Document Phenomenology: A Framework for Holistic Analysis

Gorichanaz, T., and Latham, K. F. (2016). Document phenomenology: A framework for holistic analysis. Journal of Documentation, 72(6), 1114--1133.

Abstract. Purpose: This paper seeks to advance document ontology and epistemology by proposing a framework for analyzing documents from multiple perspectives of research and practice. Design/methodology/approach: Understanding is positioned as an epistemic aim of documents, which can be approached through phenomenology. A phenomenological framework for document analysis is articulated. Key concepts in this framework are include intrinsic information, extrinsic information, abtrinsic information, and adtrinsic information. Information and meaning are distinguished. Finally, documents are positioned as part of a structural framework, which includes individual documents, parts of documents (docemes and docs), and systems of documents. Research limitations/implications: Scholarship is extended with an eye toward holism; still, it is possible that important aspects of documents are overlooked. This framework serves as a stepping-stone along the continual refinement of methods for understanding documents. Practical implications: Both scholars and practitioners can consider documents through this framework. This will lead to further co-understanding and collaboration, as well as better education and a deeper understanding of all manner of document experiences. Originality/value: This paper fills a need for a common way to conceptualise documents that respects the numerous ways in which documents exist and are used and examined. Such coherence is vital for the advancement of document scholarship and the promotion of document literacy in society, which is becoming increasingly important.

Read more…

Experiencing the Bible

Gorichanaz, T. (2016). Experiencing the Bible. Journal of Religious & Theological Information, 15(1/2), 19–31.

Abstract. This study uses interpretative phenomenological analysis, a qualitative interview methodology, to examine the information experience of Catholic readers of the Bible. It presents a detailed, individual-focused account of how Catholics experience the Bible, in its diverse oral, print and digital manifestations, as a source of religious information. Participants in this study were found to experience the Bible as God's Word, with which they interface in three thematic ways: Connections, Journey and Practice. These themes are, in turn, linked by the processes of sharing, repetition and interpretation. This work extends previous research on the religious reading of believers and numinous document experience, and it contributes to a budding conceptualization of reading as an example of document work rather than a merely cognitive activity.

Read more…

Information and Experience, a Dialogue

Gorichanaz, T. (2017). Information and experience, a dialogue. Journal of Documentation, 73(3), 500–508.

Abstract. Purpose: Scholars in information science have recently become interested in “information experience,” but it remains largely unclear why this research is important and how it fits within the broader disciplinary structure of information science. The purpose of this paper is to clarify this issue. Approach: The discussion unfolds in the form of a philosophical dialogue between the Epistemologist, who represents the traditional and majority epistemological viewpoint of information science, and the Aestheticist, representing the emerging paradigm of experiential information inquiry. Findings: A framework emerges that recognizes dual conceptualizations of truth (veritas and aletheia) and consequently information and knowledge (gnostic and pathic). The epistemic aim of understanding is revealed as the common ground between epistemology and aesthetics. Value: The value of studying human experiences of information is grounded in work spanning philosophy, psychology and a number of social science methodologies, and it is contextualized within information science generally. Moreover, the dialogic format of this paper presents an opportunity for disciplinary self-reflection and offers a touch of heart to the field.

Read more…

The Information of Story: The Genre and Information Activities of Ultrarunning Race Reports

Gorichanaz, T. (2017). The information of story: The genre and information activities of ultrarunning race reports. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(4), 460–474.

Abstract. Purpose: This study explores the "race report" as a document genre in the serious-leisure pursuit of ultrarunning. Despite the sport's largely non-documental nature, race reports stand as an anomaly in their importance. This exploration serves as a springboard to investigate the informativeness of story in human life generally. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative survey of the information behavior of ultrarunners was conducted. The 46 participants were runners in a 100-mile footrace in 2016. Responses were first analyzed through phenomenological theme analysis and then were subjected to a deductive audit using a framework of information activities validated for use in serious leisure pursuits. Findings: Race reports are bound up in information activities across the information--communication chain. Race reports help athletes choose races, prepare for races, pre-experience races, communicate their race experiences, gather new ideas, extend their training and, finally, find entertainment. Research limitations/implications: This discussion of genre is synchronic, largely limited to one moment in time, and its findings were limited in depth by the survey method. Further research should investigate race reports historically (diachronically) and infrastructurally. Originality/value: This work points to symbiosis between genre theory and information behavior theory. It also legitimizes narrative reasoning as a legitimate way of knowing, which has been largely unrecognized in information behavior. Some implications of this for information science and technology are discussed.

Read more…

Understanding and Information Constellations in Ultrarunning

Preprint of an article to appear in Library Trends in 2018, as part of a special issue on Information and the Body. The published version may differ from what appears here.

