Information Ecology
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Information Ecology

In the context of an evolving information society, the term information ecology marks a connection between ecological ideas with the dynamics and properties of the increasingly dense, complex and important digital informational environment and has been gaining acceptance in a growing number of disciplines. "Information ecology" often is used as metaphor, viewing the informational space as an ecosystem.

Information ecology is a science which studies the laws governing the influence of information summary on the formation and functioning of biosystems, including that of individuals, human communities and humanity in general and on the health and psychological, physical and social well-being of the human being; and which undertakes to develop methodologies to improve the information environment (Eryomin 1998).

Information ecology also makes a connection to the concept of collective intelligence and knowledge ecology (Pór 2000). Eddy et. al. (2014) use information ecology for science-policy integration in ecosystems-based management (EBM).

Language of ecology

Information ecology draws on the language of ecology - habitat, species, evolution, ecosystem, niche, growth, equilibrium, etc. - to describe and analyze information systems from a perspective that considers the distribution and abundance of organisms, their relationships with each other, and how they influence and are influenced by their environment. The virtual lack of boundaries between information systems and the impact of information technology on economic, social and environmental activities frequently calls on an information ecologist to consider local information ecosystems in the context of larger systems, and of the evolution of global information ecosystems. See also list of ecology topics.

Networked information economy

In The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, a book published in 2006 and available under a Creative Commons license on its own wikispace,[1]Yochai Benkler provides an analytic framework for the emergence of the networked information economy that draws deeply on the language and perspectives of information ecology together with observations and analyses of high-visibility examples of successful peer production processes, citing popflock.com resource as a prime example.

Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O'Day in their book "Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart," (Nardi & O'Day 1999) apply the ecology metaphor to local environments, such as libraries and schools, in preference to the more common metaphors for technology as tool, text, or system.

In different domains / disciplines

Anthropology

Nardi and O'Day's book represents the first specific treatment of information ecology by anthropologists. H.E. Kuchka[2] situates information within socially-distributed cognition of cultural systems. Casagrande and Peters[3] use information ecology for an anthropological critique of Southwest US water policy. Stepp (1999)[4] published a prospectus for the anthropological study of information ecology.

Knowledge management

Information ecology was used as book title by Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusak (Davenport & Prusak 1997), with a focus on the organization dimensions of information ecology. There was also an academic research project at DSTC called Information ecology, concerned with distributed information systems and online communities.

Law

Law schools represent another area where the phrase is gaining increasing acceptance, e.g. NYU Law School Conference Towards a Free Information Ecology[5] and a lecture series on Information ecology at Duke University Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

Library science

The field of library science has seen significant adoption of the term and librarians have been described by Nardi and O'Day as a "keystone species in information ecology",[6][7] and references to information ecology range as far afield as the Collaborative Digital Reference Service of the Library of Congress,[8] to children's library database administrator in Russia.

Biology

There has also been increasing use of "information ecology" as a concept among ecologists involved in digital mapping of botanical resources, including research by Zhang Xinshi at the Institute of Botany of the China Academy of Science; also see a presentation to the Information Ecology SIG at Yale University's Forestry School.[9]

Human Ecology

From the analysis of specific examples of the nature and physiology are determined 10 axioms and laws of information ecology, which serves as the basis for creating information strategies and tactics in social, economic, political and other spheres that affect human health and human communities.[10]

Science-Policy Integration (SPI) / Ecosystems-Based Management (EBM)

Eddy et. al. (2014) use principles of information ecology to develop a framework for integrating scientific information in decision-making in ecosystem-based management (EBM). Using a metaphor of how a species adapts to environmental changes through information processing, they developed a 3-tiered model that differentiates primary, secondary and tertiary levels of information processing, within both the technical and human domains.

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Benkler, Yochai. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. available under a Creative Commons.
  2. ^ "Information Ecology".
  3. ^ Casagrande, D.G., & C. Peters. 2013. Ecomyopia meets the longue durée: An information ecology of the increasingly arid Southwestern United States. Pp. 97-144 in H. Kopnina & E. Shoreman (Eds.), Environmental Anthropology: Future Directions. New York: Routledge.
  4. ^ "Data" (PDF). kuchka.org.
  5. ^ Conference A Free Information Ecology in the Digital Environment Archived 2009-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, New York University School of Law, March 31, 2000 to Sunday, April 2, 2000
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-03-07. Retrieved . Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20040502182859/http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/sfsla/bulletin/sepoct00/info_ecology.html. Archived from the original on May 2, 2004. Retrieved 2004. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-03-07. Retrieved . Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Eryomin Alexey (1 February 2000). "Eryomin A.L. Nature and Physiology of the Informational Human Ecology // Ecology of Human - 2000. - No2. - P.55-60. ?.?. ? ? ? // . - 2000. - No2. - ?.55-60". ResearchGate.

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