Sense-making across space and time: Implications for the organization and findability of information

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting, 2013, 50 (1)
Issue Date:
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This paper presents the results from a study of information behaviors, with specific focus on information organisation-related behaviours conducted as part of a larger daily diary study with 34 participants. The findings indicate that organization of information in everyday life is a problematic area due to various factors. The selfevident one is the inter-subjectivity between the person who may have organized the information and the person looking for that same information (Berlin et. al., 1993). Increasingly though, we are not just looking for information within collections that have been designed by someone else, but within our own personal collections of information, which frequently include books, electronic files, photos, records, documents, desktops, web bookmarks, and portable devices. The passage of time between when we categorized or classified the information, and the time when we look for the same information, poses several problems of intra-subjectivity, or the difference between our own past and present perceptions of the same information. Information searching, and hence the retrieval of information from one's own collection of information in everyday life involved a spatial and temporal coordination with one's own past selves in a sort of cognitive and affective time travel, just as organizing information is a form of anticipatory coordination with one's future information needs. This has implications for finding information and also on personal information management.
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