Talk:Information science

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Removed the following, which appeared a week ago. I don't believe its a significant event in the history of information science or informatics. If reincluded, it belongs in a more specific article.

"Although courses in Informatics are now available in universities such as in the Informatics department of Buffalo University, the first known educational course was established as long ago as 1983 in an Elementary School in Australia. The teacher there, Mr. Kevin Nicholas, had -vision and taught the whole school information handling, even surfing an existing web (London Times Database) before the World Wide Web existed. Kids were exposed to a wide range of activies from information handling, publishing and storage to problem confidence. People visited the school's Informatics Centre from all over Australia and New Zealand, but people are only now catching up with the need to educate children in Informatics."

Jihg 02:35, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Informatics is synonymous with Information Science?[edit]

I do not agree with the equivalence of Informatics and Information Science in general. They might be used syonymously in some contexts, but in my experience they are considered different but related fields. I'm not going to make any edits to the page until I can back up my statements here with some sources to cite, but I wanted to bring this up. I am an "informatics scientist" in a global pharmaceutical company, and the group that utilizes the "information science" skill set is separate with distinct tools, methodologies, and responsibilities. Also, the Journal of Information Science does not purport to cover the realm of "informatics".

I understand how others might disagree with the distinction I make here, but it is a matter of evolving terminologies. For instance, about every 5 years, the term "bioinformatics" takes on a slightly different shaded meaning. What I do for a living is better characterized as "biological informatics" than either the general "informatics" or "bioinformatics", in the same sense that "medical informatics" is a disciplinary narrowing if the general "informatics" area. Following from this, I doubt that "medical informatics" could be considered synonymous with a "medical information science" field (which I've not heard of to date). Even more drastic is that, according to a colleague in the UK, former IT departments are re-branding themselves as Informatics departments .. though I have no idea how prevalent this is.

Perhaps we can discuss this here at some length, but I really do need to get some time-appropriate information cited here to support my statements here. The reason why I bring up the peer-reviewed journal example, by the way, is that the scope of a journal tends to shift to the generally accepted meaning of the title over time, or the title changes to reflect changed terminology for a scope that the editors wish to retain. Journals evolve at different rates, of course.


I agree, for British usage at least. There are three meanings:
  1. The old usage: a generalisation of "library science", used to be synonymous with information science (e.g. medical informatics).
  2. The new usage: the study of natural and artificial computational systems, a union of computer science, AI and cognitive science. This is the sense used by bioinformatics, or the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh (see link on page).
  3. The international usage: computer science.
The article kind of covers this, but should to be rewritten to make it more explicit. Personally, I think (2) is now the dominant meaning, but some information scientists may disagree. Jihg 08:53, Jan 20, 2005 (UTC)

It is the first of your meanings that is prevalent in the United States it seems, but broadened to include all manner of indexing and meta-data organization related to the organization and collection of documents, regardless of the topic those documents deal with or the medium they utilize. In the broader sense, it seems that the scope of Knowledge Management (an even fuzzier, more disputed term) sometimes includes information science in the sense I've noted here.
Courtland 2005-01-28 USA 22:00 EST

Perhaps we should go so far as to 'demerge' this article and informatics (currently just a redirect here)? At any rate it needs to be clarified to reflect the two senses considerably. Alai 07:07, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Some of this stuff is covered in 'The origins of infomration science', A.J. Meadows (ed.),1987 It seems that 'Informatics' (equiv. Information Science) was studied in the Soviet Union. In Europe, Informatics meant the study of information transfer (only a part of information science). The term 'Informatics' is also used by people, referring to information science, who (perhaps rightly) do not think that it warrants being called a science.

Anyway, I think this page is due for a major overhaul--surely we have more to say about information science than this!?


