> Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 11:08:59 -0400
> From: Karen Weaver <[log in to unmask]>
> "People" not the equivalent of "Users"
These are the two terms used in the examples that I found. I would define
"people" as the total population in the community that you serve. I would
define "users" as the people who actually use your services through
whatever technology. Remember that there are likely to be a whole lot of
"people" who don't for whatever reason. Remember that there was also a
push to connect this triumverate with a local acronym to make it cute
/h/h/h/h memorable, so that if you were a "University" you were more
likely to use "users" than "people."
> "Information" not the equivalent of "Knowledge"
The differences between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom is a
classic question. They are indeed, very different (IMHO).
We begin with poetry (and Frank Zappa). I refer you to:
which presents the important lines from The Rock.
which appears to be some kind of course document, undated, from the U
Illinois about 2011. It primarily repeats Ackoff's assertions from 1989.
(ref. included, that seems to be the classic work). I'd personally push
Wisdom more toward the spiritual end of things, but at least the author
acknowledges that the question exists.
A counterpunch is at
which I was able to get to by ignoring demands to sign up for various
accounts with services.
> Names of an organization do not define "information science" either-
> why would it?
An organization might in its mission statement or elsewhere define
"information science", if that phrase is part of its name. It might use
the definition to distinguish itself from others also using the phrase as
part of their name. Mission statements and other
associations/organization documents are a logical place to look for
> Why is "documentation" in your "technology section" ?
Given my background with information technolgy, I associate documentation
with instructions on how to use information technology. If you have a
better place for it, I'd be happy to hear about your suggestions.
> Bibliography was always associated with "documentation" roots btw
> much more than "technology" jumped that bandwagon
I don't understand your comment here. I associate "bibliography" with a
disciple or culture, and "documentation" with an information technology.
Please explain your ideas.
Gretchen Whitney, PhD, Retired
School of Information Sciences
University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA [log in to unmask]
> Just some morning thoughts/ponders,
> cheers KW
> 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]