and unified discovery. Therefore more attention is paid to these patterns. There are some recommendations for search pattern designers included that should be taken into account if they want to implement a system that meets user s requirements. Keywords website, search system, search user interface, search patterns, information architecture, scientific library Introduction Nowadays, designers of web sites respect the methodology of information architecture. We agree with Peter Morville and Lois Rosenfeld in defining information architecture as: 67

69 1. the structured design of shared information environments, 2. the combination of organization, labeling, search and navigation systems within web sites and intranets, 3. the art and science of shaping information products and eperience to support usability and findability, 4. an emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape (Morville, Rosenfeld, 2006, p. 4). The search pattern is one of the most important elements of any information system. The design of the search pattern is a very important part of the website and depends on the information behavior of the user. We agree with many authors who speak about search dominance. In an eperiment, users were asked to go anywhere they wanted on the web. 88 % of them went to a search engine and only 12 % went directly to a specific web site (Nielsen, Loranger, 2006, p. 36). Today, when we are witnessing the number of websites growing, it is not enough to have a website, but to be visible for search engines. Search engine visibility is very important, because it is mainly by search engines and directories how internet users discover web sites. In literature we find many resources that confirm this fact and the percentages range from 42 to 86 % of internet users (Thurow, 2003, p. 10). According to Jakob Nielsen (2004), over 80 % of web traffic is generated by information searches initiated by users. 1 Findability of web sites On of the most important qualitative factors of the websites is their findability. Peter Mor ville in his book Ambient Findability (2005, p. 4) defines findability as a) the quality of being locatable or navigable, b) the degree to which a particular object is easy to discover or locate, c) the degree to which a system or environment supports navigation and retrieval. Be cause of the enormous growth of the Internet, findability became a challenge in developing of web sites, intranets but also knowledge management systems and online communities. In our opinion, findability is influenced by many factors. To the most important belong: enormous growth of websites and digital documents, low level of information literacy of internet users, not adhering to the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium and to the recommendations of information architects (Makulová, 2009). The enormous growth of the websites and digital documents is a very serious problem. In 1998, 26 million pages had the first Google inde and by July 2008, the official Google blog reported to have indeed one trillion unique URLs on the web at once. According to our research findings, the information literacy of the users is still very low and the vast quantity of digital information is not as well structured as the profes sional information services. The unstructured content requires new methods and new techniques of accessing information which would take into account the behavior of different types of users. With the enormous growth of the internet, the demand for understanding its audience has increased, too. There are many studies providing detailed information about the Web and its demographics. But until now, there has been no large-scale, quantitative or qualitative 68

70 study of the users behavior when searching the Web. How do they search the Web? What do they search for on the Web? We have to take into account that the Web is an information universe of users who have different types of needs and behaviors. Taking into consideration the latest Internet World Stats, according to which there were 2,095,006,005 Internet users in 2011 representing 30,2 % of the world population, this is a very important concern. The findability of the websites may be improved by good information architecture and by search engine optimization. Website findability is a critical factor. If the users cannot find what they need through combination of searching, browsing and asking, they fail. In his recent book written in cooperation with Hoa Loranger Prioritizing Web Usability (2006) Jakob Nielsen states, that almost three quarters of the usability issues that people encounter have to do with basic user goals: finding, reading and understanding information. According to the authors, findability was the biggest issue, accounting for 26 percent of user failure. Findability of the websites depends on the information architecture, category names, links, navigation, etc. The second problem is search, then page design (readability, layout, graphics, or scrolling), information (content, product info, corporate info, and prices), task support (workflow, privacy, forms, comparison) and fancy design. The findability of the websites may be greatly improved by search engine optimisation. 2 Design of search patterns As Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender state (2010, p. 82), the search design is a new and rapidly evolving practise. They suggest 10 patterns, which have emerged as a solution for search problems: autocomplete, best first, federated search, faceted navigation, advanced search, personalization, pagination, structured results, actionable results, and unified dis covery. When the testing of Web usability, the success rate of people using eternal search engines (Google, Yahoo!) was good, they succeeded in 56 %. With internal search engines used only to search the site visited, people only succeeded in 33 % (Nielsen, Loranger, 2006, p. 138). According to the research, site searching is much poorer than web searching. However, it should be much better for many reasons: The search on the web site is not so complicated as on the whole web because there is much smaller set of pages. Within a single web site you can better know your users and know what was the intent of the search. You can use your intelligence to offer users the high quality documents, you know which documents are old and obsolete. You can take the advantage of metadata and controlled vocabulary, you know the synonyms, misspellings and other variants of words the users use, so the users can receive document that does not contain the eact user s query. The summary of the web site is written by the individual eperts instead of computer generated snippets. As a solution for improving the website search we suggest the improvement of search interfaces that would take into account different types of users and help them improve their search eperience. 69

71 Autocomplete belongs to patterns that help users formulate their queries. As users start typing into the tet entry bo, suggestions appear automatically. This feature is implemented e. g. in Yahoo! search by means of Search Assist. When you start typing in the search bo, Search Assist predicts what you are searching for and offers you suggestions. See Figure 1. Best first is another eample of a search user interface. To stress its importance, we must take into account that according to iprospect Blended Search Results Study (2008), 68 % of the search-engine users click on a search result displayed on the first page, and as many as 92 % of search-engine users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. It means that it is very important to appear high in search results. According to the previous research, there was a growing tendency to click on the first page in 2008 (68 %) when compared to 2006 (62 %), 2004 (60 %) and 2002 (48 %). On the other hand, fewer users were willing to click on results past the third page in 2008 (8 %) when compared to 2006 (10 %), 2004 (13 %), and 2002 (19 %). Therefore, having a good ranking on the first SERP (search engine result page) for all relevant keywords is very important if you want to be found by people who are looking for the products or services you offer. Best first is crucial for making search simple, fast, and relevant. Users type in the searched term, scan the few first results, learn how the search works, and then reformulate their query. Federated search is often used on library websites. It involves a simultaneous search in multiple databases or collections. The disadvantage of federated search is its lower performance and also the fact that the query language must be limited to the lowest common denominator in order to comply to the disparate vocabularies and data models. Faceted navigation or guided navigation uses metadata fields and values to provide users with visible options for clarifying and refining their queries. According to many authors, faceted navigation belongs to the most significant search innovations over the past decade. Faceted navigation integrates searching and browsing eperience, users begin with a simple keyword search, but then they are offered many useful steps and insights into the content and its organization. It is etremely useful in e-commerce sites. Fig. 1. Autocomplete and autosuggest on Yahoo! 70

72 Fig. 2. Faceted navigation at NCSU libraries The faceted navigation uses The Flamenco Search Interface Project designed by Prof. Marti Hearst at UC Berkeley School of Information. Its primary goal is to allow users to move through large information spaces in a fleible manner without feeling lost. The interface uses hierarchically faceted metadata in a way that allows users to both refine and epand the current query, while maintaining a consistent representation of the collection s structure. This usage of metadata is integrated into the free-tet search, allowing the user to follow links, add search terms, and then follow more links, without interrupting the interaction flow. To the projects that are using Flamenco ideas belong e. g. the NCSU digital library, The International Children s Digital Library, Artist Rising, and from the commercial implementations e. g.,, etc. Fig. 3. Structured results for the query Comenius University 71

73 Fig. 4. It is possible to get the structured results in realtime Structured results belong to a way of meeting the epectations of users. Instead of a list of blue tet links appearing on the result page, the user is presented with categorized and structured results that include maps, videos, news, blogs, books, discussions, etc. Very interesting are also queries in real time that display sources from social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. There is even a timeline making it possible for the user to change the range of time. Personalisation Personalization has been a solution to search problems for decades. According to Jakob Nielsen (1998) personalization is driven by the computer which tries to provide individualized pages for a user, as based on a model form of user s requirements. We must differentiate between customization and personalization. Customization is completely under the direct control of the user, the user eplicitly selects certain options and customizes the web site according to his preferences. Customization allows us to change the colors, layout, subscribe to feeds, etc. Personalization is also to be seen in other search patterns. Autocomplete is a simple eample based on personalization making use of the search history. Another eample is results reranking based on post-query behavior of users, or collaborative filtering. Collaborative filtering is a method of making automatic predictions about the interests of a user by collecting information on preferences or taste from many users. The most famous is Customers who bought this item also bought this. Originally it was used on Amazon, now we can find the feature in most bookshops (see Fig. 6). Personalization has many possibilities and challenges. Nowadays, especially with mobile applications, the user is offered the restaurants, etc. according to his location. Personalization also works well with other search patterns. It is used in autocomplete or autosuggest and also with the pattern best results go first. Nevertheless, according to the Google founder Sergey Brin, the ultimate personalized search engine is the librarian (Morville, Callender, 2010, p. 110). 72

74 Fig. 5. Customization on Google Fig. 6. Personalization at 73

75 Fig. 7. The user of SME has many possibilities of working with the article Actionable results Internet is a medium where people want to interact with one another. The same is true with the results users get to their queries. They not only want to read them, they want to print, save, comment on, rate, and, of course, share them in their social networks. This strategy is nicely implemented at (Fig. 7), where it is possible to discuss the article, print it, send it by , put it on Facebook, We chose, MySpace, Twitter, and Google bookmarks. The research findings show, that users prefer to do actions on the results page. As the Figure 8 shows, music fans are able to watch videos and listen to the songs directly on the results page. Fig. 8. Yahoo! enables its users to watch videos without leaving the page 74

76 Fig. 9. Yahoo! encourages to move freely between the modes of search, browse and ask Unified discovery When people come to a web site, they do different actions. They search, browse and also ask. This pattern is called unified discovery (Morville, Callender, 2010, p. 125). It is very important that the user moves between these modes according to his state of knowledge of the given subject. The task of the information architecture is to make these modes work together. The unified discovery is implemented in many systems. Yahoo! encourages its users to browse the result page, ask and search again. The pattern of unified discovery provides a framework for integrating several patterns together, especially autocomplete, best first, faceted navigation and personalization. 3 Analysis of user search interfaces of the Slovak scientific library web sites a study The theoretical part about new trends in designing search user interfaces being a solution for search system is supported by the practical part. The study analyzes new trends and confronts them with search patterns of some Slovak scientific library web sites and the best practices abroad. Our analysis included the following Slovak scientific libraries: University Library in Bratislava (ULIB), State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica (SSLBB), State Scientific Library in Košice (SSLKE), State Scientific Library in Prešov (SSLPO), Central Library of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (CLSAS), Slovak Medical Library (SML), Slovak Pedagogical Library (SPL) and Slovak Centre for Scientific and Technical Information (SCSTI). Further on, we only use abbreviations. 75

77 For each library web site there are two different, separate search systems. One is used for searching the web site itself and the other is represented by the online library catalog. Search user interfaces in the online library catalogs were evaluated on the basis of ten search patterns which are described in the publication Search Patterns (Morville, Callender, 2010). To analyze the actual web search of scientific libraries, more criteria were used, based on conventions and recommendations for effective searching (Makulová, 2010). They are divided into three categories simple search, advanced search and search results. 3.1 Analysis of user search interfaces found in the online catalogs of Slovak scientific libraries a study Scientific libraries do not use the same system for online catalogs. The most commonly used system is Virtua (VTLS, KIS3G, Chameleon). It is implemented on the websites of ULIB, SSLBB, SSLPO, CLSAS and SPL. Cataloging system Advanced Rapid Library from Cosmotron is used by SML, OPAC system called Dawinci by SCSTI and ALEPH, system from the company ELibris, by SSLKE. There is no difference between libraries using the same cataloging system. Therefore, we didn t analyze the results of the study by considering the individual libraries, but by comparing the cataloging systems as such. Autocomplete and autosuggestion are very useful search tools. When writing the search query, search bo starts to reveal whole phrases and phrases related to what the user wants to look up. It saves a lot of time. In many cases, this feature serves as an instrument for information research, which can help the user find new terms by means of associations to words he typed into the search bo. On this basis, the users widen their information horizon and discover new keywords to the topic they are looking for. However, an option of autocomplete and autosuggest only has the SCSTI library with Dawinci system. All the search phrases entered by users are fleibly and quickly autocompleted. The interface of first best results is not suitable for databases like online library catalogs. Taking into consideration the fact, that it is very difficult to estimate the relevance of the document requested, this option is ineffective. What should appear as a first best outcome may be relevant to one user, but not to the other. It is probably the reason why none of the online library catalog systems has this option. Federated search enables the users to search different types of databases within a single search interface. For library catalogs, this option is now a necessity because of linking cata logs of various libraries, or other eternal databases. All the scientific libraries have this option, the best one can be found in SML using the Advanced Rapid Library system. Here you can not only search in different libraries that you choose (Slovak and foreign ones), but also in specific databases (journals, books, citation databases, etc.). In addition to these options, there are also non-librarian available, e. g. PubMed, HighWire, Google, and Google Scholar. Virtua System supports the federated search system in three Slovak libraries and in the Library of Congress. Federated search of the lowest level is to be found in SSLKE. On one hand, it is good that the user can choose the option multiple databases search, but there is no option to select a specific individual database and the user cannot see, from which data base the results were retrieved. Faceted navigation is a natural and important search-system element with regard to the tight structure and standardization of librarian data that are classified and categorized in facets. Each library offers its users a possibility to specify their request by categories such as author, title, subject, year, publisher, ISBN, language, signature, UDC, and the key words. Therefore, this search form was evaluated positively in all scientific libraries. 76

78 The faceted navigation is closely related to the advanced search. Its added value is in supporting Boolean operators, which are designed very user-friendly. The users can choose from operators and, or, not, all words, any word, phrase, and the adjacent words, etc. Advanced search interface is present in all of the evaluated online library systems. Personalization was not found in any of online library catalogs. It is a composite program comple, which combines, analyzes and evaluates the actions of all users on the basis of which it is capable of providing a very relevant content for every user. It is, for eample, the collaborative filtering system, which provides suggestions of documents, ordered by other people using the same query. As for the evaluated libraries, the users cannot configure or customize the interface, but they can save a search in their profiles, or add the preferred documents. But it is only a sort of archive and not an interactive collaboration system therefore the negative evaluation. Pagination is a commonplace in any retrieval system that provides a large number of results. If user gets too many results, sorted by ten on each page, he needs to know how many pages there are and which one eactly is displayed. For pagination, all the systems use numbers (1, 2, 3...) or words (hereinafter, net, back, previous), ecept SSLKE, which only has a serial number to each result, but the page is not numbered. Shown are only arrows which move the user one page back and forth, and double arrows to move to the very first or very last page. Structured results are present in all online library systems. They offer an interface of abbreviated format, user format, ISBD, MARC format, format in the form of a list of journals, spreadsheets, or advanced imaging, etc. They are transparent and effective in any scientific library cataloging system, and therefore their value is very positive. Actionable results are available in each library system of the evaluated scientific libraries. In addition to action book, they offer a few more. Virtua system offers the action save the search. System SSLKE offers to store, send, add to research or evaluate the results. Advanced Rapid Library offers the possibility to print the results in on of the preset formats optimized for printing. OPAC system Dawinci provides the action book, reserve, download XLS, RSS, print, add to cart. Unified discovery is a search method called search, browse and ask. It is essentially a collaboration of features like faceted navigation, federated search, advanced search and other elements. However, these elements do not appear eplicitly in one library catalog interface, which made the unified discovery be evaluated negatively. Table 1. User search interfaces in the online library catalogs of Slovak scientific libraries CATALOG Library Catalog system Autocomplete and autosuggest Best first Federated search Faceted navigation Advanced search Personalisation Pagination Structured results Actionable results Unified discovery ULIB Virtua SSL BB Virtua SSL KE Virtua SSL PO Virtua CL SAS Virtua SML ALEPH SPL ARL SCSTI Dawinci ves 77

79 3.2 Analysis of user search interface on the websites of Slovak scientific libraries In the second part of the practical research, we analyzed searching systems of the websites of scientific libraries. It is a comple of elements which are divided into three main sections: a simple search, advanced search and search results. SML was the only library that does not provide the search function within its website and therefore we ecluded it from the sample of evaluated scientific libraries. Simple search Location of the search bo is not the critical factor, but we evaluated positively, if it was located at the top right position of a web page. It corresponds to the mental model of users (Shaikh, Lenz, 2006) who epect the bo to be located there. An important criterion was also the width of the search bo and the length of the tet that user can type into the search bo. The recommended width of the bo is about 20 characters, which was met by all libraries, whereas UCB even eceeded the recommendation. Surprisingly, three libraries (SSLBB, SSLKE and CLSAS) only had a limited internal width of the bo. This means that the user cannot enter a request longer than 20 characters, which is very negative. Each bo requiring the action of the user deserves to be accurately described. For this purpose, there are three describing elements at our disposal: label may be above or before the search bo, help tet by clicking the mouse on the search bo, the help tet disappears, button can by an image in the form of an arrow or a magnifier, as well as a tet hint, for eample: go, find, search, and so on. See Figure 10. There is no need to use all three options together. Optimal is a combination of any two elements (Anthony, 2010). All three elements are only used by SSLBB. We rated SSLKE the worst, because it only has one element the help tet. It disappears after clicking on the search bo, leaving no alternative tet to describe the function of the bo. There is not a significant difference between people eecuting their search by pressing enter and those who click the mouse button, therefore it would be optimal to provide both options on library websites. As two of the libraries (SSLKE and CLSAS) do not have a search button, users have only one option to press enter. Selectable search language is usually associated with different languages, all over the website. CLSAS and SPL have no option to switch to English or another language. Other libraries interfaces can be switched into English language with all the descriptive elements and labels, as well as search results working correctly. Fig. 10. Label, help tet and button describing the search bo 78

80 Table 2. Analysis of simple search capabilities on the websites of Slovak scientific libraries Simple search location of search bo search bo width width of tet in search bo is there a label? label name is there a button? is there a help tet in the search bo? help tet search starts with... possibility to change language search bo on every page diacritic ULIB up, center 77 char. no limit SSL BB up, right 20 char. 20 char., above Hľadať (magnifier, arrow) (magnifier) SSL KE up, right 20 char. 20 char. SSL PO up, left 16 char. no limit CL SAS up, right 20 char. 20 char., above Hľadať SML SPL up, right 21 char. no limit SCSTI up, left 17 char. no limit, before Hľadaj (arrow), written tet Hľadat (arrow) Search hľadať... search... You query: hľadanie... enter + click enter + click enter enter + click enter not not necessary necessary necessary necessary necessary Hľadaný výraz enter + click enter + click not necessary necessary The search bo is part of global navigation (Makulová, 2010) of the website and therefore it must be located at each page. All eamined libraries met this criterion. Especially the younger generation of users do not use diacritic while searching on the internet. Many sites follow this trend and its content can be indeed without diacritic. This is true even for libraries. ULIB, SSLPO and SPL provide the same results when you type the epression with or without diacritic. As for the simple search, ULIB, SSLBB and SSLPO were ranked the best. SSLKE received the worst rating. Advanced search There is no Slovak scientific library with eplicitly identified advanced search. This option usually appears in tet form as a link to advanced search and is located near to the simple search bo. Three libraries (SSLBB, SSLKE and CLSAS) provide the advanced search even without the link. After entering the query, there is the advanced search option appearing above the search results e. g. Boolean operators and federated search. CLSAS is the only one of the mentioned libraries, which locates the function under the search results. This we consider to be not appropriate. Only some users review all the results and only few will get to the bot tom of the page. It is difficult even to notice and easy to overlook. Table 3. Analysis of advanced search capabilities on the websites of Slovak scientific libraries Advanced search Advanced search advanced search bo width width of tet in advanced search bo Boolean operators help ULIB SSL BB 30 char. SSL KE 30 char. SSL PO CL SAS 20 char. SML SPL SCSTI 20 char. no limit 20 char. 79

