An ecological look at scholarly documentation

Enger, Magnus An ecological look at scholarly documentation., 2004 UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished) [Other]


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English abstract

In [an earlier essay, in Norwegian], I proposed that documents could be regarded as carriers of "memes", units of cultural transmission or imitation. I elaborated on some concepts connected with evolution, and tried to connect them with the concept of documents and documentation, as set forth by Lund (2001). In this essay I will continue along the same lines, but the main emphasis will be on an analogy to ecology, the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment. It is very common for authors to borrow from the biological nomenclature; the terms “to evolve” and “evolution” seem to be the most popular. But these words are often used as mere synonyms for “change”, without any apparent regard for the theory behind them. Part of the rationale for my approach in this essay is to see what happens if one tries to take “evolution” and some of its attendant terms seriously, and apply them to the study of documentation in general, and the study of scholarly documentation in particular.

Item type: Other
Keywords: memes, memtics, documents, documentation, evolution, Dawkins
Subjects: E. Publishing and legal issues. > EB. Printing, electronic publishing, broadcasting.
A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AB. Information theory and library theory.
Depositing user: Magnus Enger
Date deposited: 10 Jan 2005
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:00


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