Rodrigo Aldeia Duarte, Rosali Fernandez de Souza, Gustavo Saldanha, Devising a Concept of User for Archival Science: An Analysis of the Brazilian Scientific Literature in:

International Society for Knowledge Organziation (ISKO), Marianne Lykke, Tanja Svarre, Mette Skov, Daniel Martínez-Ávila (Ed.)

Knowledge Organization at the Interface, page 546 - 548

Proceedings of the Sixteenth International ISKO Conference, 2020 Aalborg, Denmark

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-95650-775-5, ISBN online: 978-3-95650-776-2,

Series: Advances in Knowledge Organization, vol. 17

Bibliographic information
Rodrigo Aldeia Duarte – Arquivo Nacional, Brazil Rosali Fernandez de Souza – IBICT, Brazil Gustavo Saldanha – IBICT; UNIRIO, Brazil Devising a Concept of User for Archival Science An Analysis of the Brazilian Scientific Literature Abstract: This poster presents an overview of Archival Science literature on various concepts of use and users of information in the Brazilian scenario. Its purpose is to map scientific articles related to uses and users of archives, and find variations of applied terminology. We plan to show the extent and influence of the production on users of information in Brazilian Archival Science. In this sense, we implemented a quantitative analysis of key-words related to users in a Brazilian scientific database. The initial findings present a sketch of different concepts employed to address users and their information requests. The research perspective suggests the application of knowledge organization techniques and methods to devise oncepts of user of information. 1.0 Introduction It is well known that the aim of archives is granting access to information to fulfill the requests of their users. To better accomplish that, it is critical to understand the user of information in archives. Thus, we started an investigation of scientific articles and concepts adopted in Brazilian Archival Science on the subject. Here are shown the preliminary results of an analysis of a renowned Brazilian Information Science database called BRAPCI1, which contains indexed articles from 57 scientific journals since 1972. There is a particular interest in the literature on Archival Sciences, and how the notion of user of information in archives is conceptualized in Brazil. The theoretical assumption is based on the need to organize knowledge on concepts related to the users of information. The starting point is the premise of the role and power of representation in Western culture, from Foucault (2000), and the unfolding of a philosophy of knowledge organization (KO) present in Hjørland (2008; 2014) and Cooper and Mazzochi (2011). Therein, it is fair to question the extent to which the philosophical construction in KO can contribute to the conceptualization of user studies and information users in archives. 2.0 Methodology and results The initial stage was the calculation of occurrences of terms regularly used in academic articles to deal with the users of information and their research trends. The terms used for data collection in this research were: Use/Usage; User; Use and User; Need; Demand; Literacy; and Behavior. The examination took place according to the database parameters and searched through in the titles, key-words and abstracts of the indexed articles. We first scrutinized the expressions on their own, then in association with the term Archive/Archival. The number of papers containing these terms in general was found, together with the amount of articles where the words appear associated with archives. The primary intent was to identify the number of concept occurrences and the 1 Base de Dados Referenciais de Artigos de Periódicos em Ciência da Informação (Brapci). 547 nuances of terminology, in order to make future inferences on the conceptual framework for user studies in Brazilian Archival Science. The results show term occurrences on their own (SINGLE) and associated with archives (COMBINED). There has been a further review of articles on combined occurrences to sort out those that consisted of suitable user-related themes. We opted to discard those without the analyzed concepts. This happened because most words are widespread, so they could be present in texts, but not directly related to the thoughts as examined here. These refined results are shown in the SPECIFIC column. Table 1 presents the three categories: Table 1. Search results on user-related terms in the Brazilian database BRAPCI TERMS SPECIFIC COMBINED SINGLE USER 26 282 3513 USE/USAGE 10 344 4384 NEED 9 358 2818 DEMAND 8 102 1085 USE AND USER 5 66 834 BEHAVIOR 3 44 1003 LITERACY 1 141 2182 3.0 Evaluation of the findings and conclusion The articles containing these concepts in Archival Science are a small part of the universe of the Information Science academic production. The specific results show that the theme users has feeble relevance for the archives, as stated in both Brazilian (Jardim and Fonseca 2004; Oliveira 2004; Gasque and Costa 2010) and foreign (Tibbo 2002; Rhee 2015) literature. The results of the SPECIFIC column represent only 27 single articles with themes related to archives. The articles date past 2004, showing that it is a new subject of interest. Out of the 27 articles on user-related issues from 2004 to 2019, almost all (26 articles) included the term “user”. The terms “use”, “need” and “demand” are all present in about a third part of the articles. “Literacy” and “behavior” are in the last positions, showing a modest use within Archival Science. Preliminary quantitative data reveals another problematic issue for the study of users of information: the absence of a meta-informational production capable of ordering and supporting the discussion about the concept of user in different contexts. The data indicates the convenience of a strict methodology for organizing knowledge to support archival institutions in understanding users and their criteria for searching and using information. So far, “user-oriented tradition” has “almost totally neglected epistemological theories and thus confused the concept of ‘users’ and the concept of ‘subjectivity’” (Hjørland 2008, 93-94). The archives’ users should be further explored in academic research to understand what society expects from archives and allow users to contribute to archival activities. Granting access to information can only be fully achieved by corresponding in some way to the needs of users. In the Brazilian scenario, archivists have yet to learn to love their users (Tibbo 2002). Further studies of international production would bring a better understanding of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, in Brazil, Archival Science shows a lack of epistemological reflection on users of information and their specific requests. Essential concepts such 548 as Information Behavior and Information Literacy are close to nonexistent. So it is feasible to conclude by stating that the theme of users of information in archives entails a more solid theoretical development to support the progress of such a crucial area of study. References Cooper, Rachel and Fulvio Mazzocchi. 2011. “Forum: The Philosophy of Classification.” Knowledge Organization 38: 398-404. Foucault, Michel. 2000. As Palavras e as Coisas: Uma Arqueologia das Ciências Humanas. São Paulo: Martins Fontes. Gasque, Kelley and Sely Costa. 2010. “Evolução Teórico-Metodológica dos Estudos de Comportamento Informacional de Usuários.” Ciência da Informação 39: 21-32. Hjørland, Birger. 2008. “What Is Knowledge Organization (KO)?” Knowledge Organization 35: 86-101. Hjørland, Birger. 2014. “Is Facet Analysis Based on Rationalism? A Discussion of Satija (1992), Tennis (2008), Herre (2013), Mazzocchi (2013b), and Dousa & Ibekwe-SanJuan (2014).” Knowledge Organization 41: 369- 376. Jardim, José M. and Maria O. Fonseca. 2004. “Estudos de Usuários em Arquivos: Em Busca de um Estado da Arte.” DataGramaZero 5, no. 5. Oliveira, Lúcia M. 2004. “Os Usuários da Informação Arquivística.” Arquivo & Administração 3, nos. 1/2. Rhee, Hea. 2015. “Reflections on Archival User Studies.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 54, no. 4: 29–42. Tibbo, Helen. 2002. “Learning to Love Our Users: A Challenge to the Profession and a Model for Practice.” Presented at Midwest Archives Conference Meeting, Minneapolis.