81 The width of an advanced search bo should be broader than that of a simple one. The optimum is 30 characters. The criterion was only met by SSLKE, which has a bo with 30-characters width and users can type into it with no limit. On the other hand, a not appropriate solution was revealed in SSLBB. Visually, the bo is large enough (30 characters), but only two thirds of its width can be used. Users can only enter a 20-character-long request. None of the evaluated libraries provide help when searching. Overall, the advanced search functions of the scientific libraries websites are very limited, probably because their content is not so rich. Usually it only contains information about library funds, news, events, services, etc. Search results The current research (electronic questionnaire designed to support qualitative study of public libraries in this paper, a sample of 343 respondents, 2011), makes it apparent, that users like the possibility of sorting their results according to various criteria (see Figure 11). SSLPO only offers alphabetical order. The SSLBB, SSLKE and CLSAS libraries have the option of sorting the results by date, readership, alphabet, sections and categories. All the libraries ecept for SSLPO show how many results were found. The user can thus get an impression of whether they used a too broad keyword in their search query and how much they need to tune their request. The option of adjusting the number of results per page is also very handy. If the user has eperienced getting too many results, he can set the number to be higher. He can view the results on one page, using only the scroll instead of constant clicking on the net page button. Again, only the SSLBB, SSLKE and CLSAS libraries provide this option. User-friendly is also the function, where the query remains in the search bo. The user can always see what he has entered. All the libraries have this feature, but half of them do not apply it correctly. Search query does not remain in the simple search bo, but only in the bo that appears above the results. Or it is only a tet alternative after the phrase search term: Searching for: Almost all the users like the words typed in a search bo to be highlighted in the results (Fig. 12). This option is provided only by four libraries ULIB, SSLKE, CLSAS and SPL. Description of the results is also a very important criterion, because the name or URL of the page isn t always helpful and does not tell, whether the result eactly display what the user was looking for. More than a half of the users think that the result description search is useful for them (see Figure 13). Fig. 11. Sorting the results according to various criteria (acc. to the user survey 2011) 80

82 Fig. 12. Highlighted search terms in results (acc. to the user survey 2011) Fig. 13. Usefulness of the description of the result (acc. to the user survey 2011) In addition to the result description, it is also important for the result headlines to be clickable (met by all of the libraries), as well as for the URL address. It s not necessary for the URL address to be clickable, but certainly it has to be present. In most cases, the search results are displayed on multiple pages that should be clearly marked and clickable. SSLPO does not provide this option. Pagination of ULIB is only verbal, there are no numbers. This means that we can click on further or back, but if we do it many times, we lose control and forget on which page we currently are. The only solution is to return to the very beginning or to the very end or view page by page again. Another general principle is that new pages should not be opened in the same window, unless necessary. This principle is violated twice by SCSTI. After entering the search query, new window pops up with the results. We would epect from the system that when you click on a result, the new page is loaded in the same window, in which the list of the results was dis played. The opposite is true; the result will be opened in the original window, where the user typed the query. It s confusing because the user becomes aware of it only after a while of waiting and searching. If he wants to refine his request, he must use more windows. If a user does not receive an output or outcome, the system should provide an alternative solution ( Did you mean... ) or at least provide some psychological support, as is only the case with one scientific library SCSTI Try another word or check spelling. If the user would like to search for a phrase or word, which he was looking for already in the past, he doesn t need to write it again. The system remembers it. 81

83 Table 4. Analysis of the search results on the web sites of Slovak scientific libraries Search results possibility to sort by more criteria amount of search results displayed possibility to change number of results per page search query stays in search bo search query words highlighited in search results abstract head-line of the search result is clickable URL under search result is clickable pagination (numeric) pagination (verbal) search results are not opening in new window (pop up, new tab) selected web page from search results is not opening in new window (pop up, new tab) if 0 results, is there any suggestion? autocomplete and autosuggestion number of search results on a query "kontakt" (contact) number of search results on a query "služba" (service) ULIB SSL BB SSL KE SSL PO CL SAS SML SPL SCSTI /no áno /no /no We have searched two terms, contact and service, to see how many results we get and whether they are sufficiently relevant. Disappointing results we were given by the SCSTI library, because in addition to their website content, the full-tet database of Bulletin of the SCSTI and ITLib magazine were searched at the same time. Overall, the best search results systems have the libraries SSLKE, CLSAS and SSLBB. Conclusions Taking into account the overall rate of negative and positive evaluation of various criteria, the worst results were achieved by SSLPO and SCSTI. The reasons are diametrically opposed. SCSTI has a website designed in the past with old methods, not complying with today s standards. The library offers ecellent eternal databases and resources which can be searched through a single interface, but information available on its own website are not findable and accessible. On the contrary, SSLPO is a modern, visually appealing website using a nice graphic metaphor. In this case, the visual predominates over the content, which is wrong. Information design is more important than graphic design. This also applies to search and retrieval systems. The best rating has SSLBB and other libraries have very similar value ratio. The positive evaluation of their search design can be a good eample for new designers of many ancient library websites. Searching in the online catalogs of scientific libraries is very good and efficient, but in the future, they could also implement other elements of the search interface, such as personalization, which is a real challenge for the future of information and conduct search. There are few libraries in Slovakia, which started to use some personalization elements in their OPAC system, such as collaborative recommendation systems, common shelves, ratings of books, etc. 82

84 Fig. 14. Search interfaces of the Slovak scientific libraries websites Summary References ANTHONY, Why You Should Stop Using the Go Button for Search. In UX Movement [online]. September, 2010 [cit ]. Dostupné na internete: <>. BATES, Marcia J The Design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface. [cit ]. Dostupné na internete: <>. JANSEN, Bernard. J The effect of query compleity on Web searching results. In Information Research [online]. 2000, vol. 6, no.1 [cit ]. Dostupné na internete: <>. MCGOVERN, Gerry NORTON, Rob Content Critical. London : Pearson Education Limited, 2002, 241 s. MAKULOVÁ, Soňa BUZOVÁ, Katarína Analýza vzorov návrhov interfejsu vyhľadávania. In INFOS Zborník z 36. medzinárodného informatického sympózia o nových výzvach 21. storočia pre pamäťové inštitúcie. Nové rozmery informačného univerza máj Stará Lesná Vysoké Tatry, p [online], [cit ]. Available from: < > MAKULOVÁ, Soňa Informačná architektúra sieťových médií a multimédií [online]. Bratislava: Elet, s. ISBN [online]. [cit ]. Dostupné na: <>. MAKULOVÁ, Soňa A qualitative analysis of the factors influencing findability of the websites of Slovak libraries. In Bezpieczna, innowacyjna i dostępna informacja, perspektywy dla sektora usług informacyjnych w społeczeństwie wiedzy [online], [cit ]. Zakopane : Polskie towarzystwo informacji naukowej, P Available from: < >. MAKULOVÁ, Soňa Informačné správanie používateľov pri vyhľadávaní informácií v internete. In Informačné správanie a digitálne knižnice. Bratislava: CVTI SR, 2003, s MAKULOVÁ, Soňa Personalizované vyhľadávanie ako jedno z riešení informačného preťaženia používateľov. In Inforum 2005 : 11. ročník konference o profesionálních informačních zdrojích, Praha května 2005 [online]. Praha : Albertina icome Praha, Available from: <>. 83

85 iprospect Blended Search Results Study [online]. April [cit ]. Available from: < blendedsearchresults.pdf>. MORVILLE, P., ROSENFELD, L Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. 3. vyd. Sebastopol : O Reilly&Associates, 2006, 504 s. MORVILLE, Peter CALLENDER, Jeffery Search patterns. 1. vyd. Sebastopol: O Reilly&Associates, 2010, 180 s. NIELSEN, Jakob Personalization is Over-Rated. In Nielsen s Alertbo [online]. October 4, 1998 [cit ]. Available from: < html>. NIELSEN, Jakob When search engines become answer engines. [cit ]. Available from: < html>. NIELSEN, J., LORANGER, H Prioritizing Web Usability. Berkeley, CA : New Riders Press, 2006, 406 s. PAPÍK, Richard Vyhledávání informací II. Uživatelské rozhraní a vlivy oboru humancomputer interaction. In Národní knihovna. 2001, roč. 12, č. 2, s [cit ]. Available from: < html>. SHAIKH, A., LENZ, Kelsi, Where s the Search? Re-eamining User Epectations of Web Objects. In Usability News [online]. 2006, roč. 8, č.1 [cit ]. Available from: <>. STEINEROVÁ, Jela Informačná ekológia využívanie informácií srdcom. In ITlib. Informačné technológie a knižnice [online], 2009, č. 02 [cit ]. Available from: <>. ISSN STEINEROVÁ, Jela a kol Správa o empirickom prieskume používateľov knižníc ako súčasť grantovej úlohy VEGA 1/9236/02 Interakcia človeka s informačným prostredím v informačnej spoločnosti. Autori: Jela Steinerová, Jaroslav Šušol, Soňa Makulová, Marta Matthaeidesová, Jana Verčeková, Pavol Rankov. Bratislava : Filozofická fakulta UK, KKIV, s. STEINEROVÁ, Jela Informačné správanie: Pohľady informačnej vedy. Bratislava : CVTI SR, s. ISBN ŠUŠOL, J Publikačné správanie autorov v akademickom prostredí. In INFOS Pamäťové inštitúcie v digitálnom prostredí. 35. medzinárodné informatické sympózium, Stará Lesná, Bratislava : Spolok slovenských knihovníkov, 2009, s ISBN THUROW, S Search Engine Visibility. Berkeley : New Riders Publishing, p. World Internet Usage Statistics News and World Population Stats [online]. [cit ]. Available from <>. Acknowledgement The paper was supported by the research project KEGA 3/7275/09 09 Information studies in the conditions of web 2.0 and new technologies (INWENT) and research project VEGA 1/0429/10 Academic information environment modeling from the perspective of the information ecology. 84

86 About the authors Prof. Soňa Makulová is the head of the Department of Library and Information Science at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her specialties have mirrored the development of information and communication technologies. From 1982 to 1993 it was especially mechanization and automation of libraries, as well as information research in an environment of global computer networks. Since 1995, she has specialized in information architecture and evaluation of web sites, eternal information sources on the internet, and the methodology of creating and redesigning of web sites. Being an epert in multimedia evaluation, she was nominated as a member of the global Grand Jury for the assessment of the world-wide competition World Summit Award in Dubai and in Bahrain in Mgr. Katarína Buzová works as an internal doctoral student at the Department of Library and Information Science at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. She has specialized in researching credibility as a quality attribute of web sites. She has dealt with this aspect of trustworthiness on web sites offering medical information and currently eamines the credibility of e-shops. She administers her blog Credibility on the Internet (only Slovak language). She has given lectures on various courses, e. g. Management of information resources and library and information services, Information architecture I. and II., and Information and communication technologies in education. 85


88 Kognitivní styl jedince a intuice: jeden vhled do informační ekologie Beáta Sedláčková Slezská univerzita Opava, Filozoficko-přírodovědecká fakulta Ústav informatiky Bezručovo nám. 13, Opava, Czech Republic Summary Individual Cognitive Style and Intuition: An Insight into Information Ecology The essence of technology, and also information technology, is not tools, but the way you work. It means that technology also affects the way people live and think. Technology is etension of human arm, and so base technological change epresses the world view and at the same time the world view has been altering by them. In a society based on information the size or quantity becomes a function. And the variable instead of independent is becoming of the dependent. The nature of the information even suggests that the best is the least amount. The paper deals with the cognitive abilities and cognitive style of individuals in the kontet of information strategy and strategic thinking. Intuition as a part of perception is considered an effective tool for to cope of information overload. Keywords cognitive style, intuition, creativity, information ecology, LIS Úvod Moderní člověk v jednadvacátém století čelí různým výzvám, které mají na něho škodlivý vliv. Je pod obrovským časovým i finančním tlakem, zvýšeným stupněm nejistoty a výrazně zvýšenou frekvencí změn. Dokonce i zdraví moderního člověka je postaveno na rovnováze pevných pilířů života a vysoké adaptibility spojené se schopností integrovat nové znalosti či informace do funkčního toku svého osobního či profesního života. Není divu, že se infor 87

89 mační ekologie poslední desetiletí stává ústředním tématem ve výzkumech informační vědy. Jela Steinerová (2009) představuje informační ekologii jako koncept založený na sociálních, kognitivních, afektivních a etických aspektech informačních procesů za předpokladu, že informační ekologie vzniká vzájemným přizpůsobováním člověka a informačního prostředí vytvářením smysluplných výstupů z proudů sdělení. Za základní atributy informační ekologie považuje interakci, kognici, emoce a relevanci. Velice zjednodušeně lze říct, že všichni odborníci zabývající se informační ekologii, se snaží zodpovědět otázku, proč technologie nestačí na efektivní zpracování a využívání informací, řeší dvouznačnost významů, zahlcení a přetížení informacemi. 1 Od analýzy k percepci Ve svém nástinu koncepcí lidské civilizace Peter Drucker (2004) zmiňuje, že jen velice málo události mělo na civilizaci tak výrazný vliv jako změna základního principu organizace práce. Až do roku 800 či 900 našeho letopočtu měla Čína obrovský náskok v technologii, vědě, kultuře a v úrovni civilizace vůbec. Pak nalezli benediktýnští mniši v Evropě nové energetické zdroje a přeměnili v první skutečné stroje mechanismy, které byly v antických dobách pouhými hračkami a to vodní kolo a větrný mlýn. Do té doby hlavním, ne-li jediným zdrojem energie byl dvounohý tvor zvaný Homo sapiens. Během následujících svou set let se vedoucí technologické postavení přesunulo z Číny do Evropy. Někdy kolem roku 1680 francouzsky fyzik Denis Papin vynalezl a vyprojektoval parní stroj, i když není známo, jestli ho skutečně postavil. O jednu generaci později kolem roku 1712 pak Thomas Newcomen instaloval první fungující stroj v jednom anglickém uhelném dole, což umožnilo těžbu uhlí. Od té doby po dalších dvě stě padesát let měl model technologie mechanistický charakter, hlavním energetickým zdrojem se rychle stala fosilní paliva. Nová technologie vytvořila i nový světový názor a tím byl pohled na svět jako mechanicky uspořádaný vesmír. V roce 1945 atomová štěpná reakce napodobila to, co se děje uvnitř Slunce a nikam dál už pokročit nelze. Tímto skončila éra, jejímž modelem byl mechanisticky chápaný vesmír. O jeden rok později byl do provozu uveden první počítač, model ENIAC, a tak rok 1946 znamenal počátek éry, v níž se staly organizačním principem výroby informace, co znamenalo vznik nového vývojového směru lidské civilizace. S mírnou nadsázkou lze říct, že počítač je určitým způsobem nejdokonalejším vyjádřením analytického a mechanistického pojetí světa (Drucker, 2004). I když informace jako takové mají skutečně analytický a pojmový charakter, jsou základním principem spíše biologických než mechanických procesu. Moderní biologie nás učí, že život je vyjádřen v genetickém kódu, to znamená v naprogramovaných informacích. Asi jediná definice reality života, která nevzbuzuje v současném materialistickém založení představy nadpřirozena, tvrdí, že život je hmota organizovaná na základě informací. Ovšem biologický proces nemá analytický charakter, biologické jevy jsou celky, které se nerovnají souhrnu svých částí, kdežto v mechanickém jevu je celek roven souhrnu jednotlivých svých částí, takže je možno mu porozumět pomocí analýzy. Informace mají pojmový charakter, smysl však nikoli, smysl má charakter percepce. Percepce podle principu mechanistického světového názoru není vážná věc, omezuje se pouze na jemnější stránky života. V tomto pojetí měla intuitivní charakter a jako taková byla buď falešná, nebo mystická a nepostižitelná. I když mnoho jednotlivých vědců její eistenci popíralo, věda popírala pouze její platnost. Intuici, jak tvrdili analytikové, nelze nikoho naučit ani ho v ní vycvičit. Ani v současné 88

90 době se příliš v těchto přístupech k intuici nezměnilo. Karel Pstružina (2011) uvádí pět přístupu k vysvětlení intuice, kterou obecně pojmenovává vhled v náhlosti či nějakou specifickou operaci lidského myšlení. Připomíná, že k něčemu takovému dochází jen občas a právě ona občasnost nemá žádná pravidla. Intuici vysvětluje jako zkratku průběhu lidského myšlení, jako autistickou schopnost lidského myšlení, jako průnik lidského myšlení do nevědomých substruktur mysli, jako holografickou reprodukci a nakonec jako transcendentní pole vhledu. Zdůrazňuje, že náhlost vhledu a bezprostřední zření, které nepotřebuje důkaz, je nutné prověřit v následných diskursivních pohybech lidského myšlení. V biologickém vesmíru je percepce středem všeho a je možné nebo spíše nutné ji rozvíjet. Počítač nedokáže dělat nic, co vyžaduje nějaký smysl, a právě proto se vytvářejí epertní systémy, které se snaží obohatit počítačovou logiku a analytický proces o percepce zkušenosti, které jsou výsledkem pochopení určitého úkolu nebo studovaného předmětu v jeho celku. Shrnuto, od dob René Descarta se důraz kladl na pojmovou stránku věci, trvalo dalších více než sto let, než přišel Immanuel Kant se svou metafyzikou, která mechanistický světový názor kodifikovala, ovládla západní filosofii a definovala významné otázky i pro takové Kantovy odpůrce, jakým byl Friedrich Nietzsche. A byl to také Kant, který definoval znalosti pro Ludwiga Wittgensteina v první polovině dvacátého století. Současná doba je ovšem ve znamení hledání rovnováhy mezi stránkou pojmovou a percepční. Současní filosofové se zabývají konfiguracemi, t. j. znameními a symboly, schématy, mýty, jazykem, tedy zabývají se percepcí. I když je potřeba upřesnit, že přechod k percepci začal už v devadesátých letech devatenáctého století v rámci Gestaltpsychologie.1 Tato si poprvé uvědomila, že lidé jsou vybavení celostním vnímáním neboli percepci. Od té doby se téměř všechny obory psychologie, vývojová, behaviorální, či klinická, přeorientovaly z analýzy na percepci. S Gestaltem souvisí tzv. první dojem. Mnoho lidí tvrdí, že na něj nedají. Není tomu tak, stačí se podívat do současných příruček o komunikaci, učí, jak udělat první dojem, protože od toho se odvíjí úspěch či neúspěch veškeré další komunikace. V současné době ve vládním či podnikovém plánování stále častěji hovoříme o scénářích jejichž výchozím bodem je percepce. A samozřejmě ekologie jakéhokoli druhu znamená spíše percepci než analýzu. V ekologii je třeba vidět a chápat celek, jednotlivé části eistují pouze prostřednictvím vnímání celku. Problémem informací a informovanosti dnes se stává otázka, jaké je správné množství pro určitý úkol jedince či určitou organizaci. V mechanickém systému se většího o výkonu dosahuje zvětšením jeho velikosti, větší vstupy znamenají i větší výstupy. V případě biologických systému tato závislost neplatí, protože tam velikost vyplývá z funkce. Z povahy informace dále vyplývá, že nejlepší bude to nejmenší množství. Správné množství je faktorem zajišťujícím nejefektivnější zpracování informací potřebných pro plnění osobních či profesních úkolů a výkon určité funkce. Ovšem v dnešním světě vyspělých informačních technologii se správné množství stává vážným problémem. Svět se stává opět plochý díky informačním technologiím a propojitelnosti. 1 Německé slovo Gestalt se těžko překládá. Překladovými slovy jsou tvar, útvar, konfigurace, vzorec nebo struktura, z nichž každé vystihuje část významu slova, ale žádný sám nevystihuje přesný význam německého termínu. A tak se Gestalt stal součástí psychologického jazyka. (Janoušek, 1999). 89

