Information science deals with

Major Categories. This section is designed for the entire panel. Question 1. Answer 1. Question 2. Answer 2. Being a panel that addresses questions concerning the constitution of a field of research and not just questions within a given field I would suggest to include participants from other fields, namely philosophy, sociology, media studies, psychology, history, the arts, political science, economy as well as the natural sciences. This section is focused on the foundations of information science.

Question 3. What are "data"? Please, define the concept; Refer to theoretical background. Answer 3. Data are or datum is Putting the three concepts data, information, knowledge as done here, gives the impression of a logical hierarchy: information is set together out of data and knowledge comes out from putting together information. This is a fairytale. What is "information"? Please define the concept; refer to theoretical background. Information is I would suggest to use this definition as far as it points to the phenomenon of message that I consider the basic one in information science.

The receiver mutates each time into a sender.


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What is "knowledge"? Knowledge is Human knowledge is, as Popper states, basically conjectural. Or, to put it in hermeneutic terms: understanding is always biased i. In my view information science should take the phenomenon of message as its core perspective. Discussions among scholars focus on the nature of the relations among these key concepts, as well as on their meanings. Sequential order. Many scholars claim that data, information, and knowledge are part of a sequential order.

Data are the raw material for information, and information is the raw material for knowledge. However, if this is the case, then "information science" should explore data information's building blocks and information, but not knowledge, which is an entity of a higher order. Nevertheless, it seems that information science does explore knowledge since it includes two sub-fields, "knowledge organization", and "knowledge management". I am confused.

Should we refute the sequential order?

Information science

Should we change the name of the field from "Information Science" to "Knowledge Science"? Or should we perhaps exclude the fields of knowledge organization and knowledge management from information science? Please explain. If yes, please explain how it is that "knowledge organization" and "knowledge management" are sub-fields of information science?

As I already stated, I do not share the view, that data, information, and knowledge are part of a sequential order. Press Otherwise it remains abstract or just potential. This is the opposite view of the relation between information becoming knowledge for instance through a process of linear accumulation.. In this sense information science has a basic social orientation. Buckland that can be counted, matched etc.

Information is no-thing, it is the event of knowing in a given situation. What counts is the study of the social relevance of knowledge, i. See my: What is information science for? In: P.

information science - Computer Definition

Vakkari, B. Cronin Eds. Taylor Graham Online in:. Knowledge vs. Another common view is that knowledge is not conveyed by information. Knowledge is the product of a synthesis in our mind. If this is the case, we should exclude the fields of knowledge organization and knowledge management from information science. Please explain and elaborate. See my reflections on question 3. The alternative view that "information" and "knowledge" are synonyms is problematic too.

If "information" and "knowledge" are synonyms, should not we use the term "knowledge science" rather than "information science"? If yes, how do you explain the name "information science"? See my reflection on question 3. The researcher's views. At this point, I present my conceptions to the panel. If you want to receive a detailed paper, please contact me. Propositional knowledge. In traditional epistemology there are three kinds of knowledge: practical knowledge i.

Propositional knowledge is divided into inferential and non-inferential. Inferential knowledge is a product of inferences, such as induction and deduction. We are zooming in on inferential propositional knowledge. Information science, like all academic fields, is composed of inferential propositional knowledge. Two approaches. Note that the terms "subjective" and "objective" are not used here as we use them in our daily life. The subjective domain. Knowledge is a thought. It is characterized as "a justified true belief".

Note that in the subjective realm "knowledge" is the content of a justified true thought, while "knowing" is the state of mind that is characterized by three conditions: justification, belief, and truth.

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The objective domain. The second approach ascribes an independent objective existence to knowledge. Knowledge is a collection of concepts, arguments, and rules of inference. They are true and exist independently of the subjective knowledge of the knowing individual. This is the case, for example, of arguments published in books. Mutual dependency. Paradoxically, the subjective and the objective domains are complementary. On the one hand, objective knowledge is the product of outputting externalizing, recording, or documenting subjective knowledge.

One might say, "this questionnaire is an output of my brain". On the other hand, the realization of objective knowledge necessitates the consciousness of at least one individual knower. This is crucial. The term "objective domain" is equivalent here to "collective domain".


