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Information as thing / Buckland (1991)

Citation - Buckland, M. K. (1991). Information as thing. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 351.

Keyword - information

Buckland 在1991年提出的Information-as-thing,除了再度採用文件的概念之外,也同時點出了information主觀的性質,他認為任何事物都可能成為資訊。(information as everything?)

  • 資訊有三種不同的意義:「作為一種程序(Information-as-process)」、「作為一種知識(information-as-knowledge)」、「作為一種事物(information-as-thing)」;我們將「資訊」屬性加諸於事物之上,使事物成為「富含資訊的」事物。
  • 本文透過討論「什麼樣的事物是有資訊的?(informative, 有情報的)」,探導「資訊作為一種事物」本質與特徵。
  • 各種資訊事物:資料(data)、文字(text)、文件(documents)、物體(objects)、事件(events)。
  • 就這種觀點,資訊存在在傳播(communication)之中,但也延伸到傳播之外。
  • 無論何種資訊儲存與檢索系統,都必須要儲存與檢索資訊事物。
  • 這三種不同的資訊意義,與「資訊處理(information processing)」,一同位不同資訊活動(如,修辭、書目檢索、統計分析)提供了區分的基礎;因此形成了「資訊科學」。


  1. 告知信息(inform)的過程:Information-as-process: When someone is informed, what they know is changed. In this sense “information” is “The act of informing.. .; communication of the knowledge or 'news' of some fact or occurrence; the action of telling or fact of being told of something” (Oxford English Dictionary, 1989, vol. 7, p. 944).
  2. 在告知過程後所獲得的:Information-as-knowledge: “Information” is also used to denote that which is perceived in “information-as-process:” the “knowledge communicated concerning some particular fact, subject, or event; that of which one is apprised or told; intelligence, news” (Oxford English Dictionary, 1989, vol. 7, p. 944). The notion of information as that which reduces uncertainty could be viewed as a special case of “information-as-knowledge.” Sometimes information increases uncertainty.
  3. 傳遞信息的物件:如資料、文件等。Information-as-thing: The term “information” is also used attributively for objects, such as data and documents, that are referred to as “information” because they are regarded as being informative, as “having the quality of imparting knowledge or communicating information; instructive.” (Oxford English Dictionary, 1989, vol. 7, p. 946)

其他不屬於以上三種的資訊定義 other definition

  • Wiener: 資訊就是資訊,不是物質或是能量。
    Wiener asserted that “Information is information, not material nor energy.
  • Machlup (1983, p.642), 著重在溝通脈絡中的資訊:「information 有兩種傳統的意義:告知之舉(inform-ation);被告知前所不知道的。」
    who restricted information to the context of communication, was dismissive of this third sense of information: “The noun 'information' has essentially two traditional meanings.. .Any meanings other than (1) the telling of something or (2) that which is being told are either analogies and metaphors or concoctions resulting from the condoned appropriation of a word that had not been meant by earlier users.”
  • Fairthorne (1954) 反對有形體的資訊;「資訊是基於接受者知識與對訊號詮釋的屬性,而非依據傳送者、無所不知的觀察者、或訊號本身。」
    objected scornfully to information as “stuff”: “information is an attribute of the receiver's knowledge and interpretation of the signal, not of the sender's, nor some omniscient observer's nor of the signal itself.”


ENTITY 實在的 Information-as-knowledge (Knowledge 知識) Information-as-thing (Data, Document; 資料, 文件)
PROCESS 歷程的 Information-as-process (Becoming informed 知曉) Information processing (Data processing, 資料處理)

什麼是資訊豐富的? What is Informative?

  • informative: 有情報的。
  • 在學習知識時,資訊是證據:是理解的基礎。一個人的知識與見解受到他所見、所讀、所聽聞、與經驗的影響。 “In a significant sense information is used as evidence in learning - as the basis for understanding. One's knowledge and opinions are affected by what one sees, reads, hears, and experiences.”
  • 證據,同 information-as-thing 一樣,是不主動的。

Note: 這個時候,把information 翻譯為「情報」會不會更好? Note: Buckland 認為資訊是獲得知識的「客觀證據」。這無法解釋,為何不同的人看到相同的訊息,但會得到不同的意義。唯有當「資訊是不屬於主觀解釋的客觀存在」時,這樣的定義才會成立。

what is event

  • is informative phenomena.

when is information not information

  • undiscovered or unaware object (un-informed object)
  • if anything is, or might be, informative, then everything is information.

Note: 第一個information 是被表徵的、有形的信息,第二個information 是情報。

Being Information is Situational

Information-as-process is situational



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