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The proceedings explore knowledge organization systems and their role in knowledge organization, knowledge sharing, and information searching.

The papers cover a wide range of topics related to knowledge transfer, representation, concepts and conceptualization, social tagging, domain analysis, music classification, fiction genres, museum organization. The papers discuss theoretical issues related to knowledge organization and the design, development and implementation of knowledge organizing systems as well as practical considerations and solutions in the application of knowledge organization theory. Covered is a range of knowledge organization systems from classification systems, thesauri, metadata schemas to ontologies and taxonomies.


Der Tagungsband untersucht Wissensorganisationssysteme und ihre Rolle bei der Wissensorganisation, dem Wissensaustausch und der Informationssuche. Die Beiträge decken ein breites Spektrum von Themen ab, die mit Wissenstransfer, Repräsentation, Konzeptualisierung, Social Tagging, Domänenanalyse, Musikklassifizierung, Fiktionsgenres und Museumsorganisation zu tun haben. In den Beiträgen werden theoretische Fragen der Wissensorganisation und des Designs, der Entwicklung und Implementierung von Systemen zur Wissensorganisation sowie praktische Überlegungen und Lösungen bei der Anwendung der Theorie der Wissensorganisation diskutiert. Es wird eine Reihe von Wissensorganisationssystemen behandelt, von Klassifikationssystemen, Thesauri, Metadatenschemata bis hin zu Ontologien und Taxonomien.