Our understandings of what exists, the terms we use to describe what exists, and those on whom we rely for these descriptions is based on previous knowledge of Authority. How do structural biases built into knowledge organization systems and processes like peer-review can reinforce conventional wisdom and preclude the introduction of new or previously silenced voices of wisdom and perspective.
This frame questions access and ownership of information, tugging at the dichotomy between private gain and public good. What are the types of value from profit to learning, persuasion, and power. All information is valuable to someone, somewhere, for some purpose. What is essential is discerning the motives for information creation in a particular format to meet an information need. This frame explicitly questions social justice implications of information systems, access, and creation, particularly in regards to privilege, profit, and power.
This frame articulates the value of question-asking for exploration, discovery, and evaluating gathered information to generate further questions.
For example, are the participants in a study representative if they’re recruited using a social media app? What size sample is needed to constitute valid results? If “humanoid robots” are nearly all depicted as white in Google Images, does that mean only white people create robots? What percentage of robot engineers are people of color? Intuitively generated questions are part of the iterative nature of the research process, organically delving into DEI issues.
Critical thinking and question-asking are the essence of Research as Inquiry.
This frame acknowledges that novice learners as well as experts may participate in the interactive process of scholarship. However “established power and authority structures may influence their ability to participate and can privilege certain voices and information.”
Structures of scholarship such as “peer review” may limit the entry of alternative perspectives and reinforce widely accepted theories, even if they are inaccurate. Political, social, and economic barriers to participation in scholarly conversation are embedded within the culture of American higher education and the structures of intellectual production.
This frame speaks to the complexity of information formats and delivery and the ever-evolving creation processes underlying them. A decade ago, no one would imagine international relations would be conducted over Twitter, a platform designed for abbreviated comments.
While technology has provided avenues for broad participation, it has also deepened the inequities present in society. Information, like technology (including AI), is created by people and will therefore embody their biases and misconceptions. Management literature is saturated with data-driven decisions, elevating data to a form of information royalty, yet the decisions surrounding design, collection, aggregation, interpretation, and presentation of data are reflections of human attitudes and ways of thinking with all the compromises those entail.
Experts (searchers) realize that information searching is a contextualized, complex experience that affects and is affected by, the cognitive, affective and social dimensions of the searcher.”(ACRL, Framework) This frame neglects to state that the search experience isn’t just about the searcher. The challenges of searching might be exacerbated by knowledge organization systems that reflect dominant culture mindsets inaccessible by marginalized populations, and blatant “algorithmic oppression” within the design and execution of search technologies.15 “Strategic exploration” would need to include fluency in the academic language of the historically white, male, wealthy, “ivory tower,” and a highly refined capacity to question the very technologies being used in the search process.
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