  • I suggest deleting Informatics (currently a redirect here), moving this article there, and redirecting Information science to Library and information science. Thoughts? --Alan Au 15:04, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
    • Well, it's been just over a month with no opposition. Unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to go ahead and get this started then. --Alan Au 20:34, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
      • The two don't seem, to me, particularly synonymous. Could you explain further? --User:Emrysk 16 April 2006
        • see below (Categorization of Information Science) --Alan Au 18:20, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


  • For what it is worth, here is a small sampling of how informatics is found used when you do a Google search:
    • Univ Strathclyde has a dept of computer and information sciences with a graduate school of informatics
    • The journal INFORMATION SCIENCES: Informatics and Computer Science Intelligent Systems Applications published by Elsevier has as its intended audience "Workers pursuing basic investigations in the areas of information science focusing on informatics and computer science, intelligent systems, and applications."
    • The Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology has published these articles with "informatics" in their title:
      • Community Informatics: Integrating Action, Research and Learning
      • Social Informatics
      • Social Informatics in Practice: A Guide for the Perplexed
      • Museum Informatics: Collections, People, Access, Use
      • Biologital Informatics
      • Biological Informatics and Neuroinformatics
      • Social Informatics
    • The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering has a program called "Science and Engineering Information Integration and Informatics"
    • The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has Social Informatics as one of its four major areas of research. Social Informatics is defined as "Community informatics; distributed communities; collaboration systems for online work, learning, and knowledge distribution; E-Learning in university and corporate settings; organizational and social informatics; information technology applied to societal problems; participatory action research; social justice in the information professions; community information systems; new literacies; collective practice; evaluation of emerging technologies; social impacts of technologies"
    • The Laboratory of Computer and Information Science, one of the laboritories of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology has the mission " conduct research and provide education in the area of adaptive informatics...a field of research where automated learning algorithms are used to discover the relevant informative concepts, components, and their mutual relations from large amounts of data."

Dfletter 21:43, 26 November 2005 (UTC)


  • I've created an informatics page expanding on use 2 above, and attempting to introduce references other uses (expansion needed). I think this makes some material under information science superfluous - and some of the material there should be moved and merged into informatics. Information science needs expanding.
  • I suggest demerging the talk pages too.

Michael Fourman 21:12, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

False interwiki[edit]

The revision at 18:36 of 20 February 2005 seems to be an interwiki copy from computer science which made false interwiki updates on many languages messily. Could someone recover this? -- PaePae 17:32, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

New school of Informatics at University of Manchester[edit]

For anyone who might want to include it, The University of Manchester now has a school of informatics,

--RickiRich 01:27, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Categorization of Information Science[edit]

Currently Computer Science is listed as a sub-category of Information Science and Information Science is listed as a sub-category of Computer Science. Is there general agreement that Information Science is a sub-category of Computer Science? If not, then should we make it a sibling of Computer Science? Dfletter 21:04, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

  • There does seem to be a major problem with consistent terminology. Probably the two should be made siblings, since CS tends to deal with the more technical/system-centered aspects while IS tends to focus more on social/user-centered issues. Informatics is about integrating the two, which just adds to the confusion. --Alan Au 23:07, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
Informatics (US) / Information science (EU) evolved out of computer science, just like software engineering. Therefore sujects studied by computer scientist a decade ago, like human-computer interaction, are now studied by information scientists. For that reason I think it would be best to leave information science as a subcat of computer science. The other way around, information scientists do study databases and programming, however this might not warrant including CS as a subcat of IS, however I don't think it would hurt if it was. Another problem is that CS and IS don't have a clear parent category that would identify them as siblings. —R. Koot 18:18, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

