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Thursday, February 8 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Session 6.3C - Juried Papers: A Data, Information and Knowledge Map: Epistemic and Ontological Considerations for Information Literacy

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One of the main challenges in information science education is teaching the distinction between data, information and knowledge and explaining the importance of the understanding to a diverse student population. Introductory texts either provide a highly simplified version of the concepts, using the DIK pyramid and simply suggesting information is when you add meaning to data (e.g. Ackoff, 1989), or, in other occasions, providing an exhaustive list of definitions from diverse thinkers and philosophers (Bawden & Robinson, 2012; Zins, 2007). Numerous good treatises, of course, have provided deeply insightful explanations about these concepts and their relevancy in the world today. Nevertheless, in my view, important concepts need to be emphasized and clarified. More specifically, data, information and knowledge need to be understood in relation to the process of science and research.  A non-naïve objective view of information may be used as basis for teaching information literacy and basic research practice. 
This work is based on various theoretical developments in philosophy (Oberholzer & Gruner, 2016; Searle, 2008) and information sciences (Cornelius, 2002; Hjørland B, 2007; Mai, 2013). I present a data, information and knowledge map which may be used for students from diverse backgrounds that are being introduced to these concepts. The intention is to assist academic research and information seeking behavior. Given this orientation, I take an interest in reliable information. Although information is defined as any data, with or without truth, information literacy and basic research education requires the establishment of a reliable information framework for defining information and knowledge at least based on a concept of “probably true” and “probably false”. This perspective has an ethical undertone, as it is intended to address larger social issues regarding “fake news”, political communication on the web, hypermediated environments, business control of search results and so on. With this essay I aim to clarify concepts regarding subjectivity and epistemology, and emphasize the difficulties of the research and reasoning processes themselves designed to obtain reliable information and knowledge.


Thursday February 8, 2018 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Meadowbrook I