Abstract. There have been many conceptualizations of knowledge in information studies. Though presently disparate, they can be brought together under a common framework with the concept of understanding. As such, understanding can provide an account for how bodily experience, recorded information and other forms of information can contribute together epistemically. This paper provides a way for researchers to analyze understanding informationally: It defines information as form-and-activity and suggests that multiple pieces of information can be bundled together as information constellations with narrative as a cohering structure. The concept of information constellation is illustrated in a hermeneutic-phenomenological study of the information experience of ultrarunners. The resulting anecdotes and information constellation mappings show how multiple forms and activities of information are integrated as understanding even in the "simple" act of running. This discussion puts embodied, experiential, corporeal information on equal footing with the external, recorded forms of information that have been the traditional focus of information studies.

Read more…

Beautiful and Sublime: The Aesthetics of Running in a Commodified World

Gorichanaz, T. (2016) Beautiful and sublime: The aesthetics of running in a commodified world. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 43(3), 365–379.

Abstract. In the United States, running as a leisure activity continues to grow in popularity. Healthism can explain some of this popularity, but it does not explain ultra-distance running. Motivations for running can be seen through the framework of the Kantian beautiful and the sublime. Beauty arises through extrinsic motivation (e.g., products, physique, competition) and relates to an economy of form, while the sublime arises through intrinsic motivation (e.g., life meaning) and relates to confronting the challenge of infinity. The commercial, casual and competitive aspects of distance running correspond to the beautiful, while its wilderness, serious, ultra-distance aspects correspond to the sublime. This framework is used to explain the resistance of ultrarunning to the would-be detrimental effects of commodification, as well as ultrarunning's "wild turn."

Read more…

Documents and Time

Gorichanaz, T. (2016). Documents and time. Proceedings from the Document Academy, 3(1), paper 7.

Abstract. This essay offers a philosophical account of time and documents. It first presents a number of theories of time and discusses how time has been applied in research on documents to date. These applications have been limited by their conceptualization of time as a physical entity. In order to extend our understanding of documental time, this paper draws from Heidegger's experiential theory of time and the theory of document transaction in order to introduce a theory of documental time. In documental time, the past and future of the person and the past and future of the object cohere in a shared present. The special case of numinous document experiences—and numinous time—is also explored.

Read more…

Gauguin’s Savage Document Work: Understanding as Function

Gorichanaz, T. (2016). Gauguin’s savage document work: Understanding as function. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Document Academy, Denton, TX. Proceedings from the Document Academy, 3(2), paper 5.

Abstract. We tend to think of documents as things that provide answers, but documents can also provoke questions. This can be seen clearly in the study of art-making as document work, since the power of art is not in how it can represent reality, but how it can pose questions to reality. In this paper, I examine the work of 19th-century artist Paul Gauguin, which proceeded through iterative abstraction and productive reproduction. Gauguin's document work was a mode of questioning with the epistemic and communicative aim of understanding.

Read more…

How the Document Got Its Authority

Gorichanaz, T. (2016). How the document got its authority. Journal of Documentation, 72(2), 299–305.

Abstract. Purpose: To invite further consideration of and research into the authoritativeness, reliability and trustworthiness of documents. How do documents come to be trusted? Why are some more trusted than others? Approach: The cases of the OED and Wikipedia policies are explored from a historical perspective, and other cases are considered. Findings: Authoritativeness seems inherent to documents because of a cognitive metaphor that says "what is persistent is trustworthy". Practical implications: This feature of documents exposes users to a number of pitfalls related to trusting illegitimate documents. This has important implications for document literacy. Value: New insight into documents is achieved by applying cognitive metaphors and prototype theory to documents.

Read more…

Information on the Run: Experiencing Information During an Ultramarathon

Gorichanaz, T. (2015). Information on the run: Experiencing information during an ultramarathon. Information Research, 20(4), paper 697.

Abstract Introduction: Ultrarunning is an individual sport and serious leisure pursuit that requires ongoing information access and use during events, but has not yet been studied in information research. This study leverages a link between the theory of life in the round and the serious leisure perspective to explore the information experience of an ultrarunner during his first 100-mile race. Method: This autophenomenographic case study draws principles from interpretative phenomenological analysis, autoethnography and systematic self-observation. As this is the first application of autophenomenography in information research, the methodology is explicated. Analysis: Self-interviews and free-form narratives were open-coded and analysed for themes, consistent with interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: The literature review and the data from this study support a conceptualisation of ultrarunning as a small information world with a vital community ethos despite the sport's individualistic orientation and the transient nature of its events. The ultrarunning world is based in orality and values perseverance, and during events the individual ultrarunner relies on corporeal information and a knowledge base built through training, collecting lore and planning. Conclusions: This study identifies ultra-endurance sports as a fruitful context for information research and invites further consideration of discrete serious leisure events rather than solely ongoing processes. Its findings may also apply to other high-stress, individualistic performance contexts. This study also establishes autophenomenography as a suitable methodology in information research.

Read more…