The Wikipedia page about information science highlights our collective confusion about how to categorize the topics: Computer Science, Information Science, Informatics and Information Technology. I propose that we try to look to the pros, the Philosophers of Science and Technology for classification schemes. Yet, even at that level we find disagreement about the meanings of basic distinctions between words. By creating schematic definitions we can combine the words into a more logical system, there will be overlap between categories but we can deal with overlapping classes by using a 'type of' relationship rather than a either/or distinction. Science refers to inferences about natural law based on either classical statistical hypothesis testing or Bayesian inference. Non-science is the writing of opinions without reference to analysis of measured data. Science and literature are two types of art, art is a type of culture, culture is a type of human thought. Technology is the use of machines to solve human problems. Non-technology is the beauty, the art, the emotional enjoyments that make animals feel joy, and the civilized culture that defines humanity apart from other animals. Information is one type of human thought. Data is one type of information, particularly the archival of information for later use. Two basic types of information are spatial and temporal. There are nine basic types of data: words, numbers, non-word symbols, points, lines, areas, volumes, tones and rhythms. Vision and hearing are the primary information senses for which we archive data. For example a movie is a time series of images, images are made from pixels. Pixels are a type of point data, regularly spaced rather than irregularly spaced. So the data storage of a movie is a time series of regularly spaced points representing red, green, blue colors. Using this definition framework, Information Science has a more focused meaning, primarily how humans use information to understand nature. Humanity being one small type of nature, Information Science emphasizes the logic, methods, software, the mental structures. Information Technology is closely related but the emphasis is more on the machines and the hardware. Computers are one type of machine. We can think of computer science then as a branch of science focused on using statistical analysis and logic to improve the efficiency of computer tools. Much of what we think of as Information Science is actually Temporal Information Science as opposed to Geographic Information Science. Of course space-time is one thing but it is very useful to separate space and time when we store data. The term informatics is a more recent invention and might be worked into this general scheme. —Andresswift16:35, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Why do you state that philosophers are the relevant "professionals"? It seems to me that if we depended on the philosophers for definitions, we'd have a few dozen contradictory definitions, leaving the matter more in doubt than currently. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Good question. We out here seeking to define and clarify these issues I suppose are all philosophers. My main question is trying to understand precisely how information technology differs from information science. Looking to the definitions of the words information, technology and science might help. Admittedly these are vast topics, much has been written. Why is there so much focus on the word informatics? What precisely does the word bring to the discussion that the science/technology distinction lacks? Also, this page as it stands makes no mention of spatial information technology versus temporal. This seems a major omission. Perhaps we could move Geographic Information Science into this article or link to it. — Andresswift —Preceding undated comment added 01:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC).

Cleanup no longer needed?[edit]

I recently spent some time cleaning up this article. Do we still need the cleanup tag? If so, what remains to be done? MaxVeers 05:03, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

well, it has more lists of links than article. compared to good articles it should be quite a bit longer and generally more descriptive and extensive. rfight now the article is little more than an extensive definition. check it against other disciplines to see what kind of content it could have. --Buridan 12:47, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

I still think the article has been "cleaned up" (proper formatting, clear organization, no spelling or grammer mistakes) and we can remove the tag. I agree that this article needs to be expanded, but expansion is different from cleaning up. A tag like {{Expert}} seems more appropriate than the current one. MaxVeers 16:14, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
"no spelling or grammer mistakes" <-- Such as spelling "grammar" incorrectly? ;) Brolin Empey 18:56, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Informatics in Computer Science[edit]

I added a little information relating to the use and origins of informatics in computer science. Unfortunatly I didn't realize that I wasn't logged on. I agree with the above posted comment about differetiating between the three uses of the word. If only someone would take on such a project! Take a look at the french language entry for informatique, it's huge.Elmers 13:39, 11 May 2006 (UTC):

Seems that even tho informatics and information science have been de-merged the talk pages are till the same, so all you information science editors please disregard that prvious comment :D Elmers 22:10, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

informatics merge failed[edit]

