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I N F O R M A T I O N - A R T
I N F O R M A T I O N - S C I E N C E
Tami Sutcliffe © 2006

About this site

Information Science
Visual Culture



Arts Journal
Chronicle of Higher Ed.
London Times
New York Times

What is...
Information Science?

Articles attempting to define the field:

Bates, Marcia J. 1999. The Invisible Substrate of Information Science. Journal of The American Society for Information Science 50 (12):1043-1050.

Borko, H. (1968) Information science: What is it? American Documentation,19, 3-5.

Hawkins, Donald T., Signe E. Larson, and Bari Q. Caton. 2003. Information Science Abstracts: Tracking the Literature of Information Science. Part 2: A New Taxonomy for Information Science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 54 (8):771-781.

Saracevic, Tefko. 1999. Information science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 50 (12): 1051-1063.

Soergel, D. (1998) An information science manifesto. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science, (Jan/Dec), 11-12.

White, Howard D., and Kate W. McCain. 1998. Visualizing A Discipline: An Author Co-citation Analysis of Information Science, 1972-1995. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49 (4):327-355.

IS Areas of Interest:

Information grounds: "An Information Ground is an environment temporarily created when people come together for a singular purpose but from whose behavior emerges a social atmosphere that fosters the spontaneous and serendipitous sharing of information." - from Information Behavior in Everyday Context [IBEC], University of Washington


"Information science is a discipline that investigates the properties and behavior of information, the forces governing the flow of information, and the means of processing information for optimum accessibility and usability. It is concerned with that body of knowledge relating to the origination, collection, organization, storage, retrieval, interpretation, transmission, transformation, and utilization of information. This includes the investigation of information representations in both natural and artificial systems, the use of codes for efficient message transmission, and the study of information processing devices and techniques such as computers and their programming systems. It is an intedisciplinary science derived from and related to such fields as mathematics, logic, linguistics, psychology, computer technology, operations research, the graphic arts, communications, library science, management, and other similar fields. It has both a pure science component, which inquires into the subject without regard to its application, and an applied science component, which develops services and products."

(Borko, H. (1968). "Information science: what is it?" American Documentation 19(1):3-5.).


A brief history of information

Oxford University: Philosophy of Information

from Wikipedia:

"Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. Information science studies the application and usage of knowledge in organizations, and the interaction between people, organizations and information systems. It is often, though not exclusively, studied as a branch of computer science or informatics and is closely related to the cognitive and social sciences.

Information Science focuses on understanding problems from the perspective of the stakeholders involved and then applying information (and other) technology as needed. In other words, it tackles the problem first rather than technology first. Within information science, attention has been given in recent years to human–computer interaction, groupware, the semantic web, value sensitive design, iterative design processes and to the ways people generate, use and find information."

Editor: Tami Sutcliffe
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Last updated 10.26.06