I just came across a pretty far-out book. On 1 December, Isto Huvila passed his viva for the PhD degree in information science in Turku/Åbo, Finland. His thesis is entitled The Ecology of Information Work (available on-line).

“The study explores an interface between the human patterns of information use and the methods of structuring and organising information and knowledge. The issue is discussed with a reference to information work in the domain of archaeology. The study refers to the notion of virtual realities as a prospective basis for a knowledge organisation system and discusses the question that whether and how a virtual reality based knowledge organisation system might enhance the practises of archaeological information work.

The study also presents for the first time a concise analytical description of work and information work within the domain of archaeology from an information science point of view. The study forms a solid basis for the future development of information systems and information services for archaeology and cultural heritage professionals.”

Huvila, Isto. 2006. The ecology of information work. A case study of bridging archaeological work and virtual reality based knowledge organisation. Åbo University Press. 401 pp. ISBN 951-765-336-0. Available on-line.


  1. #1 Markk
    January 12, 2007

    This raises a fascinating question – how useful can virtual reality structures be in organizing research information? But I can’t find any answer in the 400+ pages. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there, just reading the intro was good, but as a good standing American with a 2 minute attention span, what is the result? I can’t find it. How good are these things?

    As an aside and no real fault to the author (my thesis reads worse than this, I am sure, I am afraid to re-look at it) I had forgotton how passive and yucky academic writing can get.

  2. #2 Martin Rundkvist
    January 12, 2007

    And how do you measure how good such organisation is? (I haven’t read the book either.)

    As for the writing style, you’ve got to cut this Finn some slack. His native tongue isn’t even Indo-European. Linus Thorvalds spoke crap English before leaving Finland.

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