you do know that the merge with informatics the other day failed and that someone has already recreated an informatics page. it might be best to move information science back to information science and informatics back to informatics. in the u.s. many people see them as fundamentally different things. --Buridan 10:29, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I can tell you right now, people all over the world see them as fundamentally differnet things :D Seriously informatics should have its own page, even if only in the context of computer science. Elmers 01:16, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
This articles describes the information science which is related to computer science not the one related to library science. Both MW and AHD say that the term Informatics is "chiefly British", so I suspect that the term information science is used to refer to the computer science related field. Also, I study at the department of "informatica en informatiekunde" in the Netherlands and this is always translated into Englsh as the department of "computing and information science". Here the "computing science" refers to computer science and information science to information science as described in this article. —Ruud 13:15, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
it really doesn't matter.... what matters is that it didn't take and it likely will not take. --01:00, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't really understand why this page was split, as the unsplit informatics is nearly identical to the start of this page. I moved it here during a page history merge, so I don't really have an objection to move it back to informatics, but I prefer to have this article at the most commonly used name. —Ruud 01:13, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I personally think the pages should be re-merged. That said, there's really nothing wrong with having separate articles if there's enough distinguishable content. Otherwise, it just seems like a lot of effort to maintain two separate articles that say mostly the same things. *shrug* --Alan Au 22:53, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
it seems the community or at least some people thought that informatics was a separate thing. if those people are maintaining and developing that article, there is no necessity for you to maintain it. --Buridan 15:02, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
See also User talk:Michael Fourman and User:R. Koot/Informati. Pretty much every encyclopedia and dictionary lcaim they are equivalent, however there is a movement in Britain that is trying to define "informatics" as a term referring to the collection of computer science, software engineering, cognitive science, ..., information science, while reserving the term "information science" for an actual academic discipline. I find this split of terminology a bit artificial (especially considering that both "science" and "-ics" mean knowledge) and don't think that splitting would help the reader here. The various subtly different definitions should be expalined in one article. —Ruud 15:33, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
the problem is that the people who think they are doing social informatics know very well that they are not doing information science for the most part, though perhaps museum informatics might be closer to information science. in short, informatics is perhaps thought of as applied information technology, whereas information science is thought of as the management, application, and research of information. --Buridan 20:22, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Example of Informatics[edit]

While all these definitions are nice, it might help to have some sort of example of the sort of question addressed in Informatics, and how they differ from questions in related fields. -Finn

Do you mean giving examples of how informatics differs from information science ? Elmers 12:26, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Bad Interwiki Links (ComputerScience vs. Informatics vs. InformationSciences)[edit]

There are ton of misclassfied interwiki links between the international wikis alternately pointing to informatics, information science, and computer science. Anybody interesting cleaning this up? --Alan Au 18:34, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

the problem seems to be that the German word Informatik relates to CS while in the US information science (aka. library sciences) is a subset of informatics which is a scientific branch in the making - covering social, political, technical, economical and health aspects of information systems and their use. Given this confusion it will be really difficult to maintain coherence. By the way, I object to merging information sciences and informatics. Linking the two should be sufficient - the battle goes on. Iancarter 18:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
For me it is still not 100% clear what the exact difference is? Can please anybody make this difference very clear. Otherwise I do not see how we can solve the linking problem. JKW 21:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
i don't think you will be able to define this issue away by spurious construction of differences. the interwiki problem is probably best solved by having a disambiguation link at the top of the appropriate pages that encourages people to look and see the differences for themselves--Buridan 09:42, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Buridan. The problem with trying to define 'information science' is that it is such a new field. Unlike computer science, it has only been around for a few decades -- and the interdisciplinary nature only complicates things. If you took all the people who consider themselves 'information scientists' in the world, put them in a room and told them to come up with a definition, they would never come out. Everyone in the field has a different idea of what information science is and should be, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think that we should be hesitant to merge two topics simply because there is confusion between the two. Rather, by providing two separate pages with links between them, those who are really interested can take the time to compare and contrast themselves.TooManyEggs 19:53, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


we have 3 pages for what is likely two topics. i suggest we delete the information science page, put the informatics content on the informatics page and forward information science to LIS. --Buridan 09:46, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

veto information sciences is not LIS, it would more likely be informatics since it encompasses CS and IT issues as well which LIS clearly does not. --Iancarter 09:53, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
LIS encompasses plenty of CS where CS deals with information.--Buridan 10:00, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Buridan is correct. Iancarter obviously does not know much about library science or information science academically. Contact accredited universities iancarter and talk to library science and information science instructors, instead of saying things with no facts. library science encompasses CS and IT issues.