91 2 In-forming: jeden z faktorů zploštění světa Friedman (2007) uvádí celkem deset faktorů zploštění světa, kterými jsou tvořivost z hlediska propojitelnosti, software pro workflow, uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, dodavatelské řetězce, insourcing, in-forming a steroidy. Samozřejmě dalším dechem dodává, že plochý svět není jediný, že eistuje také neplochý svět ubývajících surovin, měnícího se klimatu a oničeného životního prostředí, eistuje také duchovní svět lidských náboženství a ateismů. Jde o to, kdo a odkud se dívá. V každém případě plochá polovina světa bude v trvalém ohrožení zevnitř i zvenku. Zvenku na ni bude doléhat hlas chudoby a teroru, zevnitř ji bude ničit omezenost zdrojů všeho druhu a rostoucí morální problémy, které lze jenom stěží nebo vůbec ospravedlnit. Bezesporu každý z uváděných faktoru zploštění vyspělého světa stojí za zvláštní pozornost, z hlediska kognitivních stylů je zmíněn in-forming. In-forming je schopnost vybudovat si a používat vlastní osobní dodavatelský řetězec informací, vědomostí a zábavy. Znamená spolupracovat sám se sebou, sám se řídit, posilovat své možnosti, vyhledávat si informace, editovat je, vybírat si zábavu a to vše bez návštěvy knihovny, kina a pod. Je to něco jako individuální obdoba k uploadování, outsourcování, insourcování, k dodavatelskému řetězci a offshoringu. In-forming je hledání vědomostí, hledají je stejně smýšlející lidí a společenství. Neobyčejně vysokou celosvětovou popularitu společnosti Google způsobilo to, že se in-forming stal hlavním tématem jejich webových stránek. Lidé silně po této formě spolupráce touží. Dnes v podstatě jedinec předpokládá, že informace, kterou hledá, určitě eistuje a je věcí technologů, aby přístup k ní usnadnili, a tak se proklikal k informaci co nejrychleji. Demokratizace informací má dalekosáhle důsledky pro společnost. Uživatelé jsou dnes mnohem zdatnější, mohou si zjistit informace, výrobky, služby, jsou lépe informování o různých problémech týkajících se zdraví, práce, volného času a podobně. Malá města už nejsou znevýhodněna ve srovnání s velkými. Od konce devadesátých let minulého století denně na internetu přibývají statisíce webových stránek a vyhledávače založené na vyhledávání klíčových slov s tímto tempem nedokázaly držet krok. Kupodivu, ve srovnání s jinými věcmi, jež lze na internetu dělat, se význam vyhledávání informací podceňoval, obecně bylo v povědomí, že jediným zdrojem informací jsou tety. Především za velkého přispění filozofie společnosti Google se najednou všechny digitalizované informace, dají vyhledat, je to něco jako zlatý důl, ve kterém je možno těžit, i když internet i dnes pokrývá jen zlomek toho, čím lze procházet, kde vyhledávat a čím je možné navigovat. Předpokládá se, že každý jednotlivec bude schopný najít cokoli, kdykoli a jakýmkoli způsobem. Mnoho odborníku v tom vidí možnost, že budou moci věnovat čas a mozkovou kapacitu tomu, co umí nejlépe, a to rozhodně není, někde něco pořád hledat, ale něco budovat a navrhovat, vyvíjet představu o něčem a vytvářet a realizovat svoji představu. Dnes eistují technologie, například ipod, které umožňují člověku se informovat ještě jinak, a to zábavou, nikoli vědomostmi. In-forming zahrnuje také vyhledávání přátel, spojenců, a spolupracovníků. Podporuje vytváření globální komunity přesahující hranice států a kultur, a tím významným způsobem přispívá je zplošťování světa. Jednotlivci dává možnost hledat spolupracovníky z libovolných oblastí a pro libovolný projekt nebo téma prostřednictvím internetových portálů. Samoobslužná role internetu se posiluje, poskytuje lidem fórum, platformu a soubor nástrojů, čímž vytvářejí soukromý či veřejný prostor, v němž je možné se na internetu shromažďovat bez ohledu na místo i čas. Umožňují uživatelům sdružovat s nad tématy, jež považují za významná, způsobem, který je offline nepraktický nebo nemožný. Mohou to být podpůrné skupiny pro ty, kteří se vůbec neznají, ale sdílejí stejný problém. Různé komunity mohou v interaktivním prostředí internetu migrovat a prospívat, poskytovat virtuální domov spřízněným skupinám a předávat informace 90

92 důležité pro vznik komunity plné života. Některé jsou jen online a nemohou nikdy uspět offline, jiné zase vycházejí z eistence podobných komunit ve skutečném životě. Tento trend je posilován tím, že se uživatele budou stále více stávat zadavateli a budou hledat, co a kdo je zajímá, přičemž sami rozhodnou, kdy, kde a jak si to vyberou. Z vyhledávání informací se stává osobní záležitost, která dává lidem větší moc než cokoli ji ného. Jde o protiklad ke klasickému způsobu výuky. Člověk posiluje sám sebe, aby dokázal lépe zacházet s informacemi, které hledá. Vyhledávání se stává nejdůležitějším projevem moci jednotlivců, kteří používají počítač, pozorují svět a nacházejí přesně to, co chtějí. Ovšem tady je potřeba zdůraznit, že každý jedinec je jiný. Když je umožněno každému získávat informace všemi novými způsoby, samozřejmě že to přispěje k vyrovnávání hrací plochy, ale vzbuzuje to i vážné obavy. Člověk nikdy neví, jakou elektronickou stopu zanechal v databázích, o nichž předpokládá, že jsou neveřejné, ačkoli se dají prohledat. V plochém světě není kam utéct, kam se schovat, je možné v něm nahlížet pod stále menší kameny. V současné etapě velevyhledávání se stává celebritou každý, protože například úroveň Google infor mace je stejná, nezná sociální ani vzdělanostní hranice. Na podporu tohoto tvrzení Friedman uvádí (2007, s. 176) výňatek z rozhovoru s Alanem Cohenem, vicepresidentem společnosti Airespace, která prodává bezdrátovou technologii: Google je podobný Bohu. Bůh je také bezdrátový, všudypřítomný a vševidoucí. Chcete-li se cokoliv dozvědět, zeptejte se Googlu. 3 Kognitivní styl a kognitivní strategie Zmínka o in-formingu ilustruje, jak rychlý je vývoj světa díky lidskému logickému myšlení. Tak rychlý, že s tím většinou nedokážeme držet krok. Kolik z nás neumí ani polovinu funkcí, které umí náš mobil. Lidská schopnost neustále vylepšovat své možnosti patří k přirozenosti druhu Homo sapiens. Od úsvitu své eistence se snaží překročit své biologické danosti a tuto možnost má díky svým mimořádným kognitivním schopnostem. Pokud si svými vylepšováním zpočátku pouze kompenzoval nedostatky svého biologického druhu ve srovnání s jinými druhy, vývojem tyto kompenzace začali daleko překračovat limity živé přírody vůbec. Poznávací procesy vymezují kognitivní psychologové jako procesy zpracování infor mací. Rozlišují nižší a vyšší poznávací procesy, někdy též hovoří o primární a sekundární kognici. Používají tradiční terminologii, t. j. hovoří o percepci, představování (imaginaci), myšlení a dalších, avšak každý z těchto procesů vymezují prostřednictvím nadřazeného pojmu zpracování informací. Tuto pracovní orientaci kognitivní psychologie lze charakterizovat jako informační a procesuální přístup (Sedláková, 2004). Procesy zpracovávající informace probíhají paralelně a sériově a spolu interagují. Informační přístup ke studiu poznávacích procesů dovoluje chápat každý tradičně pojatý poznávací proces, např. percepci jako hierarchizovaný komple procesů zpracovávajících informace na určité úrovni. Komple funguje jako celek a nese vlastnosti systému., ve kterém lze vyčlenit subsystémy, které pracují jako moduly, jejichž průběh je vyššími procesy neovlivnitelný, t. j. vyšší poznávací procesy dostávají k dalšímu zpracování informace již určitým způsobem předzpracované. Zavedení informačního a procesuálního přístupu otevírá možnost pracovat s řadou nových pojmů a jim odpovídajících termínů. 91

93 Jak jedinec vnímá, myslí, pamatuje si a myšlenkově řeší problémy, vyjadřuje tzv. kognitivní styl. Je to termín, který kognitivní psychologie používá, i když předmětem odborné diskuse je i dnes přesný význam tohoto termínu a také, zda se jedná o jednu nebo více dimenzí lidské osobnosti. Kognitivní styl se liší od kognitivních schopností, které se měří tzv. inteligenčními testy. Nicméně zůstává i nadále klíčovým pojmem v oblasti vzdělávání a řízení. Pokud má student podobný kognitivní styl jako jeho učitel, je šance, že student bude mít pozitivní studijní zkušenost a bude se zlepšovat. Stejně tak členové týmu s podobným kognitivním stylem pravděpodobně budou cítit pozitivněji svoji účast v týmu, aktivněji spolupracovat a podílet se na řešení problému. Výzkum kognitivních stylů začal v šedesátých letech minulého století a počátky jsou spojeny se jménem Jeroma Kagana (1964). Za základní kognitivní styly, které jsou pokládány za víceméně vrozené a nepříliš snadno ovlivnitelné, současná kognitivní psychologie považuje refleivní kognitivní styl, impulzivní kognitivní styl, zarovnávací či nivelizující kognitivní styl, zaostřující či reflektorický kognitivní styl. Jedinec používající refleivní kognitivní styl reaguje opatrně, pozvolna, pokud může, odkládá své rozhodnutí na později. Snaží se nejprve co nejlépe orientovat v dané situaci než začne reagovat. Pracovní problémy někdy promýšlí, zvažuje a diskutuje i v rodině. Snaží se o anticipaci, uvažuje o důsledcích jednotlivých možných variant řešení. Usiluje o komplení analýzu a jakousi apriorní kontrolu. Naopak jedinec používající impulzivní kognitivní styl reaguje rychle, opírá se často riskantně o první nabízející se hypotézy, varianty řešení. Kontrolu svých rozhodnutí provádí až následně. Jedinec používající nivelizující kognitivní styl připodobňuje nové, i více méně odlišné situace a podněty situacím a podnětům dřívějším, a proto méně a později rozpoznává změny a rozdíly mezi dosavadním a novým. Jedinec používající reflektorický kognitivní styl si pohotověji uvědomuje změny a výrazněji odlišuje situace i podněty. Změnu pointuje, reaguje brzy i na malé až okrajové rozdíly a odlišnosti. Někdy je ovšem i přeceňuje. Mívá sklon k ulpívavé zaměřenosti vnímání a myšlení. Za pozornost stojí rozlišování kognitivních typů na typ globální a analytický podle amerického kognitivního psychologa Hermana A. Witkina (1977). Jedinec používající globální styl je závislý na celku vnímaného pole. Projevuje větší závislost na lidech, menší odstup od lidí a spíše mění své názory a postoje i city podle ostatních lidí. Jedinec používající analytický styl zřetelně odlišuje vnímané prvky od jejich pozadí, snáze se odpoutává od vlivu okolí a lépe řeší úkoly vyžadující restrukturování. Je důležité zmínit, že jednotlivec může v různých situacích používat také různé kognitivní styly. Lidi, kteří reagují vždy vyhraněně a pouze jedním kognitivním stylem, není mnoho. Nejčastější příčiny zahlceni informacemi pocházejí právě z pracovní oblasti. Náročné podmínky, soutěživé prostředí nebo strach o pracovní místo či pozici vedou ke stresu. Zvýšená pracovní zátěž se stává součástí života. Následkem rostoucí produktivity méně lidí vykonává stále více práce. Moderní technologie s sebou přinášejí nové druhy činnosti a úsporná personální opatření vedou ke zhušťování pracovní náplně. Život v informační společnosti přináší sebou záplavu množstvím různých údajů, tetů a vzdělávacích materiálů, jsou to kvanta informací, které je nucen člověk zpracovávat. Současná společnost je také společnosti služeb a z toho plyne, že zákazníci kladou vysoké nároky na kvalitu služeb, fleibilitu a rychlost. K tomu ještě lze připočítat mnohdy značně regulativní prostředí v některých profesích, od nichž úřady vyžadují stálý přísun nejrůznějších dat, formulářů a oficiálních zpráv. Člověk je vystaven také velkému množství vnějších rušivých vlivů. Problémy mohu nastat, je-li pracovník pro ostatní snadno dostižitelný, například, přes mail, mobil atd. Soustředit se pouze na jednu věc a zdárně ji dokončit je v dnešním světě založeném především na znalostech a vědomostech téměř nemožné. K tomu se přidává skutečnost, že se učíme ovládat nové technologie více méně za pochodu, v čím dál kratším čase. Všechny tyto zmi92

94 ňované vlivy patří mezi stresory a rizikové faktory současného člověka. A samozřejmě nelze opomenout konflikt hodnot. Hodnoty jsou to, co je pro nás v životě důležité, jsou našim motorem a motivují nás k výkonům. Podobají se zásadám, které našemu životu dávají smysl. Pokud jsou hodnoty společnosti či organizace v rozporu s hodnotami jedince, dochází u něj k vnitřnímu konfliktu, i když je nutné říct, že hodnoty samy o sobě nemusí být automatiky pozitivní. Roli ovšem nehrají jen situační faktory, s vnějšími faktory se každý člověk vyrovnává jinak, co znamená, že problémy zahlcení a stresu se mohou ukrývat i v charakterových vlastnostech. Proces, kterým se jedinec snaží vyrovnat se stresovými situacemi, se nazývá coping (Atkinson, 2003). V podstatě se jedná o souhrn všech způsobů chování, které uplatňuje při zvládání mimořádně obtížných životních situací. Může se zaměřit na určitý problém či situaci, která nastala a nalézt způsob, jak změnit nebo, jak se jí v budoucnu vyhnout. Tento proces copingu se nazývá zvládání zaměřené na problém. Strategie řešení problému zahrnují vymezení problému, hledání alternativních řešení, zvažování alternativ z hlediska nákladů a výnosů, volbu mezi alternativami a realizaci vybrané alternativy. Tyto strategie mohou být nasměrované dovnitř, jedinec mění něco v sobě, místo toho, aby měnil prostředí, příkladem může být změna aspirační úrovně, nalezení alternativních způsobů uspokojení a osvojení si nových dovedností. Míra úspěšnosti této strategie závisí především na zkušenostech jedince a jeho schopnosti sebeovládání. Druhý proces, zvládání zaměřené na emoce, jedinec používá, aby zabránil zaplavení negativními emocemi, které by mu znemožnily provést určité kroky k vyřešení problému. Tato forma copingu se používá i tehdy, když je problém neovlivnitelný. Kognitivními strategiemi, jak zvládnout negativní emoce patří dočasné odsunutí problému z vědomí, zmírnění ohrožení změnou významu situace a velmi často zahrnují přehodnocení situace. Je potřeba doplnit, že eistují také behaviorální strategie na zvládnutí negativních emocí, a to je použití různých prostředků ke zmírnění naléhavosti problému, například tělesná cvičení, hledání podpory u přátel či alkohol a pod. Samozřejmě určité kognitivní a behaviorální strategie mohou být adaptivní, ale jiné mohou jedinci způsobovat ještě více stresu. Jednou z úspěšných strategií je vyhledání emoční opory u druhých lidí, možná právě proto se dnes klade důraz v profesním životě na týmovou spolupráci lidí, kteří samozřejmě kromě příslušných znalostí, dokážou vytvářet sdílenou vizi, mají podobné kognitivní styly, s čím úzce souvisejí mentální modely, t. j. modely chápání souvislostí a systémové myšlení a nakonec i Sengem (2007) zmiňované mistrovství, t. j. umění zvládnout problémy. Možností, jak vysvětlit různé způsoby zvládání složitých situací, je resilience neboli odolnost či nezdolnost člověka (Stock, 2010). Tento pojem vznikl na základě dlouhodobých výzkumu dětí, které vyrůstaly ve značně nepříznivých podmínkách, a jejích vývoj tím přesto nebyl negativně poznamenán. V současné době převládá názor, že schopnost resilience si člověk osvojuje v prvních deseti letech života, ovšem připouští se, že dospělý člověk může tuto vlastnost do jisté míry posílit. Podle zjištění má odolný jedinec schopnost úsudku, t. j. umění klást věcné otázky a dávat upřímné odpovědi, je nezávislý, t. j. umí si vytvořit mantinely mezi sebou a ostatními, umí si udržet blízké a plnohodnotné vztahy, je schopný vyjádřit frustraci kreativně, t. j. uměleckými prostředky, zvládá umění zasmát se sám sobě a nacházet i ve špatném to dobré, s tím souvisí i smysl pro humor, a nakonec umí rozlišit dobro a zlo a má odhodlaní bojovat za tyto hodnoty. Takto odolný jedinec si navzdory neúspěchům zachovává duševní rovnováhu a dále se rozvíjí. K problémům přistupuje ofenzivně a je otevřený vůči výzvám. Sice nevyhledává zbytečná rizika, ale v krizových situacích většinou obstojí. Umí přiznat porážky a snaží se z nich vzít ponaučení. Nepodléhá natolik svým strachům a pochybnostem, v tomto mu především pomáhá vědomí souvztažnosti, díky kterému přistupuje k životním situacím pozitivně a dokáže najít řešení. 93

95 4 Informační strategie a strategické myšlení Tvrzení, že mezi tradiční zdroje jakékoliv organizace či organizace patří lidé, stroje, materiál a energie, peníze a v posledních dvaceti letech se za nový zdroj považuji informace, které přerůstají ve znalosti a od těch by měla organizace pokročit k inovacím, není potřeba nijak dokazovat. Na toto téma vychází v současné době dost publikací od různých autorů, například Senge (2007), Drucker (2006), Barták (2008), Vymětal (2006). Informace se odlišují od tradičních zdrojů určitými zvláštnostmi a to nespotřebovávají se a neopotřebovávají se, prakticky je lze bez omezení rozmnožovat a přenášet, hodnotu informace nezvyšuje její množství, dokonce ji může oslabit a navíc hodnota informace se může během krátké doby dramaticky změnit. Pomocí informací lze řídit a regulovat procesy, které fungují na základním principu, že informace na něco zapůsobí, něco ovlivní, něco uvedou do chodu a samozřejmě, že musí proudit zpět a musí být rozpoznatelné, jaké důsledky zásah měl. Skutečnost je jednoduchá, kdo rozhoduje, potřebuje informace a pokud spolehlivé informace chybí, má rozhodování náhodný charakter, z toho vyplývají dva jednoduché závěry, za prvé, informace musí dojít tam, kde se rozhoduje, a za druhé, informace, která není relevantní pro konkrétní rozhodování, není potřebná. V podstatě toto řeší každá organizace, firma či instituce v rámci své informační strategie, která obsahuje specifikaci klíčových informací, přehled uplatňovaných standardů, objem finančních prostředků a dalších zdrojů pro realizaci informační strategie a zásady pro vyhodnocování účinnosti informační strategie. Samotnou strukturu informační strategie tvoří podnikatelská strategie, informační systém, informační technologie a informační management. Podnikatelská strategie, t. j. vize organizace, dává smysl a cíl ve středně a dlouhodobém časovém horizontu veškerým aktivitám organizace a zamezuje její živelný a chaotický vývoj. Informační systém ovlivňuje informační prostředí a kulturu v celé organizaci, eliminuje individuální monopoly na informace a umožňuje různá přístupová práva k určitým typům informací. Informační a komunikační technologie jsou způsobem zajištění funkčnosti a realizace celého klasického informačního procesu. A nakonec poslední součást, informační management2, řeší otázku, kdo, kde, kdy a v jaké formě má informace dostávat. I když je důležité zmínit, že pořád ještě v mnoha organizacích nejde o management informací ale dat a ryzí data ještě nic nevypovídají, dokud nejsou patřičně interpretována. Z hlediska jedince informační management pomáhá zvládat tzv. informační dilema. Jedná se o určitou kritickou hranici, od níž se rozhodování začne zhoršovat, jakmile jedinec přijímá ještě více informací. Jsou k tomu dva důvody, tím prvním je, že pro každé rozhodnutí je k dispozici omezený časový prostor, čím více informací, tím méně času na příjem, zpracování, pochopení a vyhodnocení. Druhým důvodem je, že množství informaci, které jedinec není schopen absorbovat, způsobí obtížnější postihnutí uceleného obrazu řízeného systému, a tím následně způsobí neschopnost rozhodování. Zmíněné dilema nelze odstranit, ovšem lze ho zmírnit určitými opatřeními ve sběru informací, t. j. které informace mají být vůbec podchycené a jak, dále v distribuci informací, t. j. jak se dostávají informace k těm, kteří je potřebují, a nakonec i, t. j. jak je potřeba informace upravit, aby jim adresát rozuměl Termín použil poprvé R. S. Taylor v roce 1966 pro ekonomické řešení technických úloh a pro efektivní práci s technickými informacemi. Na začátku sedmdesátých let minulého století byl použit v souvislosti s hromadným zpracováním dat počítači. V osmdesátých letech minulého století byl chápan jako soustava manažerských doporučení pro postupy aplikace IS/IT a požívali jej především odborníci z oblasti informačních technologií. V devadesátých letech minulého století označoval využití prostředků IT pro za bezpečení efektivního dosažení podnikatelské strategie organizace a kvalitní manažerské práce. Pojetí informačního managementu na počátku tohoto století spojuje jak primární potřeby manažerských hledisek, t. j. význam správného stanovení a dosahování cílů organizace, tak i ekonomického zajištění odpovídajících informačních procesů.

