Building an Informing Science Model in Light of Fake News

Eli Cohen
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 22  •  2019  •  pp. 095-114

Many disciplines have addressed the issue of “fake news.” This topic is of central concern to the transdiscipline of Informing Science, which endeavors to understand all issues related to informing. This paper endeavors to build a model to address not only fake news but all informing and misin-forming. To do this, it explores how errors get into informing systems, the issue of bias, and the models previously created to explore the complexity of informing. That is, this paper examines models and frameworks proposed to explore informing in the presence of bias, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news from the perspective of Informing Science. It concludes by intro-ducing a more nuanced model that considers some of the topics explored in the paper

The issue of informing and disinforming crosses many disciplinary perspectives. Each discipline puts on blinders that limit what it can contribute to its understanding of research topics. It is like trying to study a forest by seeing only the trees and not the animals or the animals but not the trees. Research perspectives that cross disciplinary boundaries are needed to more fully understand complex phenomena.
This paper lays out some fundamental cross-disciplinary issues including how errors find their way into informing systems, the issue of bias, and the frameworks used to model this phenomenon.

The paper introduces the competition framework for understanding informing and misinforming. This framework addresses many of the limitation of prior frameworks.

The concluding framework offers insights into understanding informing and disinforming. But this framework offers no insights into other forms of informing that are less well explored, such as song, dance, physical art, and architecture. Likewise, this framework does nothing to help the un-derstanding of informing via fideism or psychedelic revelation.

informing science, bias, misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, fake news
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