Cues-filtered-out theory[edit]

I was looking for sources to back up the Virtual community article and I found quite a bit out there about Cues-filtered-out theory which I redirected to social informatics. The theory deals with social cues (gesture, facial expression, voice tone, etc.) being filtered out in "computer-mediated communications". Proponents of the theory are concerned that text-based social networks such as newsgroups, forums and chatrooms foster anti-normative behaviors. See also: Community informatics, m:Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked OrganizationCQ 08:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

We got blogged[edit]

We got blogged. —Ruud 01:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Re: Image:Messagebox_info.svg‎[edit]

Please see: Portal:Library and information science

{{helpme}} User:Ruud Koot keeps removing "Messagebox info.svg‎" from this page. It was on the Portal:Library and information science, but he's removed it from there too. He claims it's not accurate for information science, but there are information science schools [1] that use silimar symbols. If this symbol is not accurate, then what is!?

I don't think {{helpme}} is appropriate here. Please discuss the issue with Ruud Koot directly. You could also consider positn on WP:3O. CMummert · talk 18:27, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I see little resemblance between the symbols and even if there was it is in no way a universally accepted symbol for the discipline of information science, meaning it adds no encyclopaedic value whatsoever. —Ruud 19:32, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Information Science - article slanted?[edit]

In my opinion, this wiki article is slanted toward a 'soft science' interpretation of Information Science. Please consider the following...

Here's the description for Penn State's MSIS degree:

"The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) prepares professionals to design and manage information systems. The program offers a balance of information systems and management courses offered through the Management and Engineering Divisions. The program includes

   * the role and management of emerging information technologies
   * system design
   * software engineering methodologies
   * information ethics and management
   * contemporary IT architectures


Also, here's a link to University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute. From their site:

"ISI research divisions and groups cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to investigate a broad range of advanced topics in computer science, information technology, and electrical engineering."

Then, there's Stanford's Quantum Information Science Group:

"The group conducts the basic research on quantum optics, semiconductor mesoscopic physics, nuclear and electron spin resonance, with emphasis on quantum information system applications."

As I initially stated, I believe this wiki article is slanted toward a 'soft science' view of Information Science. Even the opening paragraph equates Information Science with Information Studies. I don't think they are the same; the latter should be a (soft science, strictly non-technical) subset of the former.

I would suggest that Information Science encompasses a much wider range of topics, which include limited aspects (=only those aspects which pertain to the physical components and processes of the infomation system itself) of mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science... But also soft science topics such as HCI, user psychology, etc.

Hence, Information Science should be used as an all-encompassing term to describe ALL aspects of storing and processing information---everything from analyzing the user's perspective, to the wires and semiconductors that comprise the machine. In my opinion, this definition would match how the term Information Science is currently used, in practice. 17:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Kristian

I quite agree. Compare for example the list of research topics with the account of methodology in Information Science. Methodology is stated as being "like in other social sciences", but research topics include bibliometrics, knowledge engineering, data modelling and XML, all of which are natural parts of information science but they are certainly not topics that are to be addressed using the listed social-science-oriented methods.

Manjaro 15:06, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

New article request[edit]

Hi there, I'd like to suggest a new article on the full history of information handling/management/techonology (details). I'm not knowledgeable enough to do it myself, but contributors here probably are. Thanks, JackyR | Talk 18:04, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Changes to Introductory paragraph[edit]

Hi, I condensed the first two-intro paragraphs into one, and removed some redundancy and perhaps also an inaccuracy. Although I left most of the content intact, I did try to make it flow better. Here are the changes:

1). condensed first two-paragraphs as mentioned;

2). removed initial reference to Library Science b/c it is mentioned in a subsequent paragraph;

3). tried to convey a sense of purpose by describing the aim of Information Science.

Here is the new, condensed paragraph:

"Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.[1] Practitioners within the field study the application and usage of knowledge in organizations, along with the interaction between people, organizations and any existing information systems, with the aim of creating, replacing or improving information systems. Information science is often (mistakenly) considered a branch of computer science. However, it is actually a broad, interdisciplinary field, incorporating not only aspects of computer science, but often diverse fields such as mathematics, business, library science, cognitive science, and the social sciences."

I realize it's not perfect, but I hope everyone will see it as a stepwise improvement.