96 Zní to sice dost skepticky, ale neeistuje žádný návod na tvorbu dobré strategie jak v profesním, tak i osobním životě. I když se strategie rodí z přání zvítězit, odpovídá také požadavku míru a rovnováhy. Eistuje ovšem soubor principů, které tvoří základ strategického myšlení a je nutné je dodržet, chceme-li vytvořit dobrou strategii profesní či osobní. Souček (1991) identifikoval celkem třináct principů, které představuji základ tvorby každé strategie. Zřejmě nejdůležitějším rysem strategického myšlení je princip myšlení ve variantách. Tento princip vyplývá z nejistoty průběhu faktorů ovlivňujících strategii jednotlivce, organizace či společnosti. Každá strategie je založena na řadě hypotéz a zákonitostí, a tak předpoklady budoucích procesů nutně obsahují prvek nejistoty, který roste s délkou strategického období. Podstatou variantního myšlení je, že dosažení určitého cíle se zabezpečuje různými způsoby, které jsou navzájem kompatibilní a umožňují lehký přechod z jedné varianty do druhé nevyvolávající nepřekonatelné či velmi těžko překonatelné problémy. Princip permanentnosti připomíná, že na strategii je třeba pracovat neustále, srovnávat východiska a strategii se skutečností a případně vše přehodnotit a upravit tak, aby strategie odpovídala skutečnosti. V kontetu permanentnosti je vhodné zmínit nenásilnou jemnou metodu kaizen založenou na prosté myšlence, že velkých změn lze dosáhnout malými kroky (Maurer, 2005). Metodu lze použít pro zlepšování všech kvalit osobního či profesního života, ať už jde o detaily nebo o celkový posun vpřed. Kontinuálním zlepšováním pomocí malých kroků, trvalého soustředění na malé akce, myšlenky, otázky a maličkosti, lze proniknout ke skutečnému mistrovství ve všech náležitostech života. Předpokladem takové pružné strategie jsou náročné požadavky na lidský faktor. Od člověka se očekává vysoká kvalifikace a sebekázeň, určitá kultivovanost a tvůrčí schopnosti. Nezbytnou součástí strategického jednání je systémové myšlení, které nejen identifikuje všechny důležité problémy a nedostatky, ale navrhuje řešení, která berou v úvahu změny očekávané v období našeho zájmu. V soudobých tendencích vývoje globální ekonomiky nabývá systémové myšlení vyšších dimenzí, a proto Souček zmiňuje princip celosvětového systémového myšlení. Jedná se velice náročný styl práce vyžadující především velký rozsah znalostí, nejen z odborné specializace, ale také dalších oborů. Právě tento přístup přináší synergické efekty. Lidské zkušenosti ukazují, že nejvýznamnějších objevů a největšího efektu je dosahováno tam, kde se na řešení určitého problému účastní pracovníci z různých vědních oborů, kde řešení bylo nalezeno spojením poznatků různých oborů. Vzájemná konfrontace myšlenek, rozdílnost přístupů, využívání poznatků a metod práce jednoho oboru v oboru jiném, zdánlivě i velmi vzdáleném, umožňuje vznik nových, nejkvalitnějších a nejefektivnějších námětů. Princip interdisciplinárního myšlení vede k pochopení jevů, které doposud nebylo možné vysvětlit, a k překonávání jednotlivých názorů a přístupů. Nezbytnou nutností při aplikaci tohoto principu je týmová práce na zpracování strategie, která umožňuje velkou neomezenou výměnou informací. Poměr eaktního a intuitivního myšlení se liší u jednotlivých součástí strategie. Pomocí eaktních metod lze vypracovat několik různých variant prognóz vývoje určitého. K určení pravděpodobnosti, s níž nastane určitá varianta lze použít statistické metody. Ovšem rozhodnutí o tom, na které variante prostředí bude založena určitá strategie, skutečně záleží na intuici. Některé případy ukazují (Souček, 1999), že intuice založená na nahromaděné empirii odborníka, jeho životních zkušenostech, dosahuje obdivuhodné přesnosti a výstižnosti, a proto princip syntézy eaktního a intuitivního myšlení je nezbytnou součástí strategického myšlení. Nakonec, určitou syntézou intuitivních a eaktních metod jsou některé typy ekonomicko-matematických modelů používaných v oblasti strategického řízení. Ve všech strategiích má hledisko času mimořádný význam, co vyjadřuje princip myšlení v čase. Především jde o nutnost řešit problémy z hlediska budoucnosti a samozřejmě úspory časem, který je základem rozvoje společnosti. V čase se může měnit vý95

97 znam jednotlivých ukazatelů, hodnoty i normy. V určitém strategickém období se zpětné vazby projevují v míře, že by jejich nerespektování vedlo k hrubým chybám. A zde spočívá podstata principu zpětnovazebního myšlení. Určitá činnost je nejen ovlivňován stavem okolí, ale že na své okolí velmi výrazně zpětně působí, a proto v důsledku zpětnovazebních vztahu nelze strategii sestavit jednorázově, to znamená, aby jedna etapa strategie navazovala na druhou, přičemž předchozí by byla pokládaná za uzavřenou. Velice zjednodušeně princip agregovaného myšlení znamená, že při stanovení cílů jde především o to, aby tyto cíle sjednocovaly úsilí celého pracovního kolektivu a inspirovaly každého pracovníka k zamýšlení nad tím, jak on sám může přispět k jejich splnění. Nejdůležitějším měřítkem kvality strategie je, zda povede k dosažení světové špičky nebo k boji se světovým průměrem. Ovšem princip orientace na špičkové výsledky nelze chápat absolutně a při formulaci špiček je možné zaměřit pozornost pouze na určitý problém. Princip koncentrace připomíná, že dosáhnout špičkových výsledků nelze ve všem. Úspěšnost strategie závisí také na tom, do jaké míry se dokáže myšlenkový potenciál kolektivu soustředit na úzce vymezený okruh klíčových problémů, co úzce souvisí s určením strategických cílů a zaměřením na klíčové problémy. Realizace principu etiky myšlení se projevuje ve vztahu k okolí a ve vztahu ke spolupracovníkům. Velkou roli hrají takové faktory jako je spolehlivost, solidnost, důslednost v plnění závazků, ochota přizpůsobit se partnerům. Riziko spojené se strategii je velké, přináší pouze dvě procenta úspěšnosti, a tak princip vědomí práce s rizikem připomíná, že je potřeba pracovat s vědomím, že výsledky činnosti jsou nejisté. Stratég ve škále svých osobních hodnot musí klást výše touhu po progresivní změně před touhou po klidu a stabilitě a musí umět snášet nepo chopení a jeho důsledky. Strategické myšlení zřejmě nejvíce charakterizuje princip tvůrčího myšlení. Jeho výrazem je přinášení nových, netradičních myšlenek, námětů a řešení, které obvykle vyvolávají nejvyšší efekt. Opět lidská zkušenost ukazuje, že největší přínos vyvolává realizace zcela nových, revolučních myšlenek, nikoliv pouhé zdokonalování dosavadního stavu. Tvůrčí myšlení se vyznačuje, mimo jiné i tím, že se nově navrhovaná řešení nezamítají vzhledem na obtíže, které by v současné době znemožnily realizaci navrhovaného řešení, ani s ohledem na technické, sociální a další problémy, které mohou být v budoucnu. Podstata vývoje je taková, že to, co se dnes jeví jako neřešitelný problém, lze v budoucnu vyřešit, a navíc řešení, které nevyvolá žádné problémy, pravděpodobně žádným novým řešením není. Rozvoj každé ideje, realizace projektu, musí mít v čele výraznou osobnost. Jak uvádí Vymětal (2006) takové osobnosti, tzv. zlaté límečky, si musí organizace pěstovat, dávat jim potřebné prostředky, chránit je i při neúspěších, tolerovat jim vybočení z běžných schémat chování. Základními vlastnostmi stratéga je iniciativa a optimismus, ovšem reálný optimismus založený na hlubokých znalostech, a samozřejmě odvaha a touha angažovat se pro nové myšlenky, udělat něco nového i za cenu osobních obětí. K tomu, aby se informace nestaly pouhou statistickou záležitostí nebo nepředstavovaly pro stránce technické špičkový slovník naučný, je potřeba něco navíc. Klíčovou roli v otázce přechodu od určitého množství nashromážděných informací k obecně platnému zákonu, který popisuje zkoumanou oblast nebo lidskou aktivitu, hraje intuice. (Sedláčková, 1997). To ovšem neznamená, že záblesky intuice poskytují člověku informace zdarma a bez přičinění. Za zdroj inspirací pro tvůrčí pracovníky působící v různých oblastech, lze považovat Japonsko. Mnohé Japonské podniky zřizuji pro své tvůrčí pracovníky meditační sály, kde praktikují jisté mentální techniky zaměřené na rozvoj tvůrčích schopností. Současně je doporučovaná i určitá informační izolace, co je pro evropský civilizační okruh postup poněkud paradoní, protože zde obecně platí, že člověk k tomu, aby dobře vykonával určitou práci, potřebuje pokud možno největší množství informací. Japonci respektují skuteč96

98 nost, že přemíra informací může vytvářet i bloky, které nedovolují projevit tvůrčí a originální myšlenky. Člověk jednoduše potřebuje vyjít ze stereotypu myšlenek, potřebuje se, jednoduše řečeno, přeladit na jiné frekvence. Vzhledem k úspěchům, které Japonci dosahují ve všech oblastech a z celosvětového měřítka, nelze je považovat za diletanty, kteří věnují čas a prostor neopodstatněným záležitostem. Závěr Společnost i organizace založená na informacích vyžaduje, aby každý její člen převzal infor mační odpovědnost, což znamená předávat správné informace, správným lidem ve správný čas. Napětí mezi potřebou kontinuity a potřebou inovace a změny je pro společnost a celou civilizaci zásadní. Charakteristickým rysem inovátora je schopnost chápat jako systém to, co ostatní vnímají jako oddělené, spolu nijak nesouvisející prvky. Jde o úspěšný pokus o nalezení a zajištění té nejmenší chybějící části, která tyto již eistující prvky změní. Autorka, i když seznámená s různými definicemi, které nabízí odborná literatura k vysvětlení schopností dnešního člověka, možností vědy, pravidel současného světa i zákonitostí života, považuje intuici a kreativitu za součást lidské duchovnosti a za největší omyl současné doby uvažovat o lidské duchovnosti jako o něčem pochopeným a ustáleným, protože lidská kultura a poznání se neustále vyvíjejí. Názory jedinců, občas nejvzdělanějších ve svém oboru, jsou pevné a někdy dogmatické, ovšem pravda je mnohem dynamičtější. Radost z profesního či osobního života spočívá v uvolnění a v nacházení individuální pravdy, v pozorování synchronického způsobu, jakým se tato pravda vyvíjí a projevuje právě ve chvíli, kdy ji nejvíce potřebujeme. Každá generace staví na výsledcích předešlé a všichni bez generačních rozdílů někam jdeme, snad lze říct, že určitým způsobem předurčení k cíli, který si dokážeme jen stěží představit. Sice zahlcení informacemi technicky vyspělého a zplošťujícího se světa, ale se snahou integrovat to nejlepší z lidských tradic, snad budeme schopni vyřešit a překonat všechny nepříjemnosti dnešní doby. Seznam použité literatury ATKINSON, Rita L. a kol Psychologie. Praha : Portál. ISBN BARTÁK, Jan Od znalostí k inovacím: tvorba, rozvíjení a využívání znalostí v organizacích. Praha : Alfa. ISBN DRUCKER, Peter F To nejdůležitější z Druckera v jednom svazku. Praha : Mangement Press. ISBN X. DRUCKER, Peter F. MACIARIELLO, Joseph Drucker na každý den: 366 zamýšlení a podnětů, jak dělat správné věci. Praha : Management Press. ISBN FRIEDMAN, Thomas, L Svět je plochý: stručné dějiny jedenadvacátého století. Praha : Academia. ISBN JANOUŠEK, Jaromír HOSKOVEC, Jiří ŠTIKAŘ, Jiří. Psychologický výkladový atlas. Praha : Academia, ISBN KAGAN, Jerome Matching Familiar Figures Test. Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press. 97

99 MAURER, Robert Cesta kaizen: z malého kroku k velkému skoku. Praha : Pavel Dobrovský-BETA. ISBN PSTRUŽINA, Karel Pět pokusů o vysvětlení intuice. In Kognice a umělý život. Sest. Jozef Kelemen, Vladimír Kvasnička, Jiří Pospíchal. Opava : Slezská univerzita. S ISBN SEDLÁČKOVÁ, Beáta Kognitivní styl strategie přežití v informační společnosti? Vize roku In Acta Bibliothecalia et informatica 3. Opava : Slezská univerzita. S ISBN ISSN SEDLÁČKOVÁ, Beáta Informace, věda, život: Quo vadis, homo? In Acta bibliothecalia et informatica 2. Opava : Slezská univerzita. S ISSN SEDLÁKOVÁ, Miluše Vybrané kapitoly z kognitivní psychologie. Praha : Grada Publishing. ISBN SENGE, Peter, M Pátá disciplína: Teorie a prae učící se organizace. Praha : Management Press. ISBN SOUČEK, Zdeněk Strategické myšlení. Praha : Economia. ISBN STEINEROVÁ, Jela Informačná ekológia východiská a princípy. In Knižničná a informačná veda 22. Bratislava : Univerzita Komenského. S ISBN STOCK, Christian. Syndrom vyhoření a jak jej zvládnout Praha : Grada. Publishing. ISBN SÝKORA, Peter MATĚJKOVÁ, Elena Kognitívne vylepšovanie člověka, evolúcia a etika. In Kognice a umělý život. Sest. Jozef Kelemen, Vladimír Kvasnička, Jiří Pospíchal. Opava : Slezská univerzita. S ISBN VYMĚTAL, Jan DIAČIKOVÁ, Anna VÁCHOVÁ, Miriam Informační a znalostní management v prai. Praha : LeisNeis. ISBN WITKIN, Herman A. Cognitive Styles in Personal and Cultural Adaptation. Worcester, MA : Clark University, ISBN O autorce Autorka je absolventkou Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Komenského v Bratislavě, kde vystudovala obor vědecké informace a knihovnictví. Doktorandské studium v oboru informační věda absolvovala na Filozofické fakultě Karlovy univerzity v Praze. Od roku 1991 pracuje na Filozoficko-přírodovědecké fakultě Slezské univerzity v Opavě, kde založila oddělení informační vědy a rozběhla bakalářské a navazující magisterské studium v oboru LIS. 98

100 Metody rychlého čtení jako nástroj osobní informační ekologie Richard Papík Univerzita Karlova Praha, Filozofická fakulta Ústav informačních studií a knihovnictví U Kříže 8, Praha 5, Czech Republic Summary Methods of Speed Reading as a Tool of Personal Information Ecology The methods of speed reading can help as a tool of information ecology on a personal level. Present reading is often given to the contet of searching information and electronic tets. Reading from the printed materials and reading of electronic tets can be more effective, both in speed reading and the content analysis of tet. Speed reading habits and methods can acquire by special training and with better concentration of attention. Keywords speed reading, rapid reading, information ecology, information overload, information overflow Lidé nemají ani tušení, kolik času a námahy se musí vynaložit, aby se člověk naučil číst. Potřeboval jsem k tomu osmdesát let a stále ještě nemohu tvrdit, že jsem dosáhl kýženého cíle. J. W. Goethe Čtení je pro intelekt to samé, co fyzické cviky pro tělo. J. Addison 99

101 Úvod Informační eplozi, jak se tento jev začal koncem 50. let 20. století nazývat, nelze plně zvládnout a vyřešit. Lze ji minimalizovat například promyšlenou organizací publikování, vyhledávání, zpracování a rozšiřování dokumentů obsahujících poznatky. S kvantitativním nárůstem informací, jak lze informační eplozi lépe a odborněji nazývat, se lze zmínit také o tzv. informačním znečištění a o nutnosti informační hygieny, která obsahuje prvky mentální hygieny, ale přesahuje ji především svým důrazem na společensky a institucionálně podložená řešení. Obecně lze konstatovat, že společnost a jednotlivec by se měli chovat s využitím principů informační ekologie. 1 Tušení vztahu čtení a informační ekologie Informační ekologie inspiruje informační vědu k ucelenějšímu pohledu na informační procesy, kdy jejím cílem je jakási čistota informačního prostředí jako smysluplné regulování procesů využívání informací. Informační prostředí je tzv. znečištěné rozmanitostí zdrojů a neorganizovaností. Aplikace informační ekologie do praktické práce s informacemi může pomoci minimalizovat informační přetížení člověka (Steinerová, 2009). Pokud uvažujeme v této souvislosti o znečištění, pak velmi inspirativní na svět infor mací a dat je pohled amerického autora a novináře Davida Shenka, který použil termín datový smog v publikaci Data smog (Shenk, 1997). Autor se obecně zabývá tzv. informačním přehlcením a informačním nadbytkem, což vyjadřuje již v podnázvu publikace (...surviving the information glut). David Shenk vztahuje problém prvopočátečně k prostředí technologií a internetu, ale jeho pojetí je v důsledku širší a jeho možno jej chápat v celkovém pojetí informačního světa. Dokonce Wikipedie rozebírá pojem datový smog poměrně zevrubně1 a v širším kontetu. Člověk je obklopen přemírou informačních zdrojů nejen tištěných, ale i informací pocházejících z automatizovaných/elektronických informačních systémů, v kterých se infor mace nejen ukládají, ale i komunikují (např. dnešní sociální sítě se vyznačují rychlou obměnou komunikace). Jsou nejen v ucelené a uzavřené podobě zveřejňovány, ale doplňovány a měněny a diskutovány. Člověk je nucen velké množství informací nejen komunikovat, ale i vstřebat kognitivně. Schopnost třídit podstatné a nepodstatné informace, kvalitní a nekvalitní, ověřitelné a neověřitelné se stává nezbytností, ale i traumatem stávajících generací uživatelů a čtenářů. Některé poslední studie přicházejí s hypotézami zhoršených kognitivních schopnosti člověka v důsledku přílišné orientace na hypertetové a síťové prostředí internetu. Dle Jely Steinerové je možno charakterizovat 3 základní atributy/procesy, které způsobují revoluci v informační vědě: interakci, kognici a relevanci (Steinerová, 2009). Tyto atributy lze vztáhnout i do oblasti práce s informacemi, kde jednou ze základních činností je jistě čtení/vnímání dokumentu. Čtení z klasických dokumentových předloh rukopisných, tištěných nebo dnes elektronických má charakter práce s informacemi na tzv. osobní úrovni. Informační ekologie se zákonitě netýká jen širších systémových opatření, ale i zaujmutí postoje a přístupu k informacím na individuální, osobní úrovni. Schopnost individuálně praco1 100

