Tuesday, December 03, 2019

CFP: JASIS&T Special Issue on Paradigm Shift in the Field of Information

The field of information integrates various academic disciplines and practice-based perspectives centered on “the origination, collection, organization, storage, retrieval, interpretation, transmission, transformation, and utilization of information” (Borko, 1968, p. 3). The concept of paradigm, is defined by Kuhn (1970) as “an entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques and so on, shared by a given community’ in which ‘universally recognised scientific achievements … for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners” (p. 175).  The field of information went through its first significant paradigm shift in the 1980s, changing from a system orientation focus to a user-centered focus (Dervin & Ninan, 1986). Following this shift, a new paradigm emerged as Nardi and O’Day (2000) called for computer scientists and software engineers to design systems as information ecologies that connect people, information, technology, and their practices in context. In 2008, Marchionini (2008) indicated that information scientists should adopt an ecological framework. Fidel (2012) also advocated an ecological framework to conceptualize the engagement between information behavior and information practice. Nevertheless, at present, it remains questionable whether the transition to an ecological perspective of human information interaction has successfully taken place.

The existing key information models, to a large extent, are individual-based, focusing on steps and processes, rather than on shared/distributed or embodied cognition (Allen, Karanasios, & Slavova, 2011). They tend to be centered on information seeking, and typically do not take into account social, cultural, political, economic, and/or community-driven factors (amongst others) that influence human information behavior and shape people’s use of socio-technical systems and services (Mehra, Bishop, Bazzell, & Smith, 2002). Furthermore, other significant issues have not been investigated in depth. This includes ubiquitous access, user immersiveness (Robinson, 2015a, 2015b), contextual embeddedness of information, false information (misinformation or dis-information) and its politicization, social justice and community outcomes, digital readiness, and online reasoning skills, and the fact that information seeking might no longer require the greatest effort. (Mehra, 2017; Tang, 2018)

We believe that there is a need for a paradigm shift, one that shakes the foundation of traditional information research, and takes into full account the emergent information reality (Tang, 2018). In our current reality, information is manipulated, and false information is produced without easy detection. Ubiquitous and mobile access to information decreases the need for users to seek information, as they already are overly-exposed to information from multiple sources in varying formats. It is of an increased importance for users to synthesize, assess, deselect, and make use of pertinent information. More importantly, such a shift embraces situational relevance and contextual factors (Höglund & Wilson, 2000; Pettigrew, Fidel, & Bruce, 2001; Solomon, 2002), social responsibility, action research, and community engagement (Mehra & Rioux, 2016). Additionally, this shift presents an integration of impact/outcome in the theory-practice discourse (Mehra, Sikes, & Singh, 2018). “This integration will help expand the relevance of information research moving forward into the future and assist the information professions to make a difference in the lives of people immersed in a global, networked information society” (Tang, Mehra, Du & Zhao, 2019a).
This special issue aims to open a forum for the reconceptualization of the field information. It will consist of a collection of articles, which present a theoretical discourse and empirical evidence for a new thinking of information research. This research will empower the information field to go beyond system-centered and user-centered design to new modes of conceptualization and practice, which are timelier and more pertinent to the emerging challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. We welcome submissions that address the theoretical and/or methodological innovation that effect a paradigm shift in the field of information, which also includes critical investigations into the general or specific outcome of the paradigm shift in information research, practice, and related intersections.       

Topics of Interest
Based on a survey study (Tang, Mehra, Du, & Zhao, 2019b), which collected data from 639 respondents from 59 countries, who self-identified as practitioners, academics, and students in the field of information, we developed a set of topics for this special issue. These topics include, but are not limited to, paradigm discussion in the areas of:

·      Historical Evolution of Paradigm Shifts in the Field of Information
·      Theoretical Paradigms
·      Practice-Based and Outcome-Driven Paradigms
·      Methodological Paradigms
·      Technology Impact on Paradigm Shift
·      Social, Cultural, and Community Oriented Paradigms
·      Multi-view Integrated Paradigms
·      Data Driven Paradigms
·      Critical Perspectives, Social Justice, and Advocacy
·      Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
·      Cross- and Inter-Disciplinary Perspectives on Paradigm Shift in the Field of Information

Submission Guidelines
Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the JASIST Manuscript Preparation and Submission Guidelines
(https://asistdl.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/23301643/homepage/forauthors). The complete manuscript should be submitted through JASIST’s Submission System (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jasist). To insure that your submission is routed properly, please selecYes in response to “Is this submission for a special issue? and specify Paradigm Shift in the Field of Information” when prompted later.

Submission Deadline
Paper submissions due: May 1, 2020

Guest Editors
Rong Tang, School of Library and Information Science, Simmons University, USA. Email: rong.tang@simmons.edu
Bharat Mehra, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, USA. Email: bmehra@ua.edu
Jia Tina Du, School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Australia, Australia. E-mail: tina.du@unisa.edu.au
Yuxiang (Chris) Zhao, School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China. Email: yxzhao@njust.edu.cn