Libertaer, M.S. Information Science

Libertaer (talk) 00:44, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I think your revised paragraph is better. My concern, though, is that your first sentence should tackle the definition rather than examples of information science areas of study. People could get wrapped around whether all examples are included and just keep adding to it, or wondering how those examples are different from other related sciences and technologies (library science, informatics, computer science). The definition seems to be in the rest of the paragraph and should be 'promoted' or abstracted to the definition in the first sentence:
"Information science is an interdiciplinary science that analyzes the communication and representation of information, the specification and design of systems that enable that communication, and the users, organizations and computer systems that participate in and use those systems."
This tries to address why it is interdisciplinary, and that its focus is on systems not just implementation technology.
(then the rest of your paragraph)
Clem69 (talk) 16:32, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
As a tiny follow-up to this discussed revision of the article lead, while the historical and cultural relevance of the name "Information Science" makes the title of this article appropriate, Information Science is not, in fact, a science. Perhaps the first sentence can drop "science" and hold a more appropriate term. For instance:

Information science (or information studies) is an interdisciplinary discipline primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.[1]

Also, isn't using Mirriam-Webster as a reference a poor interpretation of the citation guidelines? Curious, but fuzzy on this...
Going to change the article now, which should not be controversial. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:32, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

As a Masters of Information Management student, I am hoping to add a section to this article expanding on the topic of Information Dissemination in the Twenty-First Century, particularly through the internet and social networks. Please let me know what you think. Chanty.ridz (talk) 01:06, 29 October 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster and American Heritage Dictionary.

about wiki[edit]

Is wiki an effective knowledge organization tool? What are the benefits and drawbacks of wiki? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mengjingangela (talkcontribs) 11:30, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction: "Information science" and "Informatics"[edit]

Text in "Information science" states "not to be confused with Informatics". Category:Informatics is a category redirect to category Information science!

This is a contradiction. Not involved in these fields at all, my naive assumption was a relationship between the two topics similar to that between "flight" and "birds, airplanes". The difference between "the study of" and "doing". Read much of this discussion page, hope someone can at least repair the this confusion. tooold (talk) 21:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Category:Information scientists[edit]

Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Information science, yes; information scientists, nope? Is this marvelous information society, if not information revolution, as marked by Google, Wikipedia, etc., just evolving of itself, without them? Should those Information science#Important historical figures never be called information scientists? --KYPark (talk) 18:42, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Eurekas since 1975[edit]

Excerpts from: Nicholas J. Belkin and Stephen E. Robertson (1976). "Information Science and the Phenomenon of Information," Journal of the American Society for Information Science, July-August 1976, pp. 197-204.
Information in social context

In their paper, Wersig and Neveling find that what is now called information science developed, historically:

"... not because of a specific phenomenon which always existed before and which now becomes an object of study -- but because of a new necessity to study a problem which has completely changed its relevance to society. Nowadays the problem of transmitting knowledge to those who need it is a social responsibility, and this social responsibility seems to be the real background of 'information science'."

Their argument, essentially, is that the present discipline arose from the rather disconnected previous activities generally aimed at the problem stated above, especially because that problem has become vastly more important (to society) in recent years. (p. 197)

Wersig G.; Neveling, U. 1975. "The Phenomena of Interest to Information Science." The Information Scientist. 1975; 9(4): 127-140.

Note: The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) was founded in 1975.

Information in cognitive context
Table 3. The Basic Phenomena of Information Science
  1. The text and its structure (the information).
  2. The image-structure of the recipient and the changes in that structure.
  3. The image-structure of the sender and the structuring of the text.

Of these three phenomena, information science has up to now regarded the first as its major concern; some interest has been shown in the second, but study of this phenomenon has largely been concentrated in the context of psychology or education. The third phenomenon remains virtually virgin territory. (p. 202)

Note: Jerome Bruner denies that the cognitive revolution occurred around 1956. But, from 1975, strong cognitivism started moving especially, along the West Coast and along the emerging transatlantic Internet. Psycholinguists unusually crowded BBN, Xerox PARC, and the like, from the Bay area to San Diego to Urbana-Champaign, while building network-like mental and verbal (psycho-linguistic) models of their own! --KYPark (talk) 18:42, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Revolutionary indeed was rethinking information
  • in the social and mental (byond textual or verbal) processes,
  • in the "external" and "psychological" (beyond "literary") contexts, in terms of C. K. Ogden & I. A. Richards (1923), or,
  • in the "world 1" and "world 2" (beyond "world 3") realities, in terms of Karl Popper (1972, 1978).

