The networked life of professional encyclopaedias: quantification, tradition, and trustworthiness

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The networked life of professional encyclopaedias: quantification, tradition, and trustworthiness

AU - Sundin, Olof

AU - Haider, Jutta

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The article aims at making visible new orders of encyclopaedic knowledge by means of an ethnographic study carried out during eight months at the editorial office of the leading commercial encyclopaedia in Sweden, Nationalencyklopedin. The investigation is framed in a socio-technical understanding of how people, technologies and practices relate to each other. Three themes were identified during the analysis: Organisation of labour amongst the editors, the use of statistics, and NE as a producer of facts versus a producer of analysis. The analysis revolves around the ambivalence, uncertainty, sometimes even friction, between traditional encyclopaedic knowledge and network culture. The often routine-based practices of updating articles meets ideas of project work, of open data, of algorithms and most of all of quantification.

AB - The article aims at making visible new orders of encyclopaedic knowledge by means of an ethnographic study carried out during eight months at the editorial office of the leading commercial encyclopaedia in Sweden, Nationalencyklopedin. The investigation is framed in a socio-technical understanding of how people, technologies and practices relate to each other. Three themes were identified during the analysis: Organisation of labour amongst the editors, the use of statistics, and NE as a producer of facts versus a producer of analysis. The analysis revolves around the ambivalence, uncertainty, sometimes even friction, between traditional encyclopaedic knowledge and network culture. The often routine-based practices of updating articles meets ideas of project work, of open data, of algorithms and most of all of quantification.

KW - information studies

KW - encyclopaedias

KW - trust

KW - socio-technical perspective

KW - digital culture

KW - Nationalencyklopedin

M3 - Article

VL - 18

JO - First Monday

JF - First Monday

SN - 1396-0466

IS - 6

ER -