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- Reprinted in: G. Walker, ed., The Information Environment: A Reader, G. K. Hall & Co., pp. 4-11.
- w: Jason Farradane
- School of Library and Information Science, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont. CANADA N6A 5B9
Starting from the definition of 'information' as a physical surrogate of knowledge (i.e. a spoken or written record), its relation to the originator, and its transformations on communication to a recipient, and the recipient's mental state and possibly physical (social) reactions to it, are discussed. The transformations of 'information' in information retrieval systems are also considered. It is argued that this is the essential basis for developing a true information science.
- As noted by Michael Buckland (1991), Farradane states that "'information' should be defined as any physical form of representation, or surrogate, of knowledge, or of a particular thought, used for communication." (p. 4) 
- This passage around "physical form" appears so delicate that it should be handled very carefully. Perhaps it may better be phrased as "'information' would first of all be regarded as any explicit representation or evidence, expression or surrogate, of some implicit thought or knowledge in mind, so as to be used for communication." Furthermore, it could be extendedly applied to whatever is observed or experienced as a sign of some sort. Note, however, that whether observation or experience is fated to be framed by the worldview or state of cumulative knowledge.