TABLE 3.1 Characteristics of Data and Information Orientations


Information Content

Target User Group

User Sophistication

Discipline Oriented

''Truth of science," mostly dealing with physical systems

• Members of the discipline involved

• Generally individuals heavily committed to disciplines

Very high technical sophistication; communicates to a particular technical elite

Mission Oriented

The above; also truth of science as it applies to technological objectives, ways in which physical systems can be manipulated and controlled for practical purposes

• Technologists, engineers, and applications people

• Team members committed for multiyear periods

Moderate to high technical sophistication; needs to communicate across disciplines

Problem Oriented

All of the above; also wisdom and pragmatics that work in contexts of uncontrollable open systems involving human as well as physical dynamics; includes legal, sociological, economic, and demographic information and important social value inputs

• Large segments of the public in state and local governments and all types of industries, communities, planners, conservationists, bureaucrats, and policy makers at all levels

• Transient, relatively short-term users

Very low to high technical sophistication; needs to communicate across major cultural groups; heavy involvement of nontechnical professionals and political groups


Source: American Library Association (1978)

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