Holistic sensemaking: conflicting opinions, creative ideas, and collective intelligence

Bradford Lee Eden, Chaomei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose The purpose of this work is to introduce a generic conceptual and methodological framework for the study of emergent social and intellectual patterns and trends in a diverse range of senseand decisionmaking activities. Design/methodology/approach The development of the framework is driven by three motivating challenges: capturing the collective intelligence of science, fostering scientific discoveries in science and eScience, and facilitating evidencebased librarianship (EBL). The framework is built on concepts such as structural holes and intellectual turning points, methodologies and techniques for progressive knowledge domain visualization and differentiation of conflicting opinions, and information integration models to achieve coherent transitions between different conceptual scales. Findings Structural holes and turning points are detected and validated with the domain of terrorism research as an example. Conflicting opinions are differentiated in the form of a decision tree of phrases with the greatest information gains. Fundamental issues concerning the reliability of common assumptions across multiple levels of granularity are identified. Knowledge diffusion is studied in terms of information integration between a geographic space and an intellectual space. Research limitations/implications This study characterizes a holistic sensemaking approach with three exemplar themes. Future research is needed to develop theoretical foundations and corresponding techniques to sustain additional themes. Practical implications The work contributes to the practice of improving our understanding of the collective intelligence in science. Originality/value The value of the work is the conceptual and methodological contributions to address various phenomena across micro and macroscopic levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-327
Number of pages17
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept 11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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