This roughly suggests why and how seriously the above excerpts should be taken. The detailed historical steps may follow one after another so that editors and readers alike could be convinced enough of perhaps the greatest brain storm and eureka, as it were, if not information revolution, since 1975, culminating in Google and Wikipedia, so far! --KYPark (talk) 03:27, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Corrected Popper's world 1 and 3. By the way, in 1978 rev. ed. he added world 3 to world 1 and 2, arguing that it is where his main concern "objective knowledge without a knowing subject" (1972) resides. Hence, he remained reactionary, perhaps for Catholicism! The fundamentalist bible may as well be a metaphor for textualism or literalism as the librarian book, whence the very revolutionary set out to look for the full meaning of information, or significance of signification. --KYPark (talk) 04:11, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Important historical figures[edit]

Within librarianship Without librarianship
FID people
Auto. text analysis & retrieval
Hypertext synthesis & retrieval

classified by --KYPark (talk) 11:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

The asterisk indicates the living. By the way, all of them happen to be Oxonians! Moreover, how come they happen to range from information philosophy (Floridi) through information science (Buckland) to information technology (Berners-Lee)? They balance so beautiful, don't they? Editors and readers should better wonder if this is either coincidental or conspirational!

Berners-Lee seems to be an "important historical figure." But such may not be the case with Buckland and Floridi. Put otherwise, anyone of the living may not have been more influential and important in the information field than Eugene Garfield! The SCI of his invention since the early 1960s even serves as a measure of the validity of Nobel Prizes!

Why should this eminent inforamtion scientist be overshadowed by a librarian Buckland and a philosopher Floridi of extremely obscure and perhaps self-promoting achievement? It would be a great shame on him to include him in this shameful category together with them. Therefore anyone would be right indeed to exclude them.

Honestly I believe in conspiracy theory as much as determinism. To me, indeterminism plus free will is just another theory. Then, which would sound sounder? Definitely determinism, I choose without hesitation.

A Korean old saying says that there is no grave without reason for death. I feel free and it looks loose since I know not all. The more I know the less I feel free. Most things appear hidden or enfolded. It sounds an arrogance to dare to insist on indeterminism as if the sun might not rise tomorrow. How many on earth would think so practically? Practically none I should say.

Why on earth does the library science (LS) camp override the article on information science (IS), as if there were no article on LS, as if there were no difference between LS and IS, as if LS scholars had contributed most to the IS progress. It looks like having watered IS down ever since the complication and confusion of LIS. Stop conspiracy right now to water IS down starting from now! I say now! UC especially at Berkeley, not to mention Oxford should take this veery seriously. Stop. --KYPark (talk) 10:26, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

A word to real information scientists, if any
Just boil it down! --KYPark (talk) 14:22, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Physicality or materiality of information[edit]

Michael Buckland is the keynote speaker of COOP'06; and an abstract of his talk is included in this book. Michael Buckland comes from the School of Information Management & Systems which is part of the University of California and located in Berkeley. He has contributed to renew the approach of documents particularly by going back to the foundational work of the French archivists like Suzanne Briet. His famous papers "What is a 'Document'?" and "Information as Thing" are surprisingly relevant in the context of the CSCW debate about the importance of the materiality of coordinative artefacts. (emphasis not original)

— Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, Vol. 137: Proceeding of the 2006 Conference on Cooperative Systems Design: Seamless Integration of Artifacts and Conversations -- Enhanced Concepts of Infrastructure for Communication, Pages: i-xii.
More: ACM Portal
  • No information without physicality, as no rain without humidity. Culture or handling of artefacts has existed with mankind, hence absolutely regardless of Michael Buckland's argument for "information as thing" overlapping with Jason Farradane's (1979) argument that "'information' should be defined as any physical form of representation, or surrogate, of knowledge, or of a particular thought, used for communication." (p. 4)
  • That is to say, CSCW (computer supported cooperative work) and other AI fields handling artefacts need to thank neither Buckland nor Farradane at all, so as neither to appear foolish nor flattering, except that they should do that for some unspeakable reason.
  • Farradane's argument for the "physical form" of information (1979) may have responded to an argument for the user being "little conscious of the physical form of document" (1975) as a matter of fact! Try to google with this search term.
  • What's wrong with the self-evident physicality of information? Information is simply speech necessarily consisting of both physical sound and logical meaning, the signifier and the signified.

