Talk:Information system

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Study of information systems[edit]

I'd like to suggest taking colleges and universities that offer IS undergrad and postgrad courses, and splitting it off as a separate list page - while I think it is useful, it should either be a (very) select list (in which case the criteria for inclusion needs to be defined) or a fully inclusive one - and if it is the latter it will rapidly get to big for this page. Bilby (talk) 02:00, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I just noticed I totally agree with this proposal, see Section "Study of information systems" removed . -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 11:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I was a tad wary of doing it before, but after seeing an AfD on a similar list, and your example, it looks like it is viable after all. The example you gave had them broken into university, college, department and degrees offered. I presume "college" in this case is the equivalent to faculty. That seems like a reasonable set of data, however would it make sense to include country, and perhaps not so clearly distinguish between US and the rest of the world? Perhaps group by world region (North/South America, Europe, etc)? - Bilby (talk) 12:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
You are right that these lists can run into trouble. I have created some of these lists in the field of systems science last year and run into some trouble myselve. But for now, I am not so sure about the need for this kind of lists myselve any more. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 21:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion, an information system is any system that contains or transfers information. This applies to all systems in the cosmos but particularly to the minds of humans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GeorgeFarahatMIS (talkcontribs) 18:04, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguation mixed with MIS vs IS confusion?[edit]

It seems to me that this article mostly consists of a disambiguation section followed by what seems to be a description of what is claimed to be an academic field that overlaps very closely with management information systems.

Shouldn't the description of what is claimed to be an academic field that overlaps very closely with management information systems be merged into management information system and this page converted to purely a disambiguation page?

Alternatively, if there exists a concept "information systems" which is standardised among management information system people and is sufficiently distinct from management information system, then probably a page like information systems (management) should be created independently of the two existing pages, based on the content beyond the disambiguation list here. Boud (talk) 22:49, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Good point, there are blurry lines between MIS and IS. Though IS is now being pulled into other departments (political science, public policy, etc.) the origins flow from MIS and CS. Maybe a history section would make this clearer. (talk) 23:29, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Section "Study of information systems" removed[edit]

I removed the section "Study of information systems". That section was showing the temporary situation of the current studies in information systems world wide.

Such a subject doesn't fit in a regular Wikipedia article. I do think that section could be developed into a list like the List of systems engineering at universities. -- Marcel Douwe Dekker (talk) 11:09, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Information systems research[edit]

A new section "Information systems research" has been added, which hopefully can be a replacement for the previous "Study" section. The reference to Ciborra has been merged into this new section. Good call re. the previous section not being acceptable. I plan on coming back to the article from time to time for improvements.--Flavonoid (talk) 02:52, 7 March 2009 (UTC)


Pfuchs - With all due respect I agree with Nurg in the discussion page of Information System. What was there is not a definition, nor is it "widely" accepted. Just because something is source-able and true doesn't mean it is suited to task. What I put there was a definition. Now we are just left with a "metaphor". Rather than get in a reversion war, I will give you sometime to respond. Tee Owe (talk) 22:36, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I have added a definition section which can is a general description of what the discipline of IS is concerned with. I think it is necessary not to leave the article without a definition. Then this definition, I think, clearly connects to other parts of the article creating a natural consistency and also showing the reader the focus and interest of IS as a discipline. Perhaps other definitions can be added to give wider perspectives on it. --Thesocialweb (talk) 07:45, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

The definition of an information system belongs in the Information System article, not here. As far as this article not having a definition, I have tagged and attempted to explain that what is at the beginning of this article is not an acceptable definition, per Wikipedia MOS. Until a certain contributor respects the MOS, then this will continue to be a problem. Tee Owe (talk) 21:43, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Okay, it has been over a month since I explained the issue with introduction and first sentence and how it is in conflict with the Wikipedia Manual of Style. Nothing of substance was changed. Once again, I am putting in a compliant first sentence, living the other information as part of the subject introduction. Please DO NOT REVERT or DELETE. If you want to improve the introductory sentence, please ensure it still complies with the WP:MOS - Thanks - Todd Tee Owe (talk) 22:11, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