102 vat s informacemi, efektivně číst a duševními prostředky, nástroji a postupy ovlivňovat procesy interakce, kognitivního zpracování a relevance je neméně důležité, jako jsou procesy organizace informací v informačních systémech a ve společnosti. 2 Symbióza procesu čtení a procesu vyhledávání informací Problematika čtení je dnes nově a často spojována a již zkoumána spolu s problematikou vyhledávání informací, a to v souvislosti s rozvojem čtecích zařízeních a fenoménu např. elektronické knihy (e-book), a tudíž se tu spojují dva velké problémové okruhy vyhledávání informací a čtení. Již od 80. let se objevuje celá řada studií na téma čtení elektronického tetu. Přínosná byla např. studie Reading from paper versus reading from screen (Dillon; McKnight; Richardson, 1988). V současnosti bylo již provedeno mnoho eperimentů týkajících se rychlosti čtení a porozumění tetu. Byly vyjádřeny tzv. tetové proměnné, které nejvíce ovlivňují čtení (velikost písmen, délka řádku, proporcionální versus neproporcionální písmo, sloupcové zobrazení apod.). Dostatečně tuto oblast shrnuje studie How physical tet layout affects reading from screen (Dyson, 2004). Významný starší eperiment, ale dnes již možná by byl jinak pojatý, se týkal rychlosti čtení (Wright; Lickorish, 1983, s ) a byl prezentován v časopise Behavior and Information Technology. Autoři v závěru eperimentu konstatovali, že čtení z obrazovky počítačů je o 27 % pomalejší než z papíru. Právě uvedený eperiment ukazuje, že mnoho výzkumníků již v 80. letech spojovalo problematiku uživatelského rozhraní a čtení, aniž se očekávalo, jak brzy toto bude aktuální na začátku 21.století. Proces čtení se stal zajímavým tématem pro řadu odborníků počítačové a informační vědy, což dokládají četné publikace v této oblasti a neustále na síle nabývající vztah oblasti human-computer interaction a informační vědy. Není nutné zde porovnávat obdobné výzkumy, které by zdůrazňovaly např. jiné procentuální rozdíly mezi čtením z obrazovky a čtením z tištěné předlohy. Realitou a výzvou pro nejbližší i vzdálenější budoucnost je, že i přes zdokonalovaná technická zařízení typu obrazovek, terminálů/počítačů, je čtení z obrazovky pro řadu uživatelů méně pohodlné a subjektivně nevýhodné. Lze očekávat, že s příchodem lepších technických prostředků sloužících vizualizaci informací, bude přibývat uživatelů, kteří si nebudou negativizovat příjem informací z takovýchto výstupních zařízení. Je to i otázka generační. Z hlediska informační vědy je pro nejširší použití v procesu hledání informací použit anglický termín information seeking. Možno jej přeložit s výhradami jako hledání informací. Ten odpovídá uživatelově informační potřebě a informačnímu zájmu. Pojí se proto přirozeně k myšlenkovému procesu uživatele a je proto v tomto kontetu možno hovořit o spjatosti s tzv. kognitivním modelem uživatele. Následující schéma ukazuje vztah mezi information seeking a information retrieval (vyhledávání informací). Do těchto procesů lze však umístit i takové techniky vyhledávání informací spojené se čtením, a tím je např. technika tzv. prohlížení (browsing), procházení, listování. Jde o symbiotické spojení procesu vyhledávání informací a čtení. Rovněž proces učení je spojen s procesem vyhledávání informací a čtení, přestože v tomto kontetu jej obrázek G. Marchioniniho neřeší, lze provázanost odvozovat. 101

103 Obr. 1. Vztahy mezi klíčovými procesy vyhledávání informací (Marchionini, 1998) 3 Modely čtení a efektivní čtení Člověk a jeho vnímání a myšlení jsou v současnosti fyzicky a psychicky limitované. Uživatel informací se může dostávat i do nepříjemných psychických stavů, a to buď z nedostatečné informovanosti, nebo naopak z nadbytku informací a nedostatku času. Mohou nastat obranné reakce uživatele, které vyvolají patologicky podmíněné stavy a které informaci/dokument odmítnou, aniž je kdy pročten a obsahově vyhodnocen. Uživatel/čtenář není ochoten číst dokumenty, zaujímá k dokumentové negativní postoj, kdy se objevuje bariéra přehlcení informací a z toho plynoucí např. antiinformační syndrom. Pro ty, kteří musí získávat pro svou práci informace a osvojovat si řadu nových poznatků, je nezbytné, aby se s nimi naučili efektivně pracovat i na osobní úrovni čtení. Neřeší to sice problém kvantitativního růstu informací a společenského informačního problému celkově, ale uživatelům to může pomoci orientovat se v záplavě dokumentových informací a získávat a zpracovat pouze ty podstatné. Pro dnešního člověka je toto nesmírně důležité, pokud chce obstát v tzv. informační společnosti. Může tak zaujmout k příjímání informací aktivní postoj, který je pochopitelně mnohem výhodnější, než když přijímá informace pasivně a podlehne ne právě přesné představě, že informací je nadbytek. Dá se dokázat bibliometrickými a informetrickými analýzami s využitím citačních analýz, že s kvantitativním nárůstem informací to není až tak pesimistické, jak je někdy prezentováno. Je třeba však hledat podstatné a původní informace. Jednou z podstatných obran proti informačnímu přehlcení je umění identifikování informačního jádra problému. Toky dat a informací jsou také určeny výkonností našich fyziologických senzorů, kterými jsou v našem případě lidské smysly. Volně lze charakterizovat vnímání jako duševní proces odrážení předmětů nebo jevů skutečnosti, které působí v určitém okamžiku na naše smyslové orgány. Vnímání samo nám za určitých okolností nedává přesný obraz o světě je třeba doplnit je racionální úvahou. Typickými příklady tohoto jevu jsou např. smyslové klamy. Zároveň jsou mezi lidmi značné rozdíly ve vnímání. Jsou to rozdíly v rychlosti, přesnosti a úplnosti vnímání a jsou dány minulou zkušeností, znalostmi a zájmy jednotlivých osob. Pro následující výklad bude důležité vnímání zrakové. Prostřednictvím zraku přij 102

104 meme více než 90 % informací. Víme také, že při čtení je naše myšlení mnohonásobně rychlejší, než stačíme číst. Uvědomíme-li si množství informací, které můžeme zrakovým kanálem přijmout, a rychlost chápání čteného (t. j. zpracování v procesu myšlení), vidíme, že člověk má netušené možnosti příjmu informací. Závisí tedy jen na psychických omezeních, protože fyziologické kapacity zrakového kanálu jsou velké. Bariéry při čtení jsou tedy především dány hranicemi naší psychiky. Jedna z možností jak efektivně vybírat a přijímat informace je ovládnutí racionálních (efektivních) metod čtení. Již na úrovni základní vizuálního vnímání tetů je možno cvičit např. rozšíření zrakového rozpětí, snížení počtu fiací na řádku nebo odstraňování regresních pohybů očí (Mistrík, 1982; Papík, 1992; Pitkin, 1929; Wainwright, 1972; Zielke, 1988, a mnoho jiných autorů). Na čtení z tištěné předlohy nebo z obrazovky počítače můžeme aplikovat následující modely čtení, které zároveň mohou poukázat, kam umístit nácviky metod rychlého čtení a lepší obsahové zpracování. 1. model (Viitaniemi, 1983) je upraven do podoby znázorněné na obrázku 2. E. Viitaniemi (1983, s ) vidí proces čtení ve vztahu k rychlosti čtení zají mavým způsobem. Proces čtení se podle něj skládá ze dvou fází, a to z percepčního procesu (perceptual process) a z procesu pochopení čteného a dalšího zpracování v mozku (comprehension process). Rychlost čtení (reading speed) je pak závislá na rychlosti a úrovni obou fází. Percepční proces pak má dvě složky, a to rozpoznání tetové formy (recognition) a percepci vnímání (perception), t. j. převedení nových prvků tetu do našich vnitřních kódů. Proces chápání pak sestává z prvků asimilace (assimilation), t. j. čtenář chápe tet, ale neutváří si závěry, a z reakce na tet (reaction to the tet). Reakce na tet probíhá tzv. kritickým čtením (critical reading), kdy čtenář je schopen vyvozovat závěry, interpretovat tet, klasifikovat, číst mezi řádky apod., je to navázání dialogu mezi čtenářem a autorem (pozn. pro tento způsob čtení lze užít termínu analytické čtení), nebo tzv. kreativním čtením (creative reading), t. j. tvořivým čtením, které je nejvyšším stupněm procesu chápání a v kterém se projevují nové, osobité přístupy. Rychlost čtení by neměla být posuzována izolovaně, protože má souvislost s rychlostí percepčního procesu a jeho složek a s rychlostí procesu chápání a jeho složek. Z toho lze vyvodit důležitý závěr, že rychlost čtení je veličina dynamická, nikoli statická a závisí na mnoha faktorech (např. povaha tetu, schopnosti jednotlivého čtenáře). Obr. 2. Model procesu čtení (Viitaniemi, 1983) 103

105 Velký počet lidí všech profesí ustrnul v technice čtení na způsobu, kterému se naučil na základní škole. Vzhledem k tomu, že lidé nejrůznějších profesí, ale i studenti musejí zdolávat již zmíněné velké množství materiálu ke čtení, je výhodné zrychlit vlastní čtení naučit se rychle, pohotově a racionálně číst. Čtenář vnímá formální vlastnosti tetu a současně tyto informace obsahově zpracovává. Je možno konstatovat, že čtení je integrovaným výkonem spojujícím porozumění formě a obsahu. Rychlost procesu čtení je ovlivněna formálními i obsahovými vlastnostmi tetu. Rychlost se v závislosti na obou základních složkách (percepce, chápání) dynamicky proměňuje. I toto je jeden z důvodu, kdy např. ve Spojených státech se hovořilo v souvislosti s efektivním, rychlým, racionálním čtením o čtení dynamickém (dynamical reading). Rozvíjející se grafická uživatelská rozhraní (GUI) začala ovlivňovat působení prezentovaných informací na pravou mozkovou hemisféru. Pravá mozková hemisféra se m. j. vyznačuje převažujícím zpracováním obrazové informace, zatímco levá mozková hemisféra bývá charakterizována jako slovně pojmová. Můžeme konstatovat, že grafická rozhraní mohou mít v současnosti i v budoucnosti pozitivní vliv na čtenářství uživatelů, které však ztratí svou konzervativní podobu minulých století pojících se k tištěnému nebo rukopisnému dokumentu. Např. počítačová grafika v prostředí napomáhá kognitivně znevýhodněným uživatelům nebo uživatelům s poruchami čtení/učení (learning disabilities). Proto tet prezentovaný současnými počítačovými nástroji a multimediálními formami je velmi slibnou pomůckou pro podporu učení, ať už prostřednictvím nástrojů e-learningu nebo web-based learningu, který je spjat s kolaborativními nástroji, a to např. v nejjednodušší podobě díky hyperlinkům. 2. model čtení je možné dle dále uvedených autorů nazvat kybernetickým modelem čtení (Andrejev, Chromov, 1987) je přenést z prostředí tištěného tetu i do prostředí elektronického tetu. Ukazuje blokově na procesy, které se podílejí na čtení s důrazem na zpětnou vazbu. Na tomto modelu se dá prezentovat také problematika tzv. efektivního čtení (racionálního čtení), kdy jedním z brzdných procesů v rychlosti čtení je tzv. vokalizace čtení (artikulační vlivy). Vyslovování a poslouchání tetu není nutné, a to ani v jeho tiché fázi. Obr. 3. Kybernetický model čtení (Andrejev, Chromov, 1987) 104

106 V procesu čtení je možno vydělit pět základních bloků. Informaci přijímá blok kanálu zrakového analyzátoru, zpracování informace probíhá při účasti řečově-pohybového bloku, řečově-sluchového bloku a bloku obsahového zpracování a přijmutí rozhodnutí. Na způsob zpracování a na rychlost percepce (příjmu) má vliv nejen nová informace, ale i ta vnitřní (tzv. bázová) o předmětu čtení, která postupuje ze systému paměti na základě dříve získaných znalostí a instrukcí, které si můžeme představit jako programy duševních činností pro efektivní promýšlení přečteného. Výsledek činnosti bloku obsahového zpracování porozumění přečtenému tetu postupuje do systému paměti. Blok řízení kontroluje výkonné orgány: svaly očí, rukou, jazyka, rtů a další. Tím se uzavírá okruh tet-čtenář-tet. Je tak vyjádřen i vztah/dialog/komunikace mezi čtenářem a autorem tetu. V souladu s popsanou strukturou můžeme proces čtení shrnout následujícím způsobem. Čtenář vnímá část tetu, který se dále začíná zpracovávat v kanále zrakového analyzátoru. Proběhne také řečově-sluchová a řečově-pohybová aktivita. Výsledkem třístupňového zpracování je rozhodnutí v bloku procesu obsahového zpracování: příkaz k regresi, t. j. k zpětnému pohybu očí nebo k přečtení další části tetu, příkazy svalům ruky k obrácení stránky nebo k zastavení čtení. Někdy se konstatuje, že čtení je současně příjem a ztvárnění řeči. Od toho, jak jsou tyto procesy organizovány a jaký je stupeň jejich koordinovanosti, závisí také rychlost čtení. Jestliže při čtení vzniká tzv. hlasitá i tichá artikulace, tzn. přeříkávání toho, co právě čteme, a jestliže okamžitě s tím proběhne vnitřní poslouchání, pak informaci zpracovávají všechny tři bloky: zrakový, řečově-pohybový a řečově-sluchový. Jinými slovy: tet zrakově vnímáme, přeříkáme a poslechneme si jej. Takové mnohostupňové zpracování tetu není vždy nutné a účelné. Kromě toho si přečtené neosvojujeme lépe, jak si někdo může myslet. Je ztíženo vnímání a chápání větších částí tetu v logických souvislostech. Z pohledu kybernetiky by se dalo pomalé tempo čtení vysvětlit nízkou propustností řečově-sluchového kanálu. Potlačíme-li artikulaci, můžeme vyřadit řečově-sluchový blok a přejít na nové dvoustupňové zpracování informace pomocí zrakového bloku a bloku řečově-pohybového, jejichž činnost se změní. Při takovém čtení se celé skupiny slov v mozku zredukují na klíčová slova (pojmy) vyjadřující smysl celých vět a odstavců. Znamená to pomocí speciálních učebních metod rozvíjet periferní části zrakového analyzátoru, blokovat řečově-sluchový analyzátor a současně vytvořit nové programy pro práci mozku při zpracování tetu. Rychlé čtení se jeví jako jeden ze způsobů jak efektivně zpracovat tetovou informaci. Podmínkou pro uplatnění metod rychlého čtení jsou podle Jakštise (1982, s ): redundance (nadbytečnost) tetů, vnitřní rezervy lidského mozku, nedostatky tradičních metod čtení. Běžný člověk je schopen při vynaložení vůle, při odstranění zlozvyků při čtení a při nacvičení jistých obratností dosáhnout větší rychlosti čtení, a to nikoli na úkor chápání a zapa matování si tetu. Se zapojením procesů pozornosti lze rychlost zněkolikanásobit. V příloze toho příspěvku je uvedena struktura dvoudenního kurzu, který může zlepšit o 50 až 100 % v rychlosti a udržení nebo zlepšení úrovně pochopení tetů a zapamatování si základních faktů. Kurz rychlého čtení je například zaveden jako povinný (tréninkový) předmět bakalářského studia na Ústavu informačních studií a knihovnictví Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy v Praze. 105

107 Závěr Metody racionálního čtení nazývané často také synonymicky metodami rychlého čtení lze dnes spojovat s efektivnějšími možnostmi práce s tety díky speciálním čtecím zařízením tetu v elektronické formě, není tedy jen spojeno s tištěnou nebo rukopisnou předlohou. Je to výzva pro budoucí čtenářství. Ovládnutí efektivnějších metod čtení je v souladu s principy informační ekologie na osobní úrovni čtenáře/uživatele, který duševními metodami a postupy dokáže zpracovat rychleji, kvalitněji a rozhodněji podstatné informace z tetu a zakomponovat do patřičného výstupu/výsledku. Metody rychlého čtení nejsou povrchní, jak je někdo neznalý těchto metod může posuzovat, ale jsou při dodržení zásad pozornosti podstatně produktivnější, a lze proto hovořit také o analytických metodách čtení. Je také třeba zdůraznit, že rychlé čtení není rychlým učením, neboť procesy učení sice mohou využívat metod efektivního čtení, ale vyžadují nutnost dalších postupů jako např. proces opakování. Stejně tak metody rychlého čtení nejsou vhodné pro každé typy tetů a je jistě škoda je aplikovat do oblasti umělecké literatury. Jsou vhodné ke čtení tzv. věcných tetů, jako jsou tety v časopisech a novinách, tedy běžné novinářské produkce, dále ke čtení některých odborných tetů, administrativních tetů apod. Zvládnutím metod rychlého čtení se často zlepšuje obsahové zpracování dokumentu, držení si přehledu a nadhledu nad problematikou, mozek si často vytváří vlastní strukturaci nabytých poznatků, přičemž toto struktu rování a jakési vnitřní indeování obsahu není dosud uspokojivě poznáno a popsáno vědeckými metodami více disciplín. Seznam použité literatury ANDREJEV, O. A., CHROMOV, L. N. Technika bystrogo čtenija. Minsk : Izd. Univ., s. ANDROSJUK, V. G. O nekatorych individualno-psichologičeskich osobennostjach ponimanija teksta. In Naučno-Techničeskaja Informacija. 1981, ser. 2, č. 5, s ISSN DILLON, A.; MACKNIGHT, C.; RICHARDSON, J. Reading from paper versus reading from screen. In Computer Journal. 1988, vol. 31, no. 5, p ISSN DYSON, M. C. How physical tet layout affects reading from screen. In Behaviour & Information Technology. 2004, vol. 23, no. 6, p ISSN X. JAKŠTIS, Ju. S. Obučenije specialistov metodu uskorennogo vosprijatija informacii. Nauč.techn. Inform., 1982, Ser. 1, č. 10, s MARCHIONINI, Gary. Information seeking in electronic environments. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, s. ISBN MISTRÍK, J. Rýchle čítanie. 2. vyd. Bratislava : Slov. ped. nakl s. PAPÍK, R. Naučte se číst! Praha : Grada, s ISBN PAPÍK, R. Vliv kvantitativního růstu informací na psychiku člověka s důrazem na vizuální vnímání : možnosti efektivnějšího příjmu informací. In SEDLÁČKOVÁ, B. Acta bibliothecalia et informatica. 1. Opava : Slezská univerzita Opava, Filozoficko-přírodovědecká fakulta, Ústav bohemistiky a knihovnictví, 1996, s ISBN

108 PAPÍK, R.; DROBÍKOVÁ, B. Relationship between effective reading and Humancomputer interaction. In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Services, held in November 10, 2008 in Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic. Brno : Tribun EU, 2009, s Dostupný také z WWW: < articleid=6656>. ISBN PAPÍK, R. Strategie vyhledávání informací a elektronické informační zdroje. 1. vyd. Praha : Velryba, s. ISBN PAPÍK, R.; HOLÝ, M. Sny pomáhají třídit nadbytek informací. In MAŠKOVÁ, Martina. ČRo Rádio Česko : Studio Česko [online]. Praha : Český rozhlas, 4. března 2011, 15:35 [cit ]. Dostupný z WWW: <>. PITKIN, W. B. The art of rapid reading. New York : McGraw-Hill, s. SHENK, D. Data smog : surviving the information glut. San Francisco : Harper Edge, s. ISBN SMETÁČEK, V. Rychlost čtení a pochopení tetu. In Čtenář. 1972, roč. 24, č. 5, s STEINEROVÁ, J. Informačná ekológia využívanie informácií srdcom. ITlib [online]. 2009, roč. 13, č. 2 [cit ]. Dostupný z WWW: <>. ISSN WAINWRIGHT, G. R. Rapid reading : made simple. London : W. H. Allen, s. VIITANIEMI, E. Has there been a decline in reading ability among pupils of finnish comprehensive school? In Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research. 1983, vol. 27, no. 4, p ISSN WRIGHT, P.; LICKORISH, A. Proof-reading tets on screen and paper. In Behaviour & Information Technology. 1983, vol. 2, no. 3, p ISSN X. ZIELKE, W. Jak číst rychleji a lépe. 2. vyd. Praha : Svoboda s. About the author Richard Papík a lecturer (from 1994), deputy director ( ) and director (from 2002 until today) of the Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship (Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague). Before 1994 he worked as an online retrieval specialist, reference services specialist and research specialist. His full professional profile see at or see 107

