Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 11-17-2020


Frequently media reports draw attention to errors in published books and other publications. Sometimes the reports emanate from libraries and schools that bicker with suppliers of flawed publications. Notwithstanding much of the noise-related research in information science literature focus on noise within and around libraries and schools; and fail to explore the breadth and depth of this phenomenon described as communication noise. This study, therefore, aims to explore the breadth and depth of communication noise by identifying, describing and classifying the various types affecting information quality with a view to finding solutions to them. This is a taxonomical study of noise types identified online and offline in information science and communication literature through document analysis. Noise types were described to be mutually exclusive and classified into audible, verbal and non-verbal noise. A total of five audible, seven verbal and eight non-verbal noise types, and 12 associated concepts are identified, described and classified. The roles of various gatekeepers at various stages were also highlighted towards theorizing on communication noise, and to aid a more detailed study of this otherwise under-researched phenomenon. This study successfully brings into the purview of information science literature noise types that were hitherto gleaned through adjoining disciplines. And by exploring the breadth and depth of communication noise and describing how they impact information content and delivery, it lays foundation for a more meaningful conversation on possible solutions.



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