Katriina Byström, Nils Pharo & Andrea Resmini
A Special Second Issue
This is a special issue in many different ways.
First, it is actually with this issue that we have fully started to employ our peer-review procedures: all of the articles you will find in this issue of the Journal of Information Architecture, Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2009, have been scrutinised by two, three, or four reviewers under the general supervision of an appointed editor in a blind peer-review process.
All proposals were examined and subject to an initial review, both in the academic (Research and Scholarship) and the practitioner (Voices from the Field) tracks, and then to a second more in-depth evaluation, normally with two review rounds. As a result, the authors featured in this issue received plenty of comments to sharpen their argumentations with, and plenty of suggestions to clarify unclear passages of text or thought as well as to expose and highlight their essential aims and goals. We are confident that this effort was for the benefit of both the readers and the authors.
Since the review process has taken its time and not all of the proposing authors could actually free up enough editing and discussion time from often berated calendars, some of them decided to aim for later publishing. That means that several promising manuscripts are already queued in the review process for later issues of the Journal.
The review process has also revealed interesting subject matters, both practical and theoretical, which are now open for discussion - some of these internal to the Editorial Board and some eaching out to interested parties in the information architecture community. It is definitely clear that there are vitality and slight elusiveness when it comes to the scope of the Journal, and this is true for authors as well as for viewers.
As our Editor in Chief Dorte Madsen wrote in her editorial “Shall We Dance?” in Volume 1, Issue1, Spring 2009, the Journal invites everyone to the ball: being an arena for both practitioners and researchers is a demanding task, and strictly dependent of the views readers, authors and the Editorial Board express and maintain. In the best tradition of co-design, the Journal will try to reach out even more in the coming months, as a joint view on the Journal’s scope and its quality codex, where topical and reliable information architecture discussions are at the core, is paramount.
Second, this was supposed to be the first in a series of issues made available first to Information Architecture Institute members only, and then opened up to the general public on the release of the following issue. Instead it is, as the first issue was, a completely open issue, readily available to anyone interested in information architecture: practitioners, scholars and students.
This was something that we editors strived for, and after consulting with the editorial board we took the issue to our partners for what turned out to be a long and inspiring discussion. Now, on behalf of the whole editorial board of the Journal of Information Architecture, we would like to thank the Information Architecture Institute and its board of directors, and the Copenhagen Business School, for listening to us, for discussing with us the broader views and the smaller practicalities, for providing invaluable advice, and for agreeing that an open-access journal is the strongest way to support the idea of a joint arena for practitioners and academics to discuss IA issues and the developments in the field.
To the Information Architecture Institute Board of Directors, for their passion and dedication to information architecture and their community, thank you. To Copenhagen Business School, for their support throughout, thank you. Welcome to the ball, everyone, everywhere!
In This Issue
Issue 2, Fall 2009, consists of three articles that span from the philosophical and exploratory to the more technical approaches to information architecture.
In her article “From Prediction to Emergence” Brigitte Kaltenbacher repositions the theory and practice of usability in the context of user experience, expanding it beyond simple functionality to account for more complex and richer interactions involving emotions, exploration, and experimentation. Kaltenbacher calls up to Harrison’s 3rd wave conceptualization to bring learning, cognitive psychology, information science and Human-computer Interaction (HCI) together in a new way to look at the implicit learning process that is browsing the Internet.
In his article “Card Sorting, Category Validity and Contextual Navigation”, Stefano Bussolon presents a new measure, the “Category Validity measure”, for evaluating the suitability of candidate terms to be included in a taxonomy. This method is definitively on the hard-core side of information architecture, proposing to use a probability measure based on cue validity for testing the terms potential as an indexing term. Its inclusion in this issue of the Journal clearly reflects the broadness of our field.
Finally, in their article “Mediation as Message” David Walczyk and Cedomir Kovacev argue for the need to change, or at least broaden the view on information architecture. They question the completeness of Human computer Interaction (HCI) and usability engineering models as a base for approaching information architecture issues and designs. Or rather, they urge for stepping out from the rigidity of established frames of thinking regarding digital milieus. Walczyk and Kovacev make a case of media ecology as a fruitful point of departure in modern information architecture, drawing extensively on the seminal work of MacLuhan in the 160’s and 1970’s.
The Editors direct their sincere appreciation to all reviewers who have within short notice taken on manuscripts to be reviewed, provided some excellent review reports and adjusted to our demands of quick returns. Similarly, the Editors direct their sincere appreciation to all authors, current and future, who have trusted us with their work, done some impressive development and adjusted to our demands of quick returns. Keep the manuscripts coming!
Now it’s up to you, dear readers. The ballroom is open: let’s dance.
Katriina Byström, Nils Pharo, and Andrea Resmini