In attempting to elucidate the nature of LIS, it is necessary to engage with the underlying theories which support the discipline. Perhaps the most fundamental of these concern the nature of information. Although a term with which everyone is familiar, ‘information’ proves hard to define absolutely.
I first encountered the Shannon-Weaver mathematical theory of communication whilst studying for my own MSc in Information Science. Its significance and relationship to the communication of recorded information seemed elusive, and sparked a long-term, ongoing, interest in researching both historical and contemporary views of information across a variety of disciplines.
Here are some of my subsequent publications which look at the nature and definition of information:
- Bawden D and Robinson L (2015). “Waiting for Carnot”: information and complexity, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, in press
- Bawden D and Robinson L (2015). “A few exciting words”: information and entropy revisited, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, in press
- Bawden D, Robinson L and Siddiqui T (2015). “Potentialities or possibilities”: Towards quantum information science?, Advances in Information Science section of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 66(3), 437-449.
- Bawden D and Robinson L (2014). As long as we don’t pretend that it is science. Journal of Documentation, 70(1), 2-3.
- Bawden D and Robinson L (2013). “Deep down things”: in what ways is information physical, and why does it matter for LIS? Information Research, 18(3), paper C03, available at http://InformationR.net/ir/18-3/colis/paperC03.html
- Robinson L and Bawden D (2013). Mind the gap: transitions between concepts of information in varied domains. In: Theories of information, communication and knowledge: a multidisciplinary approach. Ibekwe-SanJuan F and Dousa T (Eds.), Springer: Berlin, pp 121-141.
- Bawden D and Robinson L (2012). Introduction to Information Science, Facet: London, chapters 3 and 4.