Information Technology and Management

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 27–39 | Cite as

Information ecology research: past, present, and future

  • Xiwei Wang
  • Yu Guo
  • Mengqing Yang
  • Yong Chen
  • Wenxiao Zhang


This paper examines the status of information ecology research through studying the published papers on the topic of information ecology included in Social Sciences Citation Index and Science Citation Index database from 1992 to 2013. It applies bibliometrics and knowledge mapping to analyze the changes in the number of published papers as time goes on, in terms of country and geographic area, research topics, research methods, funding sources, hot research spots, and research trends. In addition, this paper summarizes the origin and the evolution of information ecology research and introduces institutions that conduct information ecology research. The results indicate that information ecology is an emerging field with vigorous development in recent years, and information ecology research is a multi-disciplinary subject. The research also reveals that information ecology research mainly focuses on information ecosystems, information ecology in e-commerce, and information ecology in a network. This paper calls for wider and deeper research on information ecology, in order to explore information ecology issues caused by the rapid development of new technologies.


Information ecology Information ecosystem Bibliometrics Knowledge mapping 



We thank the editor and the referees for their invaluable comments and suggestions. This research is supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Project (71203074), and 985 Project of Jilin University.


  1. 1.
    Baker KS, Bowker GC (2007) Information ecology: open system environment for data, memories, and knowing. J Intell Inf Syst 29(1):127–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Basole RC, Park H, Barnett BC (2014) Coopetition and convergence in the ICT ecosystem. Telecommun Policy. doi: 10.1016/j.telpol.2014.04.003
  3. 3.
    Bianconi G, Laureti P, Yu YK, Zhang YC (2004) Ecology of active and passive players and their impact on information selection. Phys A 332:519–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bradford SC (1934) Sources of information on specific subjects. Engineering 137:85–86Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Broadus RN (1987) Toward a definition of bibliometrics. Scientometrics 12(5):373–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference: a practical information-theoretic approach. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Butler TW, Li L (2005) The utility of return to scale in DEA programming: an analysis of Michigan hospitals. Eur J Oper Res 161(2):469–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Canavese D, Ortega NRS, Giatti LL (2012) Ecosystem approach and the Fuzzy logic: a dialectical proposal for information on environmental health. Engenharia Sanitaria e Ambiental 17(4):363–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Capurro R (2006) Towards an ontological foundation of information ethics. Ethics Inf Technol 8(4):175–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Capurro R (2008) On Floridi’s metaphysical foundation of information ecology. Ethics Inf Technol 10(2–3):167–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dang Y, Zhang Y, Hu PJH, Brown SA, Chen H (2011) Knowledge mapping for rapidly evolving domains: a design science approach. Decis Support Syst 50(2):415–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Davenport TH, Prusak L (1997) Information ecology: mastering the information and knowledge environment. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Detlor B (2001) The influence of information ecology on e-commerce initiatives. Internet Res 11(4):286–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Diniz-Filho JAF, Rangel TFL, Bini LM (2008) Model selection and information theory in geographical ecology. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 17(4):479–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Duc NT, Bollegala D, Ishizuka M (2011) Cross-language latent relational search: mapping knowledge across languages. AAAI 11:1237–1242Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Feng S, Xu L (1999) An intelligent decision support system for fuzzy comprehensive evaluation of urban development. Expert Syst Appl 16:21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Finin T, Joshi A, Kolari P, Java A, Kale A, Karandikar A (2008) The information ecology of social media and online communities. AI Mag 29(3):77Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    García-Peñalvo FJ, Johnson M, Alves GR, Minović M, Conde-González MÁ (2014) Informal learning recognition through a cloud ecosystem. Future Gener Comput Syst 32(3):282–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Geng RN (2013) Research on the operating mechanism of information ecology chain on electronic business website. Appl Mech Mater 263:2698–2702Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gopinath K (2013) The laws of the web: patterns in the ecology of information. J Indian Inst Sci 83(3&4):99–106Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Grafton C (2006) Book review: the information ecology of e-government. Soc