Extending theory for user-centered information systems: Diagnosing and learning from error in complex statistical data

Robbin, Alice and Frost-Kumpf, Lee Extending theory for user-centered information systems: Diagnosing and learning from error in complex statistical data. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 1997, vol. 48, n. 2, pp. 96-121. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Utilization of complex statistical data has come at great cost to individual researchers, the information community, and to the national information infrastructure. Dissatisfaction with the traditional approach to information system design and information services provision, and by implication, the theoretical bases on which these systems and services have been developed, has led librarians and information scientists to propose that information is a user construct and therefore system designs should place greater emphasis on user-centered approaches. This article extends Dervin’s and Morris's theoretical framework for designing effective information services by synthesizing and integrating theory and research derived from multiple approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. These theoretical frameworks are applied to develop general design strategies and principles for information systems and services that rely on complex statistical data. The focus of this article is on factors that contribute to error in the production of high quality scientific output and on failures of communication during the process of data production and data utilization. Such insights provide useful frameworks to diagnose, communicate, and learn from error. Strategies to design systems that support communicative competence and cognitive competence emphasize the utilization of information systems in a user centered learning environment. This includes viewing cognition as a generative process and recognizing the continuing interdependence and active involvement of experts, novices, and technological gatekeepers.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: information production; information use; failure analysis; user studies; errors; analytic models; end users; user models
Subjects: A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AB. Information theory and library theory.
B. Information use and sociology of information
Depositing user: Alice Robbin
Date deposited: 01 Apr 2008
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:11
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/11342

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