Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Summer 5-20-2020

Document Type



Asmiyanto, T. and Wibowo, M.P. (2020). Plurality of traditions and metatheories in information Science. University of Nebraska Lincoln: Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)


Information science presupposes multi traditions because of its close relationship to the convergence of several fields of science that saw epistemic and practical needs and demands due to the phenomenon of the information revolution and information and communication technology (ICT). The multi traditions in information science are relevant to explain limitless study objects in information science in understanding reality and ways of gaining knowledge throughout the development of science. A previous study on ontology and epistemology shows that there is a limitation on human reasoning on the understanding reality that affects further development of science. The plurality of traditions enables seeing information sciences from many different perspectives. The question posed is what methodological assumptions, approaches, and methods are used to direct and base this field of inquiry? The phenomenological hermeneutic method is used to be able to understand and interpret texts relating to ontological and epistemological views in information science. As a result, there is a dualism of views in information science that positions it in different epistemic constellations. The view that puts forward knowledge as the object of study uses the social epistemological approach as its theoretical foundation. Meanwhile, the view that emphasizes information as an object of knowledge underlies its conceptual foundation on information philosophy. This epistemic change changes the paradigm, approach, method, and position of the epistemology and ultimately repositioned the scientific area. This methodological pluralism also presupposes the involvement of evaluative-ethical dimensions so that norms and values become a source of reference in gaining knowledge. In other words, the development of science should not only focus on the use of descriptive-explanatory scientific language.