109 Příloha Ukázka struktury kurzu rychlého čtení verze pro 2 dny 1. den školení Vstup do problematiky rychlého čtení Základní terminologie Úvodní test a jeho hodnocení První zpětná vazba směrem k účastníkům kurzu Rychlost čtení a její měření Efektivní práce s informacemi v kontetu procesů čtení Kvantitativní nárůst informací Teorie a prae tzv. informačního jádra Küpfmüllerovo schéma přestávka školení Poruchy čtení a učení Didaktiky čtení Historie rychlého čtení (vztah k oborům pedagogika, psychologie, fyziologie, soubor kognitivních věd, informační věda, počítačová věda, žurnalistika, rovněž teorie tetu, lingvistika Didaktika rychlého čtení Cvičení na rozšíření zrakového rozpětí Viitaniemiho model procesu čtení a jeho aplikace Čtení jako integrovaný výkon zaměřený na formu a obsah Model all-or-none (Broadbentovo schéma) Cvičení efektivní percepce přestávka školení Cvičení na snížení počtu fiací na řádku Cvičení na rozšíření zrakového rozpětí Redundance obsahová, znaková a její výhody a nevýhody Odstraňování tzv. vědomých regresí, cvičení Školy rychlého čtení (anglo-americká, německá, ruská, francouzská, litevská a j.) Vokalizace a subvokalizace Kybernetický model čtení Cvičení s praktickými tety (noviny, časopisy) Cvičení zaměřená na formální aspekty procesu čtení přestávka 108

110 školení Cvičení na rozšíření zrakového rozpětí Cvičení na snížení počtu fiací na řádku Čtení a psychické procesy (paměť, pozornost, motivace) Nácvik metody tzv. svislého čtení Cvičení s praktickými tety (noviny, časopisy) Kritické čtení, kreativní čtení a metody jejich cvičení Test 2. den školení Cvičení na rozšíření zrakového rozpětí Cvičení na snížení počtu fiací na řádku Odstraňování tzv. vědomých regresí Konceptuální mapy, sémantické mapy, myšlenkové mapy a jejich aplikace v procesu čtení Vytvoření konceptuální mapy Test s aplikací konceptuální mapy přestávka školení Průběžná zpětná vazba Integrální a diferenciální modely čtení a jejich aplikace do metod zpracování obsahu Metoda SQ3R, Robinsonova metoda Cvičení na rozšíření zrakového rozpětí Cvičení na snížení počtu fiací na řádku Test přestávka školení Čtení a tet Parametry tetu Speciální metody obsahové analýzy tetu Metody tzv. rychlé analýzy tetu Testy přestávka školení Průběžná zpětná vazba Supersonické metody čtení orientační čtení, kurzorické čtení, selektivní čtení a jejich aplikace Testy Shrnutí a celková zpětná vazba 109


112 The Emerging Models of Scholarly Publishing Ladislava Suchá Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts Division of Information and Library Studies Arna Nováka 1, Brno, Czech Republic Summary The paper The Emerging Models in the Scholarly Publishing deals with a current situation and trends in the field of scientific publication. The work introduces a process of scholarly publishing and especially the changes in scholarly journals publishing in the contet of social change as well as new technologies. The approach is based on contemporary sociotechnical models of academic publishing, since the paper focuses mainly on the new business models of scholarly publishing and the transition of peer-review process. The aim of the paper is to introduce the results of the SOAP Survey project in Czech Republic and Slovakia. The SOAP Project was an online survey to assess researchers eperiences with open access publishing. It aimed to inform the most comprehensive analysis of attitudes to open access publishing to date and is seeking views from a wide a range of interested parties. There are plenty of data about researchers publishing behavior both from Czech Republic and Slovakia, but still not analyzed and introduced separately. This work introduces the first results of the analysis. Introduction Production of knowledge, science and innovation become one of the most important topics in the contemporary society. The knowledge society and knowledge economy projects or the triple heli model (Etzkowitz, 2008), emphasize the importance of effective production, echange and application of scientific knowledge. This pressure towards more effective science is changing whole scientific communication. The changes are not made only on social and economic level. The new technologies also bring new opportunities for publishers, au111

113 thors and consumers of scientific papers. This paper will focus on the emerging models of scholarly communication, especially for scientific journals with open access. The main emphasize will be put on economic models and changes in the peer review process. The traditional model of academic publishing is criticized for many reasons. The first reason is the price of scholarly journal subscription. The chronic growth of the prices culminated in the serial crisis at the last decades of 20 th century. The additional problems with traditional scholarly journals are time delays, too narrow specialization, inability to publish innovative and unorthodo thoughts, space limitation, limited accessibility, limited form and poor interactivity (Hovav, Gray, 2006). New models of scholarly publishing Very likely, the most important trend in scholarly is open access. Open access removes price barriers as well as permission barriers (copyright and licensing restrictions (Suber, 2004). The open access also means new economic model of publishing. While the traditional journals were founded mainly by subscription fees (i. e. user pays), the open access journals involve many new models of funding. Gould (2009) uses Anderson s Long Tail Theory to eplain the trends in academic publishing: new journals no longer need a broad appeal to generate a sufficient number of readers or to require subscribers. Taken as a pattern of publishing, these new journals might fall into the right side of Anderson s Long Tail: small readership, low-cost, and self-defined (Anderson, 2009, p. 235). Gould made interesting point while he applied the Long Tail Theory to the scholarly journal market. But we cannot say that open access journals are only at the right side of Anderson s tail. Most of the open access journals are published by large publishing houses. According to SOAP, 10 % of publishers publish almost 90 % of all scientific articles. The vast majority of publishers have only one open access journal. Five publishers have more than 50 journals each, altogether representing 19 % of journals and 13 % of articles/year (Dallmeier-Tiessen et al., 2010). Open access publishing means that the content should be accessible to readers for free. There are two basic ways to achieve this goal: firstly, publisher can transfer costs from readers to authors, secondly, to find sources elsewhere for eample in institutional sponsorship etc. Fig. 1. Visualisation of Long Tail Theory in scholarly publishing 112

114 Table 1. Size of publishers by number of journals and articles Journals/Publisher 1 2 to 9 10 to Total Publisher % 9% 1% <1% Total journals % % 190 7% % Total articles/year % % % % Hybrid journal model According to SOAP survey, the hybrid model is gaining popularity since its discovery in The main principle of hybrid journal model is an article processing fee for authors. Hybrid journal model is a standard model mainly in science and medicine. There are also the majority of big publishing houses in these fields (BioMed Central, PLoS, Hindawi). Authors-pays publishing represents new questions: Author-pays publishing does not address a market demand, at least not the demands of the same market as traditional publishing. When the author becomes the customer, organizations shape themselves to satisfy that customer (Esposito, 2011). Institutional sponsorship Institutional sponsorship means fading from universities, governmental agencies. Because public and institutional funding are the primary funding mechanisms for higher education, there is a growing competition, especially when public funding decreases. Marketing services There are plenty of ways how to use marketing services for funding. Best-known option is advertising, traditional as well as involvement of new media tools (pay-per-click campaigns etc.). Marketing services also requires audience of meaningful size it is usually not suitable for the smallest journals. Fig. 2. The usual article processing charge according to scientific field 113

115 Fig. 3. Sources of income for large and other publishers (Dallmeier-Tiessen, 2010) Freemium models Freemium is a combination of words free and premium and it is a common option in business. Free content is used to attract the audience of the journal. In fact, it is a hybrid model combining marketing activities (free content) and user pays model. Licensing Licensing is a business-to-business model. For eample, publisher may license material to another producer for translation. The SOAP study focused on si models of funding: article procession fee, membership fee, advertisements, sponsorship, subscription, hard copy and others. It is clear from the results of study, that there is a difference between large and other publishers. Article pro cessing charge is the predominant source of income for large publishers. For other publishers, sponsorship and print subscriptions are the most important. See Figure 3. New forms of peer-review Not only business models, but also forms of peer-review are changing. Traditional peer-review process involves authors, editors and peer-reviewers in limited number of interactions: Fig. 4. The traditional model of peer-review (Whitworth, Friedman, 2009) 114

116 Open access is compatible with traditional peer-review process, but it brings new possibilities: interactivity, collaboration, involving of the broader scientific community. Open peer-review enables interdisciplinary discussion and fosters quality, but it also requires new quality and impact metrics. There are plenty new forms of peer-review. Pre-publication peer-review Open pre-publication peer review is an alternative to traditional double-blind peer review. The main point is the transparency and disclosure of the identities of those reviewing scientific publications. Open pre-publication peer-review apply for eample BioMed Central. There are plenty of types of open peer-review. Nature launched a well-known eperiment of open public peer review (some articles that had been submitted to the regular anonymous process were also available online for open, identified public comment). This eperiment was not successful, but the eperiments with public open peer-review are still hot topic in scientific publishing. The journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics employs a two-stage comple model of open peer-review including submission, access review, technical corrections, publication of discussion paper, open discussion, final response, submission of final revised paper and final publication. According to Pöschl (2010), the primary positive effects and advantages compared to the traditional forms of publication are: The discussion papers offer free speech and rapid dissemination of novel results and original opinions. The interactive peer review and public discussion offer direct feedback and public recognition for high-quality papers. The final revised papers offer a maimum of scientific information density and quality assurance achieved by full peer review. In fact, ACPD model is a combination of pre-publication and post-publication peerreview. Fig. 5. ACPD peer-review scheme 115

117 Post-publication peer review In post-publication peer-review, reviews are submitted after publication, because the paper needs to be quickly accessible for public. The eample of post-publication peer-review is the Rapid Responses system in the British Journal of Medicine. According to Davies, The upsides are that rapid responses allow important criticisms to be made immediately after publi cation and that this form of peer review can continue indefinitely. ( ) The main downside of rapid responses is that the bores are threatening to take over. (Davies, 2005). Usually, post-publication peer review complements some form of pre-publication peer-review process. New models of scientific publishing New technologies bring together new opportunities for the collaboration, real-time dissemination, dynamically generated content and more possibilities based on new media (Sharer, 2010). The emergence of new technologies and social media is changing the way scholars work in almost every aspect of their professional lives (Gruzd, Staves, 2010). Scholars are increasingly using wikis, blogs, microblogs, technologies for collaborative writing, bookmarking systems and social networks and realizing the benefits offered by these sites. The implementation of these technologies has a potential to democratize the peer-review process and increase the quality of scholarly outputs. One of the vision for democratization of scholarly publishing was introduced by Whitworth and Friedman (2009). They involve many socio-technical tools in their new model: a. Readers comments (as a form of post-publication process). b. Reputation ratings (community-based form of quality control, a form of many-tomany interaction). c. View filters. d. Same again functions (some systems let one find other documents rated highly by the same people who rate like you). e. Social bookmarks (community-based tagging). f. Social networks. g. Version control (wiki-based system). Whitworth and Friedman s model involves broad range of actors: Readers to Readers (m:n), Reader to Reader (1:1), Reader to Readers (1:m), Readers to Author (m:1), Author to Readers (1:m), Author to Author (1:1), Authors to Authors (m:n), Authors to Editor (m:1), Editor to Editor (1:1), Reviewer to Reviewer (1:1), Document to document links (m:n). 116

118 Fig. 6. New model of scholarly publishing Whitworth and Friedman are inspired by projects as Connotea, Scribd or Public Knowledge Project. The similar tools may increase knowledge sharing and have a potential to democratize the production of knowledge. It allows quick echange of thoughts between more actors, see Figure 6 above. A similar model was introduced by Elbeck and Mandernach (2008), illustrated in Figure 7. Elbeck and Mandernach recommend some new forms of actor s contribution to quality of article: Authors can contribute by adding a new component to the title page, the term Key Readers specifying who best would gain by reading the article. Reviewers can assist the reader by enlisting the tet with perceived value of the manuscript for the readership specified by the manuscript s author(s). Readers can enter a satisfaction score once they have read the article. A more general model of sustainable scholarly publishing is offered by AAUP (The Association of Academic University Presses): The business being modeled should be viewed as scholarly communication. Each new model may address a narrow or specific aspect of this broad system but it will only succeed if it recognizes our ecosystem the interdependencies among the interconnected partners in the etended academic community (universities, faculty, libraries, presses, scholarly societies, government agencies, foundations, and others). (Whithey et al., 2011). The new model should embrace multiple content types (books, journals, multimedia projects etc.). It should co-eist well with other business models and depend on financial support at reasonable cost to its founders (universities, foundations, and others). An ongoing capital investment is necessary to support its own technological improvements. New model should also anticipate future revision or succession and it should be measurable in order to support meaningful resource allocation decisions across the system (Whithey et al., 2011). 117

119 Fig. 7. Model for strengthening of quality of scholarly outputs Conclusion The traditional forms of scholarly publishing are challenged by new social and economic changes and also by new technologies. In my paper, I have tried to introduce some new trends in scholarly publishing with primary focus on new economic models and the changes in peer-review. Models by Whitworth and Friedman and Elbeck and Mandernach are eamples of the vision of more democratic publishing involving more actors in the prodiction of scientific knowledge. It does not necessarily mean only the improvement of scientific outputs: The real beneficiaries of open access may not be the research community, which traditionally has ecel lent access to the scientific literature, but communities of practice that consume, but rarely contribute to, the corpus of literature. These communities may include students, educators, physicians, patients, government, and industry researchers, who all depend on the publication of scientific literature. Little is known, however, about the use of the primary research literature outside of the scientific community. (Davis, 2011, p. 5). The AAUP model is a valuable tool because it shows the importance of many factors, not only the economical. It can be useful for non-traditional and small open access publishers, because it emphasize the role of collaboration between all actors in information environment: Most university presses and other non-for-profit scholarly publishers are small publishers, ( ) even more importantly, most university presses lack investment capital and are unable to undertake the kind of investments in technology at the scale required by new forms of publishing. Partnerships with libraries; e- book collaborations among university presses and non-for-profit organizations; and editorial collaborations ( ) are critically important. (Whithey et al., 2011, p. 33). There is still lack of knowledge about scholarly communication both in Czech republic and Slovakia. More research about scientific publishing is needed. Mapping of the current 118

120 state of scholarly journals and use of new technologies for publishing by scholars could be the first steps. References COX, J. The Changing economic model of scholarly publishing: uncertainty, compleity and multi-media serials. In INSPEL 1998, 32(2). DALLMEIER-TIESSEN, S. et al. First results of the SOAP project. Open access publishing in 2010, p Oct. [ ]. Dostupné online z: < >. DAVIES, S., DELAMOTHE, T. Revitalising rapid responses. In BMJ. 2005; 330:1284. DAVIS, P. M. Open access, readership, citations: a randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing. In FASEB J, 2011 DOI: /fj , s. 4. [cit ]. Dostupné online z: < full.pdf+html>. ELBECK, M., MANDERNACH, B. J. Epanding the value of scholarly, open access ejournals. In Library and Information Science Research, 2008, 30(4), ESPOSITO, J. What We Talk About When We Talk About Business Models: A Bestiary of Revenue Streams. In The Scholarly Kitchen. [cit ]. Dostupné online z: <>. ETZKOWITZ, H.: Triple Heli: University, Industry Government Innovation in Action. London: Routledge, GRUZD, A. STAVES, Kathleen. Trends in scholarly use of online social media. Workshop on Changing Dynamics of Scientific Collaboration at HICSS 2011, p. 1. [cit ]. Dostupné online z: <>. PÖSCHL, U. Interactive open access publishing and public peer review: The effectiveness of transparency and self-regulation in scientific quality assurance. In IFLA Journal, 201, 36(1), 40-46, p [cit ]. Dostupné online z: <>. SHEARER, K. A review of emerging models in Canadian academic publishing. University of British Columbia: University of British Columbia Library Suber, Peter. Open Access News; News from the Open Access Movement. [cit ]. Dostupné online z: <>. WITHEY, L., COHN, Steve, FARAN, Ellen, JENSEN, Michael, National Academies Press, KIELY, Garrett et al. Sustaining Scholarly Publishing : New Business Models for University Presses. The Association of Academic University Presses, 2011, str. 29. [cit ]. Dostupné online z: < aaupbusinessmodels2011%5b1%5d.pdf>. WHITWORTH, B. FRIEDMAN, R. Reinventing academic publishing online Part II: A Socio-technical Vision. In First Monday, Volume 14, Number 9, September, s. 5. [ ]. Dostupné online z: <>. 119


122 Empirical Studies of File-Sharing Motivations Andrej Chudý Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Philosophy Dept. of Library and Information Science Gondova 2, Bratislava, Slovakia Summary Article characterizes file-sharing and focuses on research on internet users file-sharing motivations. It summarizes various research papers, compares their results and etrapolates their basic properties. Keywords file-sharing, information behavior, participation Introduction User participation is one of the basic characteristics of new digital and interactive media. These media enable users to actively participate in creation, publishing and distribution of content. Open and accessible platforms are created with focus on user created content. In digital environment the traditional hierarchic model of culture distribution has to compete with the network model. File-sharing is directly related to the topics of participation and disruption of traditional models because it is a specific type of participation, in which users make files avail able to other users. Content of the files is for instance a cultural production or a software whose distribution is subject to copyright. This topic has a controversial undertone because part of the copyright owners undertakes activity against various forms of file-sharing. The file-sharing is also a part of the information behavior, a manifestation of transformation in the way how people access, seek, organize and further share information. The aim of the paper is a comprehensive understanding of users motivation to participate on the internet on file sharing. There has been various research initiatives on the 121

123 topic of this kind of motivation for instance about the participation motivation on Wikipedia (Rafaeli, Ariel, 2008). We focus our research on a specific kind file-sharing motivations, as a type of information behavior with controversial contet. The tool to reach our aim is the review of research made on this topic, comparison and generalization of results. This will enable us to better understand the relationship between participation, sharing and users information behavior. Empirical studies of file-sharing motivations In the past, much research has been conducted focusing on theoretical and practical aspects of file-sharing. Sylvain Dejean (2008) did an overview of research concerning the impact of sharing on the cultural industries. For the purposes of our article we focus mainly on research related to the motivation to share files. Despite this fact we start our analysis with one of the most quoted papers on the impact of sharing on the sale of records. Feli Oberholzer and Koleman Strumpf (Oberholzer, Strumpf, 2004) collected data transfers of U.S. users of P2P networks in the course of seventeen weeks ( ), which were later compared with a list of albums issued during this period. Downloading activity of users had impact on sales of recordings statistically indistinguishable from zero. Even with the most pessimistic specification it would take 5000 downloads to decline one physical sale. Such estimates are inconsistent with claims that sharing is the primary cause for the decline in sales of recordings. Oberholzer and Strumpf claimed that sharing serves to increase overall consumption of music1. Many other researches consider the economic dimension of sharing as the main factor of motivation. Quiring, Von Walter and Atterer (2008) developed five model P2P networks based on economic model, where the share of income is divided between users and distributors in various ratios. Research has been conducted in eperimental conditions (users were sharing fictive recordings), which were severely limited. They identified two opposing effects downloading music as tasting before purchase and downloading as a competition to traditional market or replacement of purchase. This effect is confirmed by Australian research by Geoffrey Lee and David R. Lowa (Lee, Low, 2004). From two hundred respondents 38 % did illegally download music, and they were motivated by the following factors the opportunity to listen to music on a computer (56 %), ability to upload them on CD (56 %), it s cheaper than CD (52 %), listen to the music before buying (31 %). None of the respondents paid for downloading music, but 25 % were ready to begin using a paid service. Among younger respondents was spread a frequent opinion that it is okay to download music for personal use. Peitz and Waelbroeck (2004) also summarized the advantages and disadvantages from the user perspective. The main advantages are options such as: download files that they want to own, free way to try new music. Disadvantages are: time spent searching, downloading, testing, quality, corrupted files, limited data downloads, viruses, advertising, limited space on hard drive. In research of Swedish users Olle Findahl (2006) studied this issue through two conflicting questions: Does listening and sharing stimulate interest in music, which is ultimately reflected in greater sales? Or is sharing a replacement for buying music, and thus will result Their research methodology and conclusion have been thoroughly criticized, for instance: Stan J. Leibowitz Research Note : Testing File Sharing s Impact on Music Album Sales in Cities.

