Rob Kling’s introduction to What is social informatics?

In Archive by Fredy Ore

Rob Kling, who has sadly passed away recently, and worked at the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, wrote a thorough and interesting introductory journal document on Social Informatics, describing what it is, its link to productivity (productivity paradox), and some of the issues and concerns related to the field, including current technologies, processes and further research.

The article is quite lengthy, but contains links to further readings (for those looking for more) on the field including systematic analytical and critical research.

The 25 years of research and processes in the field has developed numerous theories and findings that help better understand the design, development, and operation of usable information systems, including intranets, electronic forums, digital libraries and electronic journals

Social informatics identifies and deals with the research and study of the social aspects of computerization and that effective computerization also depends upon close attention to workplace organization and practices.

A more formal definition includes:

the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses and consequences of information technologies that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts.

Kling, R. (1999) What is Social Informatics and Why Does it Matter? [Online] Available:

I have started reading about Social Informatics in a post-graduate subject I have started at UTS with Associate Professor Sue Fowell, which looks at Enterprise Content and Information Management.