The two articles about information systems[edit]

I'm rather confused by the existence of two articles: Information system and Information systems (discipline). Are there well-established examples of other Wikipedia topics being split in this way? Having a quick look around, there seem to be many topics where the main article is also explicitly the article about the discipline. Eg, knowledge management, civil engineering, project management, Web engineering, graphic design, business analysis, integrated marketing, social pedagogy, organizational communication, narrative inquiry, spatial design. Nurg (talk) 11:15, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

I am in agreement with Nurg as well, but to initially define a term(s) with the same term(s) does not add clarity for the reader and is somewhat embarrassing to present. Splitting "information systems" into separate articles only adds to this dilemma (I agree). In this regard, many disciplines contain sub-fields for people to focus upon as a possible career and information systems is no exception to this rule. I would like to consider properly aligning "information systems" with a more conventional definition (as an opening) backed by accepted research in this area ~ it just adds credibility; otherwise we are only speculating...

Any ideas? --Pfuchs722 (talk) 03:32, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I suggest it really isn't that complex a distinction, unless one insists on being too literal and forgetting context. There is a class of things (information systems) and the study of using that class of things (Information Systems, the discipline / organizational function). Analogs include employees / human resources and the Human Resources discipline, finances and Finance, GL accounts and Accounting, consumer markets and Marketing, and others. Nurg's examples are mostly specious I think. To test this, use the article "a" or "an" before the ideas to see if it a class of things as well as the study/application of that class of things:
a knowledge management - no, a class of things example is a document
a civil engineering - no, classes of things include a bridge, a dam, a wastewater system
a project management - no, the class of things is a project
a web engineering - no, the class of things is a website
a graphic design - no, the class things might be an image or a logo
a business analysis - not really, but this is a bit closer; one might undertake a business analysis activity, but to analyze business activity, data and requirements, which are in the domain of interest to business analysis.
an integrated marketing - no, and I am not sure the class of things dealt with here are markets. Are there products? No matter; this is still not a class of things like an information system is.
a narrative inquiry - a coincidental class of things not specifically in the domain of those practicing narrative inquiry; things in the domain here are collections of anecdotal material.
a spatial design - another coincidence like above; here space, people and location are relevant classes of things
In summary, an information system is a class of things and Information Systems is the discipline or organizational function that is most concerned with their application and use.

I further suggest it is not possible to define Information systems (discipline) without mentioning information systems (class of things), just as Narrative Inquiry cannot be defined without mentioning collections of anecdotal material. Until such a time when an outside source makes a suitable definition available, the best we can do is intelligently "speculate" (actually synthesizing a definition is hardly speculating) on a definition that makes sense. Tee Owe (talk) 22:27, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Tee Owe, you say my examples are specious and maybe they are. You have given what may be better analogs. But you haven't addressed the question of whether Wikipedia has separate articles for the class of things and the study of using that class of things. Are there separate articles for human resources and the Human Resources discipline, finances and Finance, GL accounts and Accounting, consumer markets and Marketing etc? Nurg (talk) 10:38, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. The only time Wikipedia would have an article is when it is encyclopedic; for many classes of things, an encyclopedia article would be trite. The short answer then to your question is "often, but not always"; in the examples I gave, I think the answer is "yes". Specifically, for the cases above there are:
It is clear I think that when a class of things lends itself to an encyclopedic entry, like Information system, Wikipedia will have an article. Furthermore, Wikipedia routinely has distinct articles for academic disciplines / organizational functions such as Information systems (discipline). The confusion here is simply the coincidence that in English, the plural of the class of things is also the name of the discipline that studies their use.
Assuming that clears that question up, I hope we can clean up both articles to standards, beginning with clear definitions for each. Tee Owe (talk) 14:42, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

The whole collection of pages on information systems is a bit of a mess Information systems (discipline), Information system, Management information system, Executive information system ... and the rest. I like to think I know a bit about the area but I don't know how somebody who wants an encyclopaedic definition / description would feel about all of this. There must be some way of putting all of this material together in a more logical way.

