University of Oulu

Huvila, I., Enwald, H.,Eriksson-Backa, K., Liu, Y.-H., & Hirvonen, N.(2022). Information behavior and practicesresearch informing information systems design. Journal of the Association for Information Scienceand Technology,73(7), 1043–1057.

Information behavior and practices research informing information systems design

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Author: Huvila, Isto1; Enwald, Heidi2; Eriksson-Backa, Kristina3;
Organizations: 1Department of ALM, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2Information Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Information Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business Administration, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
4Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-23


Information behavior and practices (IBP) research has been repeatedly criticized for having little impact on information systems development (ISD). Claiming that there is a complete disconnect would be an exaggeration but itis apparent that it is not always easy to translate findings of IBP research to workable design recommendations. Based on a reading of earlier literature and a closer investigation of three illustrative example contexts, this article underlines that the value of IBP research for ISD lies in its capability to inform ISD of the variety of ways people deal with information beyond individual systems, their own wants and designers’ assumptions. Moreover, it highlights that the implications of information systems go beyond their primary users. Instead of overemphasizing the contextuality of findings, a part of IBP research would benefit from an increased focus on explicating its epistemological extents and limits and identifying, which findings are transferable, what distinguishes specific contexts, what are their defining constraints and priorities, and what aspects of their uniqueness are assumptions and simple clichés.

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Series: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
ISSN: 2330-1635
ISSN-E: 2330-1643
ISSN-L: 2330-1635
Volume: 73
Issue: 7
Pages: 1043 - 1057
DOI: 10.1002/asi.24611
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
518 Media and communications
Funding: The discussion that led to the writing of this paper started at a panel organized by the authors at the 2019 ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Melbourne, Australia. The writing of the paper was supported by the Academy of Finland Grant #287084 for the project Taking Health Information Behavior into Account: implications of a neglected element for successful implementation of consumer health technologies on older adults (HIBA). The work has also received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program grant agreement No 818210 as a part of the project CApturing Paradata for documenTing data creation and Use for the REsearch of the future (CAPTURE), from the Swedish Research Council under the Grant 340-2012-5751 and through the GenZ strategic profiling project funded by the Academy of Finland Grant Profi4 #318930 and the University of Oulu. Moreover, the work has also benefited from the discussions at different events organized by the COST Action ARKWORK, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The safety-critical environments case was partially funded by Airbus Central Research & Technology. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Airbus or the authors' affiliated institutions.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Association for Information Science and Technology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.