Assessing the theoretical potential of an expanded model for everyday information practices

Reijo Savolainen, Leslie Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The present study contributes to the development of integrated models for information behavior and practices at the domain-specific level. To this end, the model for everyday information practices proposed by Savolainen in 2008 is enhanced by integrating the element of information creating, based on Thomson's recent 2018 study. The integration resulted in the expanded model for everyday information practices. Using conceptual analysis, the above model was examined in light of conventional (positivist and post-positivist) and interpretive (social constructivist) criteria for theory assessment. The findings suggest that the integrated model meets best the interpretive criteria such as meaningfulness and understandability, mutuality of concepts and descriptive logic, empirical verifiability, and usefulness. In contrast, theoretical potential of the model is fairly limited when weighed against the conventional criteria, such as generalization and prediction. Overall, the findings suggest that, in its current form, the expanded model cannot be regarded as a “genuine theory” of everyday information practices. However, the model does incorporate many of the qualities characteristic of social scientific theories, and thus exhibits considerable theoretical potential. This is even more so if the interpretive, naturalistic basis of the data in which the expanded model is based is considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-527
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • information practices
  • information behaviour
  • models
  • theories

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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