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Mind the gap: transitions between concepts of information in varied domains

Bawden, D. (2011). Mind the gap: transitions between concepts of information in varied domains. Paper presented at the Information ecology and libraries conference, 10th - 12th October 2011, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia.


The concept of 'information' in five different realms – technological, physical, biological, social and philosophical – is briefly examined. The 'gaps' between these conceptions are discussed, and unifying frameworks of diverse nature, including those of Shannon/Wiener, Landauer, Stonier, Bates and Floridi, are examined. The value of attempting to bridge the gaps, while avoiding shallow analogies, is explained. With information physics gaining general acceptance, and biology gaining the status of an information science, it seems rational to look for links, relationships, analogies and even helpful metaphors between them and the library/information sciences. Prospects for doing so, involving concepts of complexity and emergence, are suggested.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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