A non-linear model of information sharing practices in academic communities
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A new model of information sharing practices in academic communities is based on Latour's circulatory system of scientific facts, and some elements of Foster's non-linear model of information-seeking behavior. The main proposition of this model is that information-sharing practices and context simultaneously shape each other. The proposed model supports Foster's conceptualization of information practices as non-linear processes, but its emphasis on the interdependence between context and information practices provides a more effective means to capture complex negotiations involved in information-sharing practices. The proposition is that the major reason for nonlinearity in information practices is a continuous shifting of actors' interests, pressures, and concerns. Capturing these dynamic relations becomes possible through this model. The model also offers a way to generate a number of research questions and hypotheses, and as such it could be a useful tool for empirical studies on information sharing in academic communities.
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