User-centered evaluation of information: A research challenge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - This paper sets out to present the concept of the value of information, review the descriptive, rational, social and behavioral approaches for assessing the value of information, and explain why user-centered rather than information-centered evaluations are the most relevant. Design/methodology/approach - The paper starts by highlighting the main facets and market characteristics which influence the value of information. Next, four approaches to assessing the value of information are explained, including a discussion of advantages and limitations of each approach. The approaches reviewed include descriptive, rational, social and behavioral research. Finally, an information value assessment recommendation is given and a theoretical framework is offered. Findings - The descriptive approach is useful in raising new angles for theory development. The rational approach assumes that the value is inherent in information and offers models that describe how information should be valued. The social perspective suggests that markets are enhanced by social activity. The behavioral aspect teaches that value perception changes by person and circumstance and is a key influence on information markets. Originality/value - This paper offers a concentrated multi-dimensional theoretical basis on a topic of central importance to anyone interested in Internet research, information consumption and production. Theory offered here constitutes a basis for a large number of potential empirical research endeavors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-322
Number of pages17
JournalInternet Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


  • Information retrieval
  • Information theory
  • Internet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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