The Concept of Context

Seminar | May 3 | 3:10-5 p.m. | 107 South Hall

 Michael Buckland

 Information, School of

Information is inevitably created in a context and, whenever used, is necessarily used in some context. Intermediaries, too, have their own contexts. The literature on information-related behavior mentioning context is vast and varied. Nevertheless the concept of âcontextâ itself seems underdeveloped in information studies beyond the simple case of spatial and temporal metadata. Formal models of systems exist independently of contexts. Information system design ordinarily recognizes inputs, outputs, and boundaries, but neglects contexts. The large literature on âinformation seeking in contextâ is much more about seeking than about context. I will argue, however, that components have long been available, in hermeneutics, social constructivism, bibliography, information science, and elsewhere, which, if combined, can support theorizing both context and contextualizing. Join us for a discussion.