Critical data modeling and the basic representation model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing role and impact of information systems in modern life calls for new types of information studies that examine sociotechnical factors at play in the development and use of information systems. This article proposes critical data modeling—the use of data modeling and systems analysis techniques to build critical interrogations of information systems—as a method for bridging between social factors and technical systems, presents the Basic Representation Model as an analytical tool for critical data modeling, and discusses the results of critical data modeling of a police arrest record dataset. The Basic Representation Model is a conceptual model of information objects that supports a detailed examination of data modeling and information representation within and across information systems, and functions as a synthesizing concept for existing critical work on information systems. Critical data modeling adds an essential complement to existing approaches to critical information studies by grounding the analysis of an information system in both the technical realities of computational systems and the social realities of our communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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