Interrogating paradata

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Fri, 05/20/2022 - 10:20

Presentation together with Olle Sköld and Lisa Börjesson at the 11th Conceptions in Library and Information Science (CoLIS) conference in Oslo.


Introduction. The concept of paradata has received increasing attention in recent information scholarship. The literature however shows considerable disagreement about what paradata is and how it can be purposive. The aim of this paper is to facilitate the use of the resources and analytical impetuses offered by the concept of paradata by providing an explanation to what paradata is in operational terms.
Method. The examination of paradata is based on a scoping review of 53 scholarly texts that varyingly engage with the concept.
Analysis. The reviewed texts were analysed using a concept-analysis framework focusing principally on discerning the main descriptive features of paradata and prevalent instances of use and usefulness.
Results. The paper shows what the key elements, relationships, use-cases and uncertainties of paradata are.
Conclusions. The paper offers a paradata proto-definition: paradata is information about processes that operate a network of means, mental and physical actions and intellectual regimen in the creation or shaping of a(n information) product. The paper also outlines interconnections between paradata, metadata and provenance data, and suggests why it might make analytical sense to continue exploring the concept of paradata in information research and what the objectives of such explorations might be.

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SköldEtAlCoLIS11-handout.pdf 1.88 MB