Tomato tomahto: European perspectives on information science

Julian Warner, Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, Isabella Peters, Niels Windfeld Lund, Michael Buckland

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


'And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart’ (Gershwin and Gershwin,). In the lyric, ‘tomato tomahto', the marked, or explicitly differentiated term, is tomahto, corresponding more to the English rather than the United States pronunciation. The marked term of a contrast characteristically designates the exception or minor term and the distinctions contained in the unmarked term may be implicitly, and incompletely, understood. Analogously, information science has often been implicitly based in the United States and influenced by American modes of thought, while European, including English, developments have been the occasionally marked and often minor term. This panel explores European perspectives on information science, explicitly and implicitly contrasting them with United States perspectives, from a base in a number of languages and in Europe and beyond. The panel employs diverse and complementary viewpoints and should make for a lively discussion. It concludes, in sympathy with Gershwin, that cooperation and integration, corresponding to increasing globalization, is the way forward. The combination of European and beyond and United States perspectives on information science is especially appropriate for the first ASIS&T Annual Meeting outside North America.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusEarly online date - 27 Dec 2016


  • ASIS&T
  • Cultural variation in information science
  • Europe
  • Globalization
  • History of information science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


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