Compo (talk) 17:10, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I feel that Information System should stay as a stand alone article as it describes what an Information System is, rather than what the field of Information Systems may entail. Granted, it requires a lot of attention from editors, but I do believe it is significant enough to stay separate from the Information Systems article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aleksandar Bulovic' (talkcontribs) 15:08, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Considering the Next Introductory Paragraph[edit]

Considering a second paragraph after the opening; I would like to propose the following:

The history of information systems coincides with the history of computer science that began long before the modern discipline of computer science emerged in the twentieth century, and was hinted at in the centuries prior.[1] Regarding the circulation of information and ideas, numerous legacy information systems still exist today that are continuously updated to ensure data integrity, to promote user privacy, and to improve the efficiency of the entire process.[2] In general, information systems are focused upon processing information within organizations, especially within business enterprises, and sharing the benefits with modern society...[3]

Also, many more sources can be cited for the above passage... Any ideas?

Defining IS Introduction[edit]

Information Systems (IS) is a multidisciplinary field of study that addresses the range of strategic, managerial and operational activities involved in the gathering, processing, storing, distributing and use of information, and its associated technologies, in society and organizations. The term information systems is also used to describe an organizational function that applies IS knowledge in industry, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.[4]

A scientific discipline can be interdisciplinary but not multidisciplinary. Also, there's no source cited for the complex introductory sentence which is misleading to the reader. This does not comply with WP standards as referenced. Pfuchs722 (talk) 01:54, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Several points:
Who said IS was a scientific discipline? For example, two distinct disciplines that IS leverages heavily are systems engineering and software engineering.
Multidisciplinary was a term used by the source; there is a source cited and the first two sentences are from that same source iirc.
The introductory sentence(s) are not required to be sourced and actually sourcing is rarely done for them in the encyclopedia.
This definition is precise and complete, if somewhat verbose. I found it much less confusing and much more helpful that the previous and current intro.
It is important to note that IS is not just an area of study, but also an organizational discipline, like marketing or accounting. (Actually I would suggest the topic exists due to the fact it is an organizational discipline.)
defining the topic by its position between two other topics is imprecise and unhelpful. Furthermore, stating it is "evolving into is own scientific discipline" is also imprecise and extraneous for the introductory sentence, even if certain sources express that opinion.
I agree a simple definition like "IS is the organizational function and area of study of information systems" seems trite, but maybe that's how we should start? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tee Owe (talkcontribs) 05:13, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with keeping things simple. One demarcation is clearly evident from this discussion "old" information systems existed before electronic hardware whereas "new" and continuously updated or dynamic information systems exist with the recent introduction of software and electronic hardware. In addition, the focus here appears to be upon man-made information systems which is hard, if not even impossible, to separate from modern computer science or maybe even information science. What axioms still remain? Is it a discipline? Yes. It's hard to imagine a world without information systems influencing our daily lives and being taught in our schools. Is it a scientific discipline? Maybe. If information systems incorporate electronic hardware directly stemming from computer science discoveries, then it's a new scientific discipline; otherwise we are dealing with ancient information systems (and also the history of computer science) which the majority of information systems were certainly improved upon by the advent of electronic hardware. Are their cultural boundaries? Yes. Information systems need to promote an ethnographic approach in different cultures while at the same time preserving data integrity (or the message). Are information systems universal? No not yet. Are most hardware information systems static? No. Can frequent software updates be downloaded for various information systems? Yes. Who creates the software used by information systems? Programmers. Pfuchs722 (talk) 20:38, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
After re-reading all of the discussion above, I remain unclear on your specific proposal for a suitable introductory sentence. (What is there now is not acceptable.) The philosophical pondering of whether the IS discipline is using old technology, or new, or the degree and nature of overlap with computer science, ethnographic approaches, etc..., simply do NOT belong in the introduction; they are too esoteric. I have spent some time explaining how and why this approach violate standards, so I will not rehash it again. So let's focus on where we agree.
We agree that Information Systems is a professional and academic discipline.
We need to include the object of the discipline to distinguish it from others; that object is the information system. But this brings up the issue of introducing the discipline of Information Systems with information systems. I think we agree this is confusing. I personally like the definition I attempted to include earlier at the top of this section. While you dislike the verbosity, at least it was correct, complete and avoided using the term "information systems". So may I propose let's start with it and change it?
Information Systems (IS) is a professional and academic discipline concerned with the strategic, managerial and operational activities involved in the gathering, processing, storing, distributing and use of information, and its associated technologies, in society and organizations. Tee Owe (talk) 14:59, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Information Systems (IS) is a discipline founded upon the principles of computer science that is concerned with the strategic, managerial and operational activities involved in the gathering, processing, storing, distributing and use of information, and its associated technologies, in society and organizations. - Still needs work... Pfuchs722 (talk) 23:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt comment. But once again the exposition on how the discipline came about is unnecessary (and should be avoided) in the introductory sentence -- the casual reader expects a 15-30ish word description of the topic and its current importance. And it wasn't actively founded, it evolved, right? It is really wasn't based on computer science per se, but grew out of the necessity of adapting information technology to business enterprises and government initiatives. No matter, the history or evolution could be (and should be!) covered immediately after the introductory section. Tee Owe (talk) 18:16, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
It is important to emphasize to the new reader that there are information systems practitioners as well as professors/researchers. Tee Owe (talk) 18:16, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Information Systems (IS) is a professional and academic discipline concerned with the strategic, managerial and operational activities involved in the gathering, processing, storing, distributing and use of information, and its associated technologies, in society and organizations. Tee Owe (talk) 18:16, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Language links[edit]

