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How information systems communicate as documents: the concept of authorial voice

How information systems communicate as documents: the concept of authorial voice Purpose – This study aims to examine how systems for organizing information may present an authorial voice and shows how the mechanism of voice may work to persuasively communicate a point of view on the materials being collected and described by the information system. Design/methodology/approach – The paper synthesizes a conceptual framework from the field of rhetoric and composition and uses that framework to analyze how existing organizational schemes reveal authorial voice. Findings – Through textual analysis, the mechanism of authorial voice is described in three example information systems. In two of the examples, authorial voice is shown to function as a persuasive element by enabling identification, the rhetorical construct defined by the literary critic Kenneth Burke. In one example, voice appears inconsistently and does not work to facilitate persuasion. Research limitations/implications – This study illustrates the concept of authorial voice in the context of information systems, but it does not claim to comprehensively catalog all potential manifestations of authorial voice. Practical implications – By analyzing how information systems work as a form of document, we can better understand how information systems communicate to their users, and we can use this understanding to facilitate design. Originality/value – By creating designs that incorporate an enhanced conceptual grasp of authorial voice and other rhetorical properties of information systems, the construction of information systems that systematically and purposefully communicate original, creative points of view regarding their assembled collections can be facilitated, and so enable learning, discovery, and critical engagement for users. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

How information systems communicate as documents: the concept of authorial voice

Journal of Documentation , Volume 67 (6): 23 – Oct 18, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/00220411111183573
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to examine how systems for organizing information may present an authorial voice and shows how the mechanism of voice may work to persuasively communicate a point of view on the materials being collected and described by the information system. Design/methodology/approach – The paper synthesizes a conceptual framework from the field of rhetoric and composition and uses that framework to analyze how existing organizational schemes reveal authorial voice. Findings – Through textual analysis, the mechanism of authorial voice is described in three example information systems. In two of the examples, authorial voice is shown to function as a persuasive element by enabling identification, the rhetorical construct defined by the literary critic Kenneth Burke. In one example, voice appears inconsistently and does not work to facilitate persuasion. Research limitations/implications – This study illustrates the concept of authorial voice in the context of information systems, but it does not claim to comprehensively catalog all potential manifestations of authorial voice. Practical implications – By analyzing how information systems work as a form of document, we can better understand how information systems communicate to their users, and we can use this understanding to facilitate design. Originality/value – By creating designs that incorporate an enhanced conceptual grasp of authorial voice and other rhetorical properties of information systems, the construction of information systems that systematically and purposefully communicate original, creative points of view regarding their assembled collections can be facilitated, and so enable learning, discovery, and critical engagement for users.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 18, 2011

Keywords: Knowledge organization; Classification; Rhetoric; Authorial voice; Humanities; Information systems; Knowledge management

References