Skip to main content

What is information? Toward a theory of information as objective and veridical

Mingers, John, Standing, Craig (2018) What is information? Toward a theory of information as objective and veridical. Journal of Information Technology, 33 (2). pp. 85-104. ISSN 0268-3962. E-ISSN 1466-4437. (doi:10.1057/s41265-017-0038-6) (KAR id:62000)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (756kB) Preview
[thumbnail of Information Theory  submitted.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL:


Information systems are a strong and ever-growing discipline of enormous relevance to today’s informated world, and yet, as recent reviews have shown, there is still not an agreed and explicit conceptualization or definition of information. After an evaluative review of a range of theories of information, this paper develops and defends a particular theory, one that sees information as both objective and veridical. By objective, we mean that the information carried by signs and messages exists independently of its receivers or observers. The information carried by a sign exists even if the sign is not actually observed. By veridical, we mean that information must be true or correct in order to be information – information is truth-constituted. False information is not information, but misinformation or disinformation. The paper develops this theory and then discusses four contentious issues – information as objective rather than subjective; information as true or correct; information and knowledge; and information and the ambiguity of meaning. It concludes with a discussion of the practical implications of the theory.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1057/s41265-017-0038-6
Uncontrolled keywords: information, information systems, syntactics, semantics, pragmatics, semiotics, truth
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 12:51 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 22:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mingers, John:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year