---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 11:08:59 -0400
From: Karen Weaver <[log in to unmask]>
"People" not the equivalent of "Users"
"Information" not the equivalent of "Knowledge"
Names of an organization do not define "information science" either-
why would it?
Why is "documentation" in your "technology section" ?
Bibliography was always associated with "documentation" roots btw
much more than "technology" jumped that bandwagon
Just some morning thoughts/ponders,
On 9/7/13, Gretchen Whitney <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I am just reporting observations, and not being critical or judgemental.
> But I wonder if these phrases form a decent definition of information
> science, so elusive after 60 years.
> I first ran into this triumvirate twenty years ago (get the UTK thing?)
> and at that time it was my first exposure to the intersection of these
> ideas under Jose-Marie G. It was exciting. No one that I had run into
> before had ever pulled this Venn diagram together.
> Twenty years later, I'm seeing the same thing presented at Penn State
> (http://bulletins.psu.edu/undergrad/courses/A/IST/110) as an undergraduate
> course as a Brand New Concept.
> The triumvirate is also presented as "information, people, and
> technology" at the current iSchools website at
> I looked at ALISE.org, and it doesn't have a mission statement, and
> doesn't include these words (or any others, for that matter).
> I looked at the ASIST.org web site, and they are still celebrating the
> name change to "and Technology" which happened what, a decade ago? "This
> year's conference theme offers an opportunity to reflect on all the
> changes that impact on human information interaction and their
> implications for information science and technology." Sort of the right
> In other words, there is still not a good definition of "information
> science" out there.
> I googled "information technology people" and came up with a journal at
> which might be worth paying attention to, in its 26th year of
> I googled "users technology knowledge" which turned up a bunch of
> articles containing one or two terms but not three.
> I looked at the Wikipedia article for the definition of "information
> science" and it was the usual mishmash of unconnected topics. The ideas
> here are not bad, and not irrelevant. I wonder what they would look like
> if they were re-organized under the people - users/information - knowledge
> /information technology framework.
> Is there a decent definition of information science in this mess? I
> think that there is. In multiple layers.
> First layer. Venn diagram and explain the intersection of users -
> people/information - knowledge/information technology.
> Second layer. Explain these sectors. Yes, in full this means in the
> information - knowledge section how publishing works, where books come
> from, how books are published via the web, history of books, meaning of
> bibliography, the whole nine yards. How cultures are preserved via the
> written word. In full in the information technology section this means
> going back to hieroglyphics and the creation of and preservation of the
> written word, but also telegraphs and their relationship to text msging,
> the written vs spoken word (the telephone), representation of language and
> letters (ASCII eg), verbal vs graphic representations of information,
> computing as priesthood and personal computers, networked information. I
> know very little about users and how they process/acquire information.
> Third layer: How these three sectors interact.
> This foundation for a definition of "information science" in the
> intersection of "people - users/information - knowledge/ information
> technology" both avoids, and embraces folks who try to distinguish
> between informatics, computer science, natural or engineered information
> systems, philosophical systems regarding epistemology. The history of
> science goes in the Knowledge section. Documentation goes in the
> Technology section. Everyone has a place.
> The base phrase is "information science." It is defined as the
> intersection between "people, information, and technology".
> We're done for the night. Happy Saturday, everyone.
> Gretchen Whitney, PhD, Retired
> School of Information Sciences
> University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA [log in to unmask]
Karen Weaver MLS
Digital Projects Assistant, Systems
Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
600 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15282
Email: [log in to unmask] / [log in to unmask]