124 in reduced sales of music? Both hypotheses were confirmed in research on a sample of 2000 adults in the years 2004 and Sharing had a stimulating effect on listening to di verse music, but most users habits regarding buying music were not affected (56 %), 35 % of respondents purchased less music and 10 % more. Despite the prejudices against sharing, most people who share music purchase it online more frequently than other Internet users (51 % vs. 23 %). The second hypothesis was confirmed that although the majority of respondents buy equal or more music due to sharing, there is a certain group that uses the ability to download more and buy less music. According to the authors of the study it is not possible to consider downloading as a substitution for purchasing, because in many cases the purchase would not happen if there was no sharing (Findahl, 2006, p. 8). The study also provided a rational eplanation of the decline in music sales, which could be related to the advent of new formats and the lack of legal digital downloads buying alternatives. The recommendation of this as well as of other studies is to attract users to use legal alternatives. Study by Ian Condry (2004) clarified the conflict between sharing and culture industry. According to him it stems from the fact that we live in a society where information and ideas should be free to share, but we also live in the information economy where cultural production plays an important market role. From the perspective of the music industry: the problem is cultural and the consequences economic (Condry, 2004, p. 344). We could also turn this statement over the problem is economic and the consequences are cultural. Despite the rhetoric used by cultural industry about stealing of intellectual property, people who are sharing are doing eactly what is epected from the consumers: trying to get as much as possible but at the lowest possible ependiture of resources. The effect of this moralizing rhetoric is the reaction of users to industry s own ethics and stealing although users realize that they might participate in illegal activities, they still have room for justification and rationalization: CDs are too epensive, marketing is deceptive, where are the money going, musicians earn enough money, downloaded music is free propagation for the artist (Condry, 2004, p. 356). They also answer the question for what music they would always pay: independent artists or artists from their homeland, the group with high-quality albums, but also genre specific music such as jazz or classical (Condry, 2004, p. 358). Significant in this respect is the intensity of connection between fans and artists. Similar rationalizations of downloading were confirmed in the paper by Sandulli and Martin-Barbero (2007). It shows user belief that publishers benefit disproportionately from the sale of CDs. They also focus on the will of the Spanish P2P networks users to pay for music. From the sample of 4430 people 2 only 9 % had eperience with buying music online, but as much as 69 % were willing to buy online. The average price they would pay for a song in digital form was 68 cents. As a motivation to pay for music they stated more reliability (47 %), a wider selection of music (46 %), and fear of prosecution (41 %). French research (Bounie, Bourreau, Waelbroeck, 2005) on a sample of 456 college students (90 % men) dealt with the influence of mp3 consumption on CD buying. While such an approach highlights the misunderstanding that for many people mp3 is a complementary and competing format which has in many cases replaced the CD, the research results are nonetheless interesting. Average purchase of CDs for that sample was 4.8 per year, while the average CDs purchased in France is 2.6. Sources from which the respondents obtained music in digital form: P2P (65 %), intranet (75 %), physical echange (53 %) (Bounie, Bourreau, Waelbroeck, 2005, p. 7). 93 % discovered new music and with 67 % it has led to buying CDs that they would otherwise not buy (Bounie, Bourreau, Waelbroeck, 2005, p. 11). In 2 They were motivated by the possibility of winning mp3 player or CDs. 123

125 another French university research by the same team (Bounie, Bourreau, Waelbroeck, 2006) on movie file-sharing3, users claimed that 48 % by downloading movies discovered new directors and actors and with 30 % of respondents this led to the purchase of films that they would not otherwise buy. Robert LaRose and Junghyun Kim (2007) approached the topic of music downloading from the socio-cognitive perspective. Their research sample consisted of 134 American university students who had downloaded music and their answers indicated their plan to proceed in this activity. LaRose and Kim applied on downloading the socio-cognitive model of Internet use (Fig. 1) in which the main aspects are respondent s epected outcomes. The epected outcomes may be categorized into different types of incentives which motivate human behavior. These are novel stimuli, enjoyable activity, economic, social, status, and self reactive incentives (LaRose, Kim, 2004, p. 267). They correspond with five normative dimensions: moral justification, descriptive norms, moral norm, subjective norm, and self-identity. Moral justification, moral norm and self-identity are about the morality of downloading, how people justify it and what kind of law-abiding conception of self do they have. Descriptive and subjective norms are about comparison of downloading behavior with others and beliefs about the desires of parents and university towards downloading (LaRose, Kim, 2004, p. 273). While researching this topic, they have used specific variables, which included: self-efficacy, deficient self-regulation, epected outcomes (consisting of social outcomes, novelty seeking, and economic outcomes), download intentions. Self-efficacy is a measure of participants confidence, both to download successfully and evade punishment. Deficient self-regulation indicates lack of self control while downloading. Epected outcomes are positive outcomes of the downloading downloading as an enjoyable social activity while ob- Fig. 1. Socio-cognitive model of Internet usage (LaRose, Kim, 2004, p. 268) The topic of movie file-sharing is presented more complely in Noam and Pupillo (2008) Peer-to-Peer Video : the economics, policy, and culture of today s new mass medium.

126 taining new and varied cultural production with efficient use of monetary and personal resources. Download intentions is a measure of intentions to continue sharing behavior (LaRose, Kim, 2004, p. 273). Questions used in this research give comple overview of the sharing behavior nuances, motivations and demotivations. Students had to answer them on the seven point agree-disagree scale, behavioral intentions were on a seven point scale ranging from very unlikely to very likely. Moral and normative dimension: Moral justifications There is nothing wrong with file-sharing, everyone else is downloading music. Descriptive norms I know a lot of people who download more than I do; I download less than a typical college student; I am an internet pirate and am proud of it. Self-efficacy I know how to use file-sharing software; I am confident I won t get caught downloading illegal files; I know how to avoid spyware. Deficient self-regulation Downloading is a habit I have gotten into. Self-identity As far as I know, I have never downloaded an illegal file; I am a law-abiding netizen online. Subjective norm My parents don t want me to share files; my university doesn t want me to share files. Moral norms Artists are hurt by file-sharing; Copyright piracy is morally wrong; The industry is right to sue people who download illegally. Intentions to continue downloading Download more this month than last month; Switch to a new file-sharing software; Offer files on my computer for others to share. Epected outcomes dimension: Social outcomes I cheer myself up; Get a break from my daily routine; Impress my friends with my music collection; Meet new friends on line; Feel a sense of community with the people I share with. Novelty seeking I learn about new types of music; I can find rare songs. Economic outcomes I can save a lot of money; Make my own custom mies; I can listen to more of my favorite music. Paying for content contet: Pay service intent Begin subscribing to one of the online pay music service. CD purchases Number of CDs purchased last month (LaRose, Kim, 2004, p. 272). According to the results of this research students care more about downloading music then about the righteousness and consequences of their actions. The authors therefore consider sharing more of a social than an economic phenomenon. Users are more motivated by the process of sharing and echange, than by saving money. For many users downloading seems to have signs of addiction or dependence. Authors characterize sharing as a persistent habit which resists normative regulation. Another outcome of the research is that downloading did not have negative influence on students plans to buy CDs or use online shops. Conclusions Based on the presented research outcomes, we can characterize the file-sharing motivations as dependent on the content of the files that are shared. Most studies were devoted to sharing of music, because it was the most active sharing domain which was first to capture wide range of internet end users. Nevertheless the results stemming from music focused research can be applied to some etent to other types of cultural productions. The research of internet users behavior shows sharing as an activity that allows them to access cultural production. That makes it directly related to other modes of access such 125

127 as buying and renting. Some studies therefore characterize sharing through its two primary functions sharing as a trying out before you buy something and sharing as a replacement of purchase. Comple relationship of shopping and sharing is reflected in the findings that the discovery of unknown music and movies through sharing services has led respondents to the purchase of cultural production which they would have otherwise not bought. Research has also revealed the motivations and disincentives advertising, limited space, fear of prosecution and claims for user information literacy in terms of search, security, and quality of files. The eistence of high quality and low cost legal alternatives to sharing is another factor which discourages users to share (and motivates them to buy). Besides the possibility to try out larger amounts of music without a need to buy it, other essential motivations are related to the specifics of music consumption in the digital environments. In this category belongs the possibility to listen to music on computers and other devices, ease of downloading and further copying, creating own compilations. Research has also revealed disincentives to sharing advertising, limited disk space, fear of prosecution, needed information literacy (searching, quality of files, security). The eistence of high quality/low cost legal alternatives to sharing is another factor which discourages users to share (and motivates them to buy). As a wider contet for motivations to share cultural production we can consider moral dimension and rationalizations. While users are aware that in the process of sharing they may be involved in illegal activity in the form of copyright infringement, they find means to justify it: CDs are too epensive, musicians earn enough money, and publishers overly benefit from the sales. Based on this review of geographically varied researches we can state that file-sharing is a global cultural practice with motivations that go beyond economical incentives. Internet users are seeking most efficient ways to access culture. In some cases this might mean avoiding economical and law barriers, in other it means using comfortable legal alternatives, always depending on many factors for instance information literacy; moral, subjective and descriptive norms. References BOUNIE, David BOURREAU, Marc WAELBROECK, Patrick Piracy and Demands for Films : Analysis of Piracy Behavior in French Universities. October 2006 [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: < abstract_id= >. BOUNIE, David BOURREAU, Marc WAELBROECK, Patrick Pirates or eplorers? Analysis of music consumption in french graduate schools [online]. Revised [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. CONDRY, Ian Cultures of music piracy : an ethnographic comparison of the US and Japan. In International journal of cultural studies [online]. Vol. 7, no. 3 (2004), p [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. DEJEAN, Sylvain What can we learn from empirical studies about piracy? [online] [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: < >. 126

128 FINDAHL, Olle Thieves or Customers? File-sharing in the Digital World [online]. October 2006 [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. LAROSE, Robert KIM, Junghyun Share, steal, or buy? A social cognitive perspective of music downloading. In CyberPsychology & Behavior [online]. Vol. 10, no. 2 (2007), p [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: < /cpb >. LEE, Geoffrey LOW, David R Internet pirates : generational attitudes towards intellectual property online [online]. [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. NOAM, Eli M. PUPILLO, Lorenzo Maria Peer-to-Peer Video : the economics, policy, and culture of today s new mass medium. New York : Springer, p. ISBN OBERHOLZER, Feli STRUMPF, Koleman The effect of file sharing on record sales : an empirical analysis [online]. March 2004 [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. PEITZ, Martin WAELBROECK, Patrick An economist s guide to digital music [online]. July 2004 [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. QUIRING, Oliver VON WALTER, Benedikt ATTERER, Richard Can filesharers be triggered by economic incentives? Results of an eperiment. In New Media Society [online]. Vol. 10, no. 3 (2008), p [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. RAFAELI, Sheizaf, ARIEL, Yaron Online Motivational Factors : Incentives for Participation and Contribution in Wikipedia. In A. Barak (Ed.). Psychological aspects of cyberspace : Theory, research, applications. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press, p ISBN SANDULLI, Francesco D. MARTIN-BARBERO, Samuel Cents per Song : a Socio-Economic survey on the Internet. In Convergence [online]. Vol. 13, no. 1 (2007), p [cit ]. Available from World Wide Web: <>. About the author Internal PhD. Student at the Dept. of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University in Bratislava. Working on dissertation Sharing of cultural production in the network communication. Teaching subjects Organization of information in the electronic environment, Introduction to New Media, Copyright law. 127


130 Primary and Secondary Function of Information in Human Life. Towards Holistic Understanding of Human-Information Relationship Michal Kaščák Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Philosophy Dept. of Library and Information Science Gondova 2, Bratislava, Slovakia Summary The goal of this article is to analyze basic forms of human-information relationship with regards to the ideal of human wholeness, such as epressed in works of F. Nietzsche and in works from information science. This ideal is understood in general as need to avoid reducing human being to only certain aspects of his/her personality, i. e. need to recognize human compleity in science and everyday life. With regards to information it is interpreted more specifically as need to recognize compleity of human-information relationship, which means to epress (and value) also its previously marginalized aspects. In this contet two basic functions of information in human life are being proposed: (1.) primary (common) function information as means of fulfilling user s needs due to content reception and usage, and (2.) secondary function [communication of] information as means of enabling, structuring, justifying human life eperience(s) directly unrelated to information content itself. Nietzche s understanding of mental-biological relationship within the contet of his transvaluation of all values project is used as analogy to describe such duality of cognitive-noncognitive or content-container aspects of information process as well as to show importance of the latter. Increased penetration of information in our lives in information age is seen as possibly changing not only the roles of traditional libraries but also roles of information itself in a way that its secondary use may become more dominant, which would make study of such information aspects even more relevant for current and upcoming time. Keywords information, user, human wholeness, holism, Nietzsche, transvaluation of values, library, information content, information medium, cognitive and noncognitive needs 129

131 Introduction. Key concepts of information and human being The aim of this article is to further enrich theoretical analysis of basic concepts of information science. Article deals with key concept of information, however the aim is not to analyze various definitions of information but rather to eamine basic relationship possibilities between human and information with regards to the ideal of human wholeness as presented, among others, in the works of F. Nietzsche. For this purpose information is understood as pattern of organization of matter and energy, as defined by Parker (1974, p. 10), and Bates (2006). More specifically, we are concerned with information created (and possibly received) by human beings usually as an epression of (or help with) their understanding of the world, which can be also stored outside of human body on various carriers ( eosomatic information Bates, 2006) and, that being the case, it can also be part of collections of information institutions such as libraries. Human being, on the other hand, as the other and very originating party of human-information relationship, we understand in a holistic way, as comple, not entirely definable being, yet composed of various identifiable parts, such as both rational and emotional aspects, or in more detailed models composed of physical, mental, intuitive, creative (and other) elements. Thus we broadly take into account variety of approaches within philosophical anthropology as suggested by Steinerová (2000, p. 10). 1 Compleity of human as an ideal Holistic aiom, that the whole is more than just the sum of its parts, and most definitely more than just some of its parts (!), has been already epressed and applied to human being, in unique way, in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Here it takes up the form of warning or negative imperative: Not to... become as a whole a victim to any of our specialties (Nietzsche, 2008, p. 66). Interestingly, holism (imperative of compleity) in this contet is presented, as we may see, not so much as suggested way of scientific eamination for the sake of having more accurate/successful science, such as in Steinerova (2000, p. 10): Information science can not be further developed without increased knowledge of human with his psychological and social dimensions but it is suggested rather as way of everyday/personal life (of both scientists and those possibly being studied by science), for the sake of individual s life being more authentic or balanced. Such process of achieving and/or maintaining ones wholeness Nietzsche describes as detachment or as independence (Nietzsche, 2008, p. 65) from our particularities not only as independence from our own eceeding rationality or emotionality or some other general personality aspect, but more as independence from subjects of these aspects, from (some of) their very concrete outer correlates to which our personality can cleave: One must subject oneself to one s own tests that one is destined for independence and command... Not to cleave to any person, be it even the dearest every person is a prison and also a recess. Not to cleave to a fatherland, be it even the most suffering and necessitous... Not to cleave to a sympathy, be it even for higher men, into whose peculiar torture and helplessness chance has given us an insight. Not to cleave to a science, though it 130

132 tempt one with the most valuable discoveries, apparently specially reserved for us. Not to cleave to ones own liberation, to the voluptuous distance and remoteness of the bird, which always flies further aloft in order always to see more under it the danger of the flier. Not to cleave to our own virtues, nor become as a whole a victim to any of our specialties... One must know how to conserve oneself the best test of independence (Nietzsche, 2008, p. 66). Similiar imperative we can find (among others) also in the works of Slovak philosopher and novelist Jozef Karika (2006) who stresses out the importance of maintaining undefinable and multidimensional kaleidoscopic being of man by having diverse, even opposite interests over a period of time and thus not stagnating in fied and predictable [personality] structure (Karika, 2006), in static self-image or predictable life form. It is their... wish to remain something of a puzzle Nietzsche (2008, p. 66) speaks about his vision of ideal people whom he calls philosophers of the future (Nietzsche, 2008, p. 66). He means that it is impossible to fully understand true nature and compleity of (such) people, which is very well in accordance even with statements in works of information scientists attempting to approach human information behavior from the ground floor by defining the very subject of such behavior: Comple definition of human is difficult and it is outside the scope of this work (Steinerova, 2000, p. 11). While this statement was relating to human beings in general, analogically we could also say: Full understanding of (any) particular human individual is beyond the scope of our abilities. However, the main difference here is, that individual s being outside the scope is not failure of particu lar scientific attempt, nor is it just (to some etent) necessary limitation of science but it is (also) human ideal, something as we have seen to be wished for, which should be consciously enjoyed and practiced. We can conclude that wholeness of man is both task of science (coming as close as possible to embrace the compleity of human being) and human individuals (living human compleity, being comple and whole even more than science can ever encompass). Failure to accomplish this double-task means that people are living as and/or seen as fragments (Nietzsche, 1999, p. 130). Especially in the former case, Nietzsche s Zarathustra calls such people, using his highly symbolic language, reversed cripples (Nietzsche, 1999, p. 129), as unlike regular cripples, who are missing one part of their body, these ones have too much of one part, too much of some aspect(s) of theirs at the epense of everything else, so that everything else is left unknown or marginalized: I see...things so hideous, that I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, ecept that they have too much of one thing men who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big, reversed cripples, I call such men. (Nietzsche, 1999, p. 129). I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments and limbs of human beings! This terrible thing to mine eye, that I find man broken up, and scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher- ground. And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the by-gone, it findeth ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances but no men!... And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance... (Nietzsche, 1999, p. 130). 131

133 2 Compleity of human in information environment Question this article attempts to answer is: How can this ideal and task of (human) whole ness be reflected in information science? How can this task/ideal be interpreted with regards to information in current and upcoming information age? How can it be applied to human-information relationship? (How can it be reflected in theoretical thinking, or even already mirrored/recognized in current outcomes of research within the field?). Four preliminary ways of recognizing human wholeness with regards to information: 1. Recognizing comple/holistic nature of human in basic theoretical framework of information science. Thus we do not limit (or fragment) human being(s) to just one (or some) aspect(s) of their personality or being. 2. Recognizing compleity/broad variety of information sources or channels which (particular) human being(s) can/has to use or confront. Thus we do not limit human being only to certain type(s) of information sources. 3. Recognizing compleity/broad variety of information topics which human being(s) can/has to use or confront, especially when it comes to possibility of use or confrontation in beneficial way. Thus we do not limit human beings only to certain content imposed on them by (or directly corresponding to) their work, social role, life-situation, or even the very concrete problem or task they are trying to solve at the given time. To further comment on this point, requirement of wholeness/compleity as full diversity (over the period of time at least) for the sake of more non-crippled /healthy life we can indeed find mirrored in David Bawdens encouragement of diverse information assimilation (by scientists) for the sake of life being more creative: Eposure to seemingly unconnected facts and eperiences (Bawden, 1986, p. 205) may lead to happy accidents (Austin, 1978) as a way of finding a solution to a problem. Helpful chance /creative inspiration may be favoring the particular individual, because of distinctive knowledge, interests or lifestyle, seemingly far removed from the problem at hand (Bawden, 1986, p. 205). Scientists who have made important original contributions have often had wide interests, or have changed subjects (Bawden, 1986, p. 206). When it comes to problem solving,...the more information which has been assimilated, the more likely it is that a fortuitous chance observation will be utilized, while the information assimilated may be apparently divorced from the problem at hand which is is actually important for major conceptual advances (Bawden, 1986, p. 205). Information may be pertinent even though it may seem irrelevant (Foskett, 1983, p. 83). 4. Recognizing compleity/broad variety of functions (or usage) information can fulfill in human life. Thus we do not limit human being only to certain relationship(s) to information for eample, human being would not be limited to just being information user or information use would have to have broader meaning to include also various kinds of non-cognitive, physiological or other indirect use or purpose, on which we elaborate further. 3 Nietzsche s transvaluation of values as supposed balancing towards compleity? Nietzsche s way how to reach towards desired wholeness (towards personal, or even more global cultural/ideological balance) has been called by him transvaluation of values (Nietz132