I just reverted some changes from GrouchoBot (for nl and de), and I'm afraid a lot of other language links are wrong too. This page is about the discipline, and not about "information system". Does somebody know how to stop GrouchoBot from reverting this, and to get the other links corrected too? SchreyP (talk) 19:46, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from:,2542,t=information+system&i=44963,00.asp. Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. SchreyP (messages) 12:52, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Problematic Image Caption and Reference[edit]

In the introducing text and in it's caption the Image CS_Venn_Diagram is described as a Venn diagram; the Wikipedia-page on Venn diagram states "a Venn diagram for n component sets must contain all 2n hypothetically possible zones that correspond to some combination of inclusion or exclusion in each of the component sets." and therefore creates a logical conflict since the image doesn't contain all (set theoretically) possible zones.

I propose that the usage of the word "Venn" be replaced by "Euler" (see Euler diagram). Alternatively the actual image could be changed to show a "real" Venn Diagram, though this would change the meaning of it. (talk) 22:51, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Did anyone look at the image? It was entirely meaningless. I think it may have been a posted by a troll or at best a well-meaning but confused person. I removed it. Bhny (talk) 22:47, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

This is interesting: the image is back on the article.
It appears that the diagram was created by Pfuchs722 (talk) - the image description says the Source is "Own work". Am I correct in thinking that this amounts to Original Research, and the image should be removed?
A short history:
(it's a zombie!! :)
Can anyone give me a reason why I should not remove the diagram again? Dracunculus (talk) 17:37, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Nope? Excellent, I'm removing it :) Dracunculus (talk) 02:06, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

focus, layout, and name of article[edit]

I hope we can all agree that if we don't yet have a separate article for the study of information systems, the only article on both that topic and the focus of that study should be first and mostly about the systems, not the academic study of them (just like in the article on information technology and probably all other similar technology subjects). So if we can agree that Wikipedia needs an article on the systems more than on the study of them (on which a new, separate article can be made later), the current article should talk first (and mostly) about the systems. --Espoo (talk) 12:53, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the topic of this article? The lead just rambles on with different definitions. Bhny (talk) 22:17, 21 September 2014 (UTC)


It is not a good idea to have refs on a talk page, but here they are-

  1. ^ History of Computer Science
  2. ^ Kelly, Sue; Gibson, Nicola; Holland, Christopher; Light, Ben (1999). "Focus Issue on Legacy Information Systems and Business Process Engineering: a Business Perspective of Legacy Information Systems". Communications of the AIS. 2 (7): 1–27.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. ^ "Scoping the Discipline of Information Systems"[1]
  4. ^ "Scoping the Discipline of Information Systems" [2]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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