A paradigm shift from “traditional” has been called for in research on information needs. This paper is an interdisciplinary attempt to present an alternative framework for this elusive research area by bridging the existing gap between cognitive and phenomenological views in terms of information needs and uses. In this perspective of the question, a critical issue to be examined is not how to describe human information seeking behaviour, but how to understand another person's information needs. The categorization of human understanding in the context of information provision is explored, based on the theory of social phenomenology, and then is correlated with the typology of information which has been pursued in communication studies. The alternative framework is constructed around the conceptions of Personalization of Information, Insharability of Information Needs, and Reflexivity of Information Provision. This framework leads to some implications for theory and practice of Information System design.
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