Documentation science

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Documentation science, or documentation studies, is the study of the recording and retrieval of information.[1] Documentation science gradually developed into the broader field of information science.

Paul Otlet (1868–1944) and Henri La Fontaine (1854–1943), both Belgian lawyers and peace activists, established documantion science as a field of study. Otlet, who coined the term documentation science, is the author of two treatises on the subject: Traité de Documentation (1934) and Monde: Essai d'universalisme (1935). He, in particular, is regarded as the progenitor of information science.

In the United States, 1968 was a landmark year in the transition from documentation science to information science: the American Documentation Institute became the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and Harold Borko introduced readers of the journal American Documentation to the term in his paper "Information science: What is it?". Information science has not entirely subsumed documentation science, however. Berard (2003, p. 148) writes that word documentation is still much used in Francophone countries, where it is synonymous with information science. One potential explanation is that these countries made a clear division of labour between libraries and documentation centres, and the personnel employed at each kind of institution have different educational backgrounds. Documentation science professionals are called documentalists.

Developments[edit]

1931: The International Institute for Documentation, (Institut International de Documentation, IID) was the new name for the International Institute of Bibliography (originally Institut International de Bibliographie, IIB) established on 12 September 1895, in Brussels.

1937: American Documentation Institute was founded (1968 nameshift to American Society for Information Science).

1948: S. R. Ranganathan "discovers" documentation.[2]

1965-1990: Documentation departments were established in, for example, large research libraries with the appearance of commercial online computer retrieval systems. The persons doing the searches for clients were termed documentalists. With the appearance of first CD-ROM databases and later the internet these intermediary searches have decreased and most such departments have been closed or merged with other departments. (This is perhaps a European terminology, in the USA the term Information Centers was often used).

1986: Information service and - management started under the name "Bibliotheek en Documentaire Informatieverzorging" as third level education in The Netherlands.

1996: "Dokvit", Documentation Studies, was established in 1996 at the University of Tromsø in Norway (see Windfeld Lund, 2007).

2002: The Document Academy,[3] an international network chaired and cosponsored by The Program of Documentation Studies, University of Tromsoe, Norway and The School of Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley.

2003: Document Research Conference (DOCAM) is a series of conferences made by the Document Academy. DOCAM '03 (2003) was The first conference in the series. It was held August 13–15, 2003 at The School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS) at the University of California, Berkeley.(See http://thedocumentacademy.org/?q=node/4 ).

2004: The term Library, information and documentation studies (LID) has been suggested as an alternative to Library and information science (LIS), (cf., Rayward et al., 2004)

Document versus information[edit]

In information science and library and information science there has been a tendency to replace "document" with "information" as the basic theoretical construct in the field. This tendency is evident, for example, by the nameshift of the American Documentation Institute in 1968 to American Society for Information Science (in 2000 again nameshift to American Society for Information Science and Technology) and the associated shift from documentation science to information science.

Especially since the 1990s there has, however, been strong arguments put forward to revive the concept of document as the basic theoretical construct. Buckland (1991), Hjørland (2000) and others have for years been arguing that the concept of document is the most fruitful one to consider as the core concept in LIS. The concept of document is understood as "any concrete or symbolic indication, preserved or recorded, for reconstructing or for proving a phenomenon, whether physical or mental (Briet, 1951, 7; here quoted from Buckland, 1991). Recently additions to that view are Frohmann (2004), Furner (2004), Konrad (2007) and Ørom (2007). Frohmann (2004) discusses how the idea of information as the abstract object sought, processed, communicated and synthesized sets the stage for a paradox of the scientific literature by simultaneously supporting and undermining its significance for research front work. Furner (2004) argues that all the problems we need to consider in information studies can be dealt with without any need for a concept of information. All these authors assume that the concept of document is a more precise description of the objects that information science is about.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rayward, W. B. (1994). "Visions of Xanadu: Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and hypertext". Journal of the American Society for Information Science 45 (4): 235–250. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-4571(199405)45:4<235::AID-ASI2>3.0.CO;2-Y. 
  2. ^ Ranganathan, S.R. (1950). Library tour 1948. Europe and America, impresions and reflections. London: G.Blunt.
  3. ^ The Document Academy