Sci Comput Rev 24(1):132–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Havas J, Matsui T, Shaw RN, Machimura T (2014) Ecosystem services management tool development guidelines and framework revision for industries, industry policy makers and industry groups. Ecosyst Serv 7:187–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Harris K (1989) Information ecology. Int J Inf Manag 9(4):289–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hasenyager BW (1996) Managing the information ecology: A collaborative approach to information technology management. Greenwood Publishing Group, Santa BarbaraGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    He W, Xu L, Means T, Wang P (2009) Integrating web 2.0 with the case-based reasoning cycle: a systems approach. Syst Res Behav Sci 26(6):717–728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    He W, Xu L (2014) A state-of-the-art survey of cloud manufacturing. Int J Comput Integr Manuf 28(3):239–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hearn G, Collie N, Lyle P, Choi JHJ, Foth M (2014) Using communicative ecology theory to scope the emerging role of social media in the evolution of urban food systems. Futures 62(10):202–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hoehn JP, Lupi F, Kaplowitz MD (2010) Stated choice experiments with complex ecosystem changes: the effect of information formats on estimated variances and choice parameters. J Agric Resour Econ 35(3):568–590Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hogeweg P (2007) From population dynamics to ecoinformatics: ecosystems as multilevel information processing systems. Ecol Inform 2(2):103–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Horton FW (1978) Information ecology. J Syst Manag 29(9):32–36Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hu Z, Chen C, Liu Z (2013) Where are citations located in the body of scientific articles? A study of the distributions of citation locations. J Informetr 7(4):887–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hussain O, Perdomo A, Dillon T, Chang E (2009) A digital information ecosystem structure for regional climate change assessment and adaptation. In: Digital ecosystems and technologies, pp 199–204Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Jackson T, Victor P (2011) Productivity and work in the ‘green economy’: some theoretical reflections and empirical tests. Environ Innov Soc Transit 1(1):101–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Javalgi RRG, Todd PR, Scherer RF (2005) The dynamics of global e-commerce: an organizational ecology perspective. Int Mark Rev 22(4):420–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Jiang L, Xu L, Cai H, Jiang Z (2014) An IoT oriented data storage framework in cloud computing platform. IEEE Trans Industr Inf 10(2):1443–1451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Johri A, Teo HJ, Lo J, Dufour M, Schram A (2014) Millennial engineers: digital media and information ecology of engineering students. Comput Hum Behav 33(4):286–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Karhu K, Tang T, Hämäläinen M (2014) Analyzing competitive and collaborative differences among mobile ecosystems using abstracted strategy networks. Telematics Inform 31(2):319–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kobzeva L, Gribov E, Kuznetsov I (2012) Creating a web infrastructure of the regional innovation ecosystem in the Triple Helix model in Russia. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 52:72–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Krasilov AA (2005) Knowledge and information ecology. Sci Tech Inf Process 32(1):34–49Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Lai JY, Wang CT, Chou CY (2009) How knowledge map fit and personalization affect success of KMS in high-tech firms. Technovation 29(4):313–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Lawrence S, Lee Giles C, Bollacker K (1999) Digital libraries and autonomous citation indexing. Computer 32(6):67–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lotka AJ (1926) The frequency distribution of scientific productivity. J Wash Acad Sci 16(12):317–323Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Mathew S (2011) Fishery-dependent information and the ecosystem approach: what role can fishers and their knowledge play in developing countries? ICES J Mar Sci J Conseil 1:113–117Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    McKeon M (2009) Harnessing the information ecosystem with wiki-based visualization dashboards. IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph 15(6):1081–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Miyazaki S, Idota H, Miyoshi H (2012) Corporate productivity and the stages of ICT development. Inf Technol Manag 13(1):17–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Moccozet L(2009) Personal information ecosystem: A framework for immersive blended training in information and communication technologies literacy. In: Digital Ecosystems and Technologies IEEE, pp 229–234Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Moed HF, De Bruin RE, Van Leeuwen TN (1995) New bibliometric tools for the assessment of national research performance: database description, overview of indicators and first applications. Scientometrics 33(3):381–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Nam Y, Lee YO, Park HW (2013) Can web ecology provide a clearer understanding of people’s information behavior during election campaigns? Soc Sci Inf 52(1):91–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Nardi BA (1998) Information ecologies: highlights of the keynote address. Ref User Serv Q 38(1):49–50Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Nardi B, O’Day V (1999) Information ecologies: using technology with heart. