Citizen access to information, particularly scientific information used for public policy discussions and decision making, is important in a democracy. However, access to this information can sometimes be restricted or blocked in various ways. This research adopts Jaeger and Burnett's (2005) conceptualization of information access as "the presence of a robust system through which information is made available to citizens and others" (p. 465) with physical, intellectual, and social components. This provides the conceptual framework through which incidents of restricted access to science policy (RASP) were analyzed in a comparative case study. The research found that citizens' physical, intellectual, and social access to scientific research was restricted in these cases. Furthermore, the theoretical framework of democratic accountability held normative and symbolic power for the respondents; although democratic accountability did not accurately predict respondents' actions, it was used as a significant justification for their actions. This research suggests that the conceptual framework of information access (with physical, intellectual, and social components) and the theoretical framework of democratic accountability (although primarily normative) may be useful approaches to subsequent investigations of censorship and restricted access in other situations and research areas.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2015|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 ASIS&T.
- government information
- qualitative research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Information Systems and Management
- Library and Information Sciences