Further reading[edit]

  • Berard, R. (2003). Documentation. IN: International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. 2nd. ed. Ed. by John Feather & Paul Sturges. London: Routledge (pp. 147–149).
  • Bradford, S. C. (1948). Documentation. London: Crosby Lockwood.
  • Bradford, S. C. (1953). Documentation. 2nd ed. London: Crosby Lockwood.
  • Briet, Suzanne (1951). Qu'est-ce que la documentation? Paris: Editions Documentaires Industrielle et Techniques.
  • Briet, Suzanne, 2006. What is Documentation? English Translation of the Classic French Text. Transl. and ed. by Ronald E. Day and Laurent Martinet. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  • Buckland, Michael, 1996. Documentation, Information Science, and Library Science in the U.S.A. Information Processing & Management 32, 63-76. Reprinted in Historical Studies in Information Science, eds. Trudi B. Hahn, and Michael Buckland. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 159- 172.
  • Buckland, Michael (2007). Northern Light: Fresh Insights into Enduring Concerns. In: Document (re)turn. Contributions from a research field in transition. Ed. By Roswitha Skare, Niels Windfeld Lund & Andreas Vårheim. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (pp. 315–322). Retrieved 2011-10-16 from: http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~buckland/tromso07.pdf
  • Farkas-Conn, I. S. (1990). From Documentation to Information Science. The Beginnings and Early Development of the American Documentation Institute - American Society for information Science. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  • Frohmann, Bernd, 2004. Deflating Information: From Science Studies to Documentation. Toronto; Buffalo; London: University of Toronto Press.
  • Garfield, E. (1953). Librarian versus documentalist. Manuscript submitted to Special Libraries. http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/papers/librarianvsdocumentalisty1953.html
  • Graziano, E. E. (1968). On a theory of documentation. American Documentalist 19, 85-89.
  • Hjørland, Birger (2000). Documents, memory institutions and information science. JOURNAL OF DOCUMENTATION, 56(1), 27-41. Retrieved 2013-02-17 from: http://iva.dk/bh/Core%20Concepts%20in%20LIS/articles%20a-z/Documents_memory%20institutions%20and%20IS.pdf
  • Konrad, A. (2007). On inquiry: Human concept formation and construction of meaning through library and information science intermediation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1s76b6hp
  • W. Boyd Rayward; Hansson,Joacim & Suominen, Vesa (eds). (2004). Aware and Responsible: Papers of the Nordic-International Colloquium on Social and Cultural Awareness and Responsibility in Library, Information and Documentation Studies. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. (pp. 71–91). http://www.db.dk/binaries/social%20and%20cultural%20awareness.pdf
  • Simon, E. N. (1947). A novice on "documentation". Journal of Documentation, 3(2), 238-341.
  • Williams, R. V. (1998). The Documentation and Special Libraries Movement in the United States, 1910-1960. IN: Hahn, T. B. & Buckland, M. (eds.): Historical Studies in Information Science. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc. (pp. 173–180).
  • Windfeld Lund, Niels, 2004. Documentation in a Complementary Perspective. In Aware and responsible: Papers of the Nordic-International Colloquium on Social and Cultural Awareness and Responsibility in Library, Information and Documentation Studies (SCARLID), ed. Rayward, Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 93-102.
  • Windfeld Lund, Niels (2007). Building a Discipline, Creating a Profession: An Essay on the Childhood of "Dokvit". IN: Document (re)turn. Contributions from a research field in transition. Ed. By Roswitha Skare, Niels Windfeld Lund & Andreas Vårheim. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (pp. 11–26). Retrieved 2011-10-16 from: http://www.ub.uit.no/munin/bitstream/handle/10037/966/paper.pdf?sequence=1
  • Windfeld Lund, Niels (2009). Document Theory. ANNUAL REVIEW OF INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 43, 399-432.
  • Woledge, G. (1983). Bibliography and Documentation - Words and Ideas. Journal of Documentation, 39(4), 266-279.
  • Ørom, Anders (2007). The concept of information versus the concept of document. IN: Document (re)turn. Contributions from a research field in transition. Ed. By Roswitha Skare, Niels Windfeld Lund & Andreas Vårheim. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (pp. 53–72).