    In a sense, information retrieval (IR) looks for one or more physical patterns, as may be best illustrated by the punched card system. In another and certainly far more importantly, however, it looks for a certain topicality and utility of information, varying from context to context.

    The very synoptic view forces information science to distance from monocular librarianship and computer science insisting on the objective physicality and textuality of information. The information revolution perhaps since 1975 was a paradigm shift from dehumanized (maybe objective) textualism to humanized (even subjective) contextualism. More precisely, it was synoptic and holist. Until then, even scientists had been so used to think and speak of things in isolation, out of context.

  • Jason Farradane (1979) "The Nature of Information." In: G. Walker (ed.), The Information Environment: A Reader. pp. 4-11. NY: G.K. Hall & Co.
  • Michael Buckland (1991) "Information as Thing." Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 351-360.

--KYPark (talk) 17:25, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


CAMERON IS COOL —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


In 2.1 Early beginnings: instead of " Abyssinian Empire" the correct should be "Assyrian Empire" a serra niterói brasil — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Revamp completed[edit]

I've completed the conversion of the article from list form to prose per WP:PROSE and WP:SS. List content was preserved by moving it to the Outline of information science. The Transhumanist 13:59, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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Quite a Negative Tone about Library Science[edit]

The author of this article at different sections have struggled to differentiate library science and information science. But the fact of the matter is that both areas deal with collection, organization, processing and dissemination of information. Libraries and Archives are information systems and there area lots of scholars in information science that did researches related to libraries. Therefore, I think the writer(s) of this article lack the basic knowledge of those disciplines Libraries are subset of information systems. That makes library science subset of information science. It is a matter of terminology in some universities. For instance most LIS schools in the US are now IS schools while in Scandinavia they still maintain the term LIS. How can the field of Library and Information Science completely different from Information Science? The whole article is flawed and need to be rewritten with actual facts, not by someone who is biased and evidently lacks knowledge of the two disciplines — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eldad8 (talkcontribs) 15:31, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Direct Quote[edit]

I saw that there was a direct quote from a book giving a brief description of information science is that necessary or could it be rephrased? Manalxx (talk) 00:05, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

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Current lead, exploded view[edit]

I often do this in my own notes to make the notes quicker to scan. This instance did not go well. After exploding it out, I didn't feel like I had much of substance.

Anyone else find the following rather shallow and uninformative?

Information science is an interdisciplinary field primarily concerned with:

  • analysis
  • collection
  • classification
  • manipulation
  • storage
  • retrieval
  • movement
  • dissemination
  • protection

of information.

Practitioners within the field study:

  • organizational:
    • application
    • usage of knowledge
  • interaction among:
    • people
    • organizations
    • any existing information system

with the aim of:

  • creating
  • replacing
  • improving
  • understanding

information systems.

Information science is often (mistakenly) considered a branch of computer science.

IS predates computer science and is actually a broad, interdisciplinary field, incorporating not only aspects of computer science, but often diverse fields such as:

  • archival science
  • cognitive science
  • commerce
  • communications
  • law
  • library science
  • museology
  • management
  • mathematics
  • philosophy
  • public policy
  • social sciences.

Information science as an academic discipline is often taught in combination with Library science as Library and Information Science.

Information science deals with all the processes and techniques pertaining to the information life cycle:

  • capture
  • generation
  • packaging
  • dissemination
  • transformation
  • refining
  • repackaging
  • usage
  • storage
  • communication
  • protection
  • presentation in any possible manner.

MaxEnt 01:41, 13 October 2018 (UTC)