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Newkirk T (2010) The case for slow reading. Educ Leadersh 67(6):6–11Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Pérez-Quinones MA, Tungare M, Pyla PS, Harrison S (2008) Personal information ecosystems: Design concerns for net-enabled devices. In: Latin American web conference, pp 3–11Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Price DDS (1963) Big science, little science. Columbia University, New York, p 119Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Qin Z, Han G (2007) Intergovernmental information sharing of E-government: an analytical framework based on information ecology paradigm. J China Soc Sci Tech Inf 26(5):758–763Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Raffaelli D, Bullock J, Cinderby S (2014) Chapter two—big data and ecosystem research programmes. Adv Ecol Res 51:41–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Ren F, Quan C (2012) Linguistic-based emotion analysis and recognition for measuring consumer satisfaction: an application of affective computing. Inf Technol Manag 13(4):321–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Rong K, Hu G, Lin Y, Sh Y, Guo L (2015) Understanding business ecosystem using a 6C framework in internet-of-things-based sectors. Int J Prod Econ 159:41–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Scacchi W (2001) Redesigning contracted service procurement for internet-based electronic commerce: a case study. Inf Technol Manag 2(3):313–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Schmidt KA, Dall SR, Van Gils JA (2010) The ecology of information: an overview on the ecological significance of making informed decisions. Oikos 119(2):304–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Shi X, Li LX, Yang L, Li Z, Choi JY (2012) Information flow in reverse logistics: an industrial information integration study. Inf Technol Manag 13(4):217–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Shin DH, Kweon SH (2011) Evaluation of Korean information infrastructure policy 2000–2010: focusing on broadband ecosystem change. Gov Inf Q 28(3):374–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Showers B (2012) Data-driven library infrastructure: towards a new information ecology. Insights UKSG J 25(2):150–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Smith J, Jenks C (2005) Complexity, ecology and the materiality of information. Theory Culture Soc 22(5):141–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Tingting J, Wei L (2004) Information architecture within the WWW information ecology. J China Soc Sci Tech Inf 23(3):340–346Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Treré E (2012) Social movements as information ecologies: exploring the coevolution of multiple Internet technologies for activism. Int J Commun 6(19):2359–2377Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Tsai HH (2013) Knowledge management vs. data mining: research trend, forecast and citation approach. Expert Syst Appl 40(8):3160–3173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Walker RL (2005) Hierarchical task topology for retrieving information from within a simulated information ecosystem. J Netw Comput Appl 28(2):77–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Wallace DP, Van Fleet C, Downs LJ (2011) The research core of the knowledge management literature. Int J Inf Manag 31(1):14–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Wang XW, Yang MQ, Zhang WX, Guo Y (2014) Evaluation of the ecology of the enterprise information portal: analysis based on the perspective of customer experience. Libr Inf Serv 58(4):46–52Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Xu L (2011) Enterprise systems: state-of-the-art and future trends. IEEE Trans Industr Inf 7(4):630–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Xu L, He W, Li S (2014) Internet of things in industries a survey. IEEE Trans Industr Inf 10(4):2233–2240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Xu S, Xu L, Chen X (2003) Determining optimum edible films for kiwifruits using an analytical hierarchy process. Comput Oper Res 30(6):877–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Zhang J, Liang XJ (2012) Promoting green ICT in China: a framework based on innovation system approaches. Telecommun Policy 36(10):997–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Zhu L, Thatcher SM (2010) National information ecology: a new institutional economics perspective on global e-commerce adoption. J Electron Commer Res 1(11):53–71Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Zhu YH, Zhang SY, Ma JG, Nan EL (2012) On education information ecosystem structure. Procedia Eng 29:3537–3541CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementJilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

Personalised recommendations