PurposeThe concept of information is central to several fields of research and professional practice. So many definitions have been put forward that complete inventory is unachievable while authors have failed to reach a consensus. In the face of the present impasse, innovative proposals could rouse information theorists to action, but literature surveys tend to emphasize the common traits of definitions. Reviewers are inclined to iron out originality in information models; thus the purpose of this paper is to discover the creativity of authors attempting to define the concept of information and to stimulate the progress of studies in this field.Design/methodology/approachBecause the present inquiry could be influenced and distorted by personal criteria and opinions, the authors have adopted precise criteria and guidelines. It could be said the present approach approximates a statistical methodology.FindingsThe findings of this paper include (1) The authors found 32 original definitions of information which sometimes current surveys have overlooked. (2) The authors found a relation between information theories and advances in information technology. (3) Overall, the authors found that researchers take account of a wide variety of perspectives yet overlook the notion of information as used by computing practitioners such as electronic engineers and software developers.Research limitations/implicationsThe authors comment on some limitations of the procedure that was followed. Results 1 and 3 open up new possibilities for theoretical research in the information domain.Originality/valueThis is an attempt to conduct a bibliographical inquiry driven by objective and scientific criteria; its value lies in the fact that final report has not been influenced by personal choice or arbitrary viewpoints.
Journal of Documentation – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 10, 2018
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