134 sche, 2008, p. 143), meaning that what seemed in previous (philosophical, moral, religious) thinking marginalized should be now more valued and vice versa: what was previously of primary importance should be seen as only secondary, what was an essence should be now just an attribute. Thus, in his life and times, he attempted to change focus from immaterial aspects of being, such as reason, mind, ego, or even soul, spirit, afterlife to its very physiological side, such as physical body and this life. All immaterial parts, including ego as cognitive center, were supposed to be only instruments of/voices of/ecuses for the body and its biological life: Ego, sat thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater thing in which thou art unwilling to believe is thy body with its big sagacity (Nietz sche, 1999, p. 41). While we do not want to encourage Nietzsche s seemingly materialistic position when it comes to nature of man per se, we do want to consider materialistic approach when it comes to nature of/our relationship to information. What aspects of information use or information function will get highlighted and possibly subsequently serve as metaphor for further eploration if we were to look at this subject via Nietzsche s scheme of radical change of priorities, such as from mental to physical? 4 Transvaluation of values in information environment case study of Wilson s tramp on the park-bench According to Wilson (2000), the usual sense in which we think about the use to which information is put is cognitive use use of information to satisfy cognitive needs. Besides this common, basic, or we could say primary use, he recognizes also etreme information use in order to satisfy physiological needs: Under etreme circumstances documents may serve physiological needs as when the tramp on the park-bench covers himself with newspapers to avoid freezing to death (Wilson, 2000). This eample may seem too specific, unimportant for information science, or even wrong in a way that it does not speak about information (as cognitive content) but only about physical document information inside seems irrelevant in this situation. With the bigger picture in mind, however, it is not entirely so. Even though the tramp may not care at all about the news content when trying to escape cold (maybe with the only eception of relevant weather report?), the truth remains even in his specific situation: 1. Newspapers can not be blank (without content). 2. Quality of content does matter Obviously, if newspapers were to be blank, they would not be there and could not be used in any way. Information content is the only justification of the very eistence of this (also physically usable) newspapers. Not only is eistence of the unread newspapers still justified by them having content, but even more this content can not be arbitrary (like in fake newspapers made only for theater show or movie) but had to adhere to cer tain quality and formal standards of particular newspapers. Information content in this case is still needed, though and that may seem unusual not for its own sake. Tramp, when using newspapers physically, takes advantage of the opportunity this content provides him with. 133

135 Actually we would like to argue that the only difference between tramp and regular newspaper reader is that in tramps case the roles of medium and medium-content have been echanged: Factual information, which was originally content, essence, purpose of the newspapers, has now become only medium, carrier, channel or container of its physical side. It became just something-which-enables-him-to-have the physical newspapers, that is: medium, tool for obtaining the physical. Such function of information, as opposed to its common cognitive function, we would call secondary function of information in human life. However, if we see transvaluation with regards to information as content-container echange, as turning their hierarchy upside-down, switching their roles of the justifier and the justified in individual eperience, we need to note that container can be understood also in broader sense not only as the very physical carrier of information (if any), but simply as circumstances accompanying/enabling the information encounter. 5 Non-physical secondary use of information We do not need to adhere to Nietzsche-inspired information materialism (information as medium of its physical carrier or environment) too strictly, or not at all, if we want to further eplore the essential duality of information use. Secondary, non-cognitive use of information does not have to be related only to outright physical realm. Wilson (2000) provides us also with softer eample, where information (echange) serves to satisfy affective needs: For eample in seeking information from a superior someone, individual may be more interested in being recognized and accepted as a particular kind of person than in the actual subject content of the message: in other words, he may be seeking approval or recognition. The transfer of information to others may also be done for affective reasons: for eample, to establish dominance over others by reminding them that you are better informed and, therefore, in some sense superior. Finally, even seemingly cognitive, content-aware confrontation with information or eperience, as far as it leads to highly creative/unpredictable and personally more valued inspiration, might be considered as an eample of secondary function of such information in human life (as the original content has been only medium for otherwise unrelated result). Concrete eample we may find in the story of Ranganathan, who derived the initial concept of his Colon Classification after seeing a demonstration of a toy erector set in Selfridges department store (Bawden, 1986, p. 205) (Garfield, 1984). What all these eamples have in common is that the original subject content, usually epected to be of primary importance, has become only background in a way of being opportunity for/medium of something else be at another (entirely different, unrelated) content, or activity in different (non-cognitive) sphere. 6 Duality of library as model for understanding information Dual meaning of one of very basic terms in library and information science, that of library, may serve as good analogy for understanding dual function of information. Accord134

136 ing to Harrods Librarian Glossary, the word library can mean both 1. collection a collection of books and other literary material kept for reading, study and consultation, collection of films, photographs and other... materials, and 2. space a place, building, room or rooms set apart for the keeping and use of a collection of books, etc. (Harrod, 1977, p. 487). Our point is, that these two different meanings can be somehow connected together that library as place justified by (i. e. created for/maintained for the sake of) collection of books can actually become space for something else (e. g. possibility of socializing or relaing function of libraries, other than educational use of library). We would suggest to apply duality such as collection/ space for something else than just collection itself also to information in a way of its possible primary/secondary function. When David Bawden asks: If information is everywhere... what is in the library? (Bawden, 2007), we can rightfully translate this question: If information is everywhere... what will become of the library? More importantly, however, we can add to this question another one, which may seem to be forgotten... more profound and more general question: If information is everywhere... (maybe more everywhere than assumed by Bawden in his contet) what will become of information itself? The answer may be, that despite growing emancipation of information from libraries due to media/internet, growing distance between the two, the fate of institutional library and information in general may still be, on some level, closely connected. They both may have in more cases, more frequently secondary (other than originally intended) function in particular individuals life. 7 If information is everywhere... If information was understood solely as a pattern of organization of matter and energy (Bates, 2006), then we could say: information is truly everywhere, as everything in our lives is information. Then we do not only read information in a book or encyclopedia, but we also eat information, dress in information, sleep in or cover with information (and this time it does not necessarily make as tramp on the park-bench!)...walk on informa tion, etc. anything we can imagine. So such information has a lot of functions for us, it is being used in most diverse ways. However, even if information is defined more precisely, more practically for humanistic information studies, as human (verbal, intentional) epression of cognitive content as was the case in this article the same rules apply here: We do not only read such information in a book, we have it on the internet, radio, in lectures, conferences, etc.. (even our tramp has it on his blanket-substitute). We have it...everywhere again! And again, the more this information is everywhere, the more secondary functions it can be epected to have in human lives. In many cases, information created with intention and effort may remain without audience but not necessarily without users, without people living in environment, taking advantages of circumstances, opportunities, space created by/justified by the creation and communication of such information. The way information provides us with opportunities in life is not limited only to giving us possibility of direct acting upon their cognitive content (that is actually in many cases impossible due to information quantity) but it also includes the possibility (or in some cases, necessity to choose from variety of) secondary use. That is probably less articulated way how information is pillar of our lives in information society. 135

137 Conclusion An ideal of human wholeness (being in a comple way, not reduced only to certain aspects), such as presented in works of F. Nietzsche, among others, may seem reasonable and appealing for contemporary age, as well as partly echoed in selected works from information science. An attempt to interpret this ideal more concretely with regards to information science has resulted in recommendation to recognize human compleity in basic theoretical framework of information science and consequently to recognize compleity of information sources, topics and functions relevant for human life. In this process we have realized that holistic approach to human being requires also holistic approach to information that not reducing/fragmenting human being with regards to information means not reducing diversity of forms and functions information can have in human life. As possible way to reach holistic approach to human may be by highlighting previously marginalized aspects of being, analogically, when it comes to information, we have tried to focus on its secondary functions. Suggestion of such focus may be highly relevant for further elaboration as the more information penetrate our lives, the more non-cognitive or not-cognitive-as-intended functions it has to have in individual lives or situations, and the more it may have to be val ued solely or specifically for such secondary functions. References AUSTIN, J. H Chase, Chance and Creativity. Columbia University Press, Source: BAWDEN, David. Information systems and the stimulation of creativity. In Journal of Information Science, 1986, 12, p BATES, Marcia J Fundamental forms of information. In Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2006, 57(8), p Online: < html>. BAWDEN, David. How will we look in 2030; the net two decades for LIS. Lecture in Prague, Online: < %20talk.ppt>. BAWDEN, David. Information systems and the stimulation of creativity. In Journal of Information Science, 1986, 12, p FOSKETT, D. J Pathways for Communication. London : Bingley, Source : BAWDEN, David. Information systems and the stimulation of creativity. In Journal of Information Science, 1986, 12, p GARFIELD, E. A tribute to S.R. Ranganathan. In Current Contents 6 (1984), p Source: BAWDEN, David. Information systems and the stimulation of creativity. In Journal of Information Science, 1986, 12, p HARROD, Leonard Montague The Librarians Glossary. London : The Trinity Press, KARIKA, Jozef O rozbíjaní sebaobrazu. In Postmoderná mágia a iné eseje. Manuscript. NIETZSCHE, Friedrich Beyond Good and Evil. Planet PDF, p. Online: < Beyond_Good_and_Evil_NT.pdf>. 136

138 NIETZSCHE, Friedrich Thus Spoke Zarathustra : A Book for All and None. Hazleton : Pennsylvania, p. Online: <>. PARKER, E. B Information and society. In Library and Information Service Needs of the Nation: Proceedings of a Conference on the Needs of Occupational, Ethnic, and other Groups in the United States (pp. 9 50). Washington, D.C.: U.S.G.P.O. Source: BATES, Marcia J Fundamental forms of information. In Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2006, 57(8), p Online: < html>. STEINEROVÁ, Jela Základy filozofie človeka v knižničnej a informačnej vede. In Knižničná a informačná veda na prahu informačnej spoločnosti : filozofický, systémový a historický pohľad. Bratislava : Stimul, ISBN , p WILSON, T. D Recent trends in user studies : action research and qualitative methods. In Information Research, 2000, Vol. 5 No. 3. Online: <>. About the author Michal Kaščák studied at Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Philosophy, where he got his masters degree in library and information science as well as in philosophy. At the present time he is full time PhD student of library and information science. Topics of his former masters thesis Authentic human being and information (in library and information science) and [Ideal] philosopher according to Nietzsche (in philosophy) predetermined also the topic of his PhD research which is focused on Philosophical aspects of human-information relationship in information society. He aims to align patterns of thinking of selected philosophers with more specific concepts and problems of information science in order to eplore such concepts in new light and ultimately to construct innovative model of human information behavior. 137


140 Information Ecology and the Concept of Information Jiří Stodola Masarykova univerzita Středisko pro pomoc studentům se specifickými nároky Šumavská 15, Brno, Czech Republic Summary In the paper, the author presents that information ecology can be considered to be a theoretical reaction on the inquiry into the character of the concept of information, especially on the solving of so called Capurro s trilemma. The trilemma consists in answering the question of whether information is an univocal, analogical, or equivocal concept. In the paper, there is introduced what does univocity, analogy and equivocity of the concepts mean and there is presented some conceptions according to which the concept of information is considered to be an univocal, analogical and equivocal concept. There is also shown that a development of information ecology is possible only if we could consider information to be an analogical concept. Keywords information ecology, the concept of information, Capurro s trilemma, paradigms of information science Introduction Information ecology (see for eample Steinerová, 2010) is a concept that attempts to unite and harmonize the different approaches in information science (technical, cognitive and social paradigms) and which at the same time respects the specificities of each of these approaches. As the name suggests, the concept of information ecology is inspired by the science about living organisms and their environment (ecology). Information ecology stud139

141 ies the information ecosystem that consists of elements of various nature information (intangible entities), technology (non-living systems), users of information (living systems) and also communities of users (social macro-system). As in the classical ecosystem, so in the information ecosystem, each element has its own unique place and the elements of various kinds are not transferable to each other. This article aims to show that the concept which is defended by information ecology is closely connected with a certain philosophical conception of the notion of information and that this new and fruitful approach (information ecology) is meaningful only in the frame of this philosophical conception. 1 The nature of the concept of information There are many definitions of the concept of information that has been created in various scientific fields (see Capurro, Hjørland, 2003). Rafael Capurro brought into this chaotic situation light by asking the fundamental question about the nature of the term of information. Rafael Capurro formulates this basic question as follows: Information may mean the same at all levels (univocity), or something similar (analogy), or something different (equivocity). (Capurro, Fleissner, Hofkirchner, 1999, p. 9) Capurro has been inspired by the traditional Aristotelian and scholastic philosophy which dealt with the nature of the concept of being (see for eample Dvořák, 2007). The concept of being is the highest term that encompasses everything that eists or can eist. For this reason, this is a concept that has the greatest possible scope, but the lowest possible content (it is the most abstract concept). Because of this concept includes everything that eists (or can eist), it means that there are entities of different categories in the range of this concept (Aristotle distinguish one category of substance and nine categories of accidents). However, the categories differ from each other by means of contradictory properties. For this reason, the question is whether the concept of being is assigned to all entities in the same sense (univocity) or in the similar sense (analogy) or in the totally different sense (equivocity). Aristotle and his followers (Thomas Aquinas and others) assert that the concept of being is an analogical concept because it necessarily has to include what is common to each category, but also what makes individual category different from each other. On the contrary, Duns Scotus and his followers believe that the concept of being is an univocal concept what means that this term is assigned to all entities in the same way. These philosophers believe that the concept of being is so abstract that it contains no differences through which things differ from each other. The last group consists of nominalists (William of Ockham and others) who were convinced that the concept of being is equivocal. According to them, the world consists of items which have nothing in common. Therefore, the concept of being which is assigned to all items does not contain anything that could be allocated to all items together. It s just a word. The situation is similar in the concept of information because this term can be understood as something that belongs to everything that eists (everything that eists has its own measure of the degree of organization, i. e. information). The concept of information is associated with the concept of matter (Stonier, 1990), with the concept of self-organizing sys140

142 tems (Maturana, Varela, 1980), as well as with the cognition of living systems and with the communications between these systems and also with the communication technology. For this reason, we can use for the inquiry into the concept of information the same criteria as for the eploration of the concept of being and we can eamine the arguments of the various philosophical schools which have epressed to the issue of the concept of being (see Stodola, 2010). In information science, there are different paradigms according to which information is either an univocal or equivocal or analogical term. Let us introduce some of them and try to inquiry into their relationship to information ecology. 2 Information as a univocal concept and information ecology Paradigm which is based on natural sciences and technics has a tend to consider information to be an univocal concept. This situation is caused by the reductionism of natural science which does not distinguish between different levels of reality. This is especially apparent in the physical view of information (Gackowski, 2010) according to which information is a pattern in form, i. e. a kind of pattern that is portable from one system to another. For this transfer, we need not to distinguish systems of different levels. This means that what we call information has the same content for all of the apparent levels of reality in this conception, information is an univocal concept. In the physical view presented in this paper, information is anything in form that can be communicated (in contrast to factors in substance). Information, as factors in substance, affects operations and their results. A pattern, whether in form or in substance, is also represented by physical states of matter and energy. As such, information is as objective as other factors in substance. [...] If information denotes anything in form, then informing can be defined as nothing more than developing and spreading patterns in form that are represented by physical states. (Gackowski, 2010, pp ) For this view of information, information ecology is unnecessary. Communication between systems of various levels of reality is without trouble because there do not eist any levels. But this conception is untenable. According to this view, there could eist only one science physics (with its own principles like matter, energy and information). Every other science like chemistry, biology, psychology (and also transdisciplinary sciences like information science) could be reduced to physics. Even if some philosophers of science have such a opinion, it is untenable. An assertion that everything that eists is of physical character is contradictory. It is a result of the metaphysical reasoning which must assume that eist something non material for eample principles of thinking (see Fuchs, 2004). Such a conception must be rejected. 141

143 3 Information as an equivocal concept and information ecology The concept of information as an equivocal concept is associated mainly with the postmodern philosophical approaches (see for eample Wersig, 1993). According to postmodern philosophy, there eists many different descriptions of the world (discourses), each of them is so different then the other that one approach can not be measured by means of one an other. The main goal of information science is to study these discourses (see Frohmann, 1994), but it is not possible to find a unifying perspective through which we could unite the different meanings of the concept of information that are associated with different disciplines and approaches. Information is an equivocal term that has its own meaning in various fields and nothing common can be found. Surprisingly, the concept of information as an equivocal term appears in philosophy which is inspired by the natural sciences evolutionary ontology (Šmajs, 2008). According to this philosophy, we should distinguish between natural information (genetic and epigenetic) which is recorded by nuclear acids (DNA) and by some other structures of the living systems and between cultural information (structural and semantic) which is encoded by human language and recorded through information technologies. First type of information is not compatible with second one. For this reason, the system of the human culture is in the opposition to the system of nature. Josef Šmajs writes: We cannot naturally consider our sociocultural conceptual interpretation, which is also built using the nervous systems inherited from our animal ancestors, to be such a representation either. All our conceptual interpretations are tainted with our interests, not only individual and group ones, as is generally understood, but also with the species-selfish, general human interests, that are not discussed. Hence, not even eperience defined by ethnic languages can ever describe the world in terms of its soft atomic and molecular architecture, of its fascinating evolutionary creativity and balance. ( ) Nonetheless, the current crisis is related to human knowledge. How close this relationship is can only be stated here in part and as a generalization, since this is the focus of this whole work. Due to the fact that the crisis is connected with the epansion of the global anti-natural culture, it is also necessarily connected with the sense and role of the human neuronal knowledge that supports this epansion as a part of the intellectual culture. (Šmajs, 2008, p. 4 6). This naturally means that the concept of natural information has different content than the concept of cultural information. Information is an equivocal term. But both the postmodern approach and the approach of evolutionary ontology must be rejected, because they shall be considered to be internally contradictory conceptions. Postmodernism asserts general statements about the impossibility of a general approach. It is a general approach about impossibility of a general approach (this is typical eample of contradiction). Evolutionary ontology considers that its own claims about reality are true, even as it declares that we cannot achieve an objective knowledge through human language. It is a statement in human language (considered to be true) about impossibility of the hu man language to describe reality (this is also a contradictory assertion). According to these conceptions, information ecology is impossible. According postmodernism, we cannot find any unifying approach for the interconnection of different paradigm in information science (technical, cognitive, social) and it is also not desirable. According evolutionary ontology, the human nature and human culture is in the relationship of the opposition. It for eample means that human abiotic technic (cultural information) and human genome (natural information) are incompatible. Evolutionary ontology cries for new biotic information of the human culture, but according to its own bases, there is not any possibility to achieve this. 142

144 4 Information as an analogical concept and information ecology There eist paradigms in information science according to which information is an analogical concept. For eemplar, we can introduce two of them: the multi-stage model of information (Fleissner, Hofkirchner, 1996) and philosophy of information based on the Aristotelian philosophy (Stodola, 2010). In this paper, we focus only on the multi-stage model of information. According to the multi-stage model we can distinguish three levels of reality: 1. physical stage, 2. biotic stage and 3. cultural stage. The higher level arises from the lower one thanks to evolutionary processes, but higher level has its own new quality and therefore it can not be reduced to a lower level. Physical stage consists of the systems which are self-structuring in the dissipative thermodynamic sense only. In this level syntactical, semantic and pragmatic sides of information are identical. In the biotic stage, we can found systems which are self-structuring in a new sense they are self-reproducing (autopoietic). These systems are able to obtain matter and energy from their environment and to integrate them to their own body. They are also able to analyze signals from the environment. It means that they are able to achieve knowledge and also to have an affect to their environment. In this level, there should be distinguished between syntactical and semantic side of information. The last level is a cultural stage. This cultural system is not only self-structuring, self-re producing but also self-re-creating. Its means that the human culture is a system which is able to rebuilt itself and also rebuilt its environment. In this level, we should distinguish between syntactical, semantic and pragmatic side of information. Fig. 1. The multi-stage model of information (Fleissner, Hofkirchner, 1996, p. 246) 143




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