Social Informatics

Authored by: Howard Rosenbaum

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry describes the concept of social informatics, delineates the research domain the concept is intended to cover, and explains its relevance for library and information science, updating Kling’s 2003 description of social informatics in this Encyclopedia. After an initial definition of the term, a brief history of social informatics is presented from the origins of the term in the 1980s among Scandinavian scholars to the appropriation of the term by Kling and colleagues in the mid-1990s to its current status as a useful lens for researchers in a wide range of disciplines to use to study computerization in society. Three main approaches of social informatics are described after which some of the main insights that have emerged from social informatics research are discussed. The entry concludes with an assessment of the impact of and potential for social informatics in library and information science.

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