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  • Objective knowledge is collective, in the phenomenological sense, not in the metaphysical sense. Six concepts. Having established the distinction between the subjective and the objective domains, we have six concepts to define, divided into two distinctive sets of three.

    One set relates to the subjective domain, the other to the objective i. In the subjective domain, "data" and "information" acquire two alternative meanings. The first option: " Data " are the sensory stimuli that we perceive through our senses. Example: The noises that I hear are data. The meaning of these noises, for example, a running car engine, is information. The second option which I personally prefer : " Data " are the sense stimuli, or their meaning i.

    Accordingly, in the example above the perception of a running car engine, as well as the noises of a running car engine, are data. Accordingly, in the example above the knowledge that the engine is now on is information, since it is empirically based. As one can see, information is a type of knowledge i. It can be empirical e. Objective data, objective information, and objective knowledge mirror their cognitive counterparts. They are represented by empirical symbols, and can have diversified forms such as engraved signs, painted forms, printed words, digital signals, light beams, sound waves, and the like.

    Do you accept these conceptions? If you have comments, observations, or critical reflections, please share them with the panel. Partly yes, for instance concerning the difference between know-now practical knowledge and know-that propositional knowledge. But I would not restrict information science to the study of propositional knowledge although information science as a science aims at propositional knowledge. If you have different and elaborate conceptions, please share them with the panel. See my answer to 3. Information science: definition.

    Question 4. Please formulate your definition. Please refer to relevant theoretical background. Answer 4. Information science is The researcher's conceptions. If you would like to have a detailed paper, please contact me. Following the distinction between the subjective and the objective domains, information science concentrates on the latter. It is focused on the meta-knowledge aspects of objective knowledge.

    Information science is the study of the mediating and technological aspects of human knowledge in the objective domain. In the context of information science, it refers to papyrus and paper, as well as print and computers. Cognitive sciences vs. Unlike cognitive sciences and neurosciences, which focus on the subjective domain by exploring thinking and learning, information science explores cognitive aspects only in relation to facilitating the usability and accessibility of objective human knowledge. For example: while the information scientist explores how we access or search for new knowledge what we, information scientists, call "user studies" , the cognitive scientist explores how we understand, remember, and utilize this knowledge.

    Meta-knowledge of human knowledge. Information science is one of knowledge fields that establish the meta-knowledge foundations of human knowledge: epistemology, philosophy of science, sociology of knowledge Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that explores the possibility of knowledge, and seeks to formulate a theory of knowledge. Philosophy of science is the branch of philosophy that explores the theoretical, methodological, and historical perspectives of science.

    Sociology of knowledge is the branch of sociology that explores the sociological aspects of knowledge, including the social origins of ideas, and their effects on societies. Do you accept my conceptions of IS? Information science is indeed, in this sense, a multidisciplinary and intercultural science. We got a media theory, but we forgot that if this dictum is partially true, we still have to ask the question about what messages are.

    A Map of Human Knowledge. Foundation meta-knowledge. Philosophy of Science,. Sociology of Knowledge,. Social Sciences. Place Information Science in a schematic map of human knowledge. Use the following map or create your own map by changing the number and names of the major categories. Please explain the rationale. Rationale: I understand the field of information science as dealing basically with the message phenomenon, including its transmission, meaning selection and understanding i. In a narrow sense information science is a social science, in a broad sense it might be considered as the study of the message phenomenon also in non-human living beings.

    A philosophical foundation of information science within media philosophy or even within a philosophic message theory is still an open task. I consider it also as a science dealing in a comparative way with different ways of message transmission, meaning selection and understanding in different epochs and cultures, including questions of power and truth such as: who restricts and controls messages, on what means etc. Media philosophy. Message theory,.

    Natural and Life Sciences. Second-order cybernetics. Communication theory. No, I do not agree. If you have a better name, here is the place to convince the panel. See question 4. Having established the conception of Information Science, I am now going to deduce the major categories of a structured knowledge map of IS. Note that this is a preliminary presentation, a starting point for the collective construction of the map by the panel.

    The eight categories are formed into two groups. The first group is composed of the meta-knowledge of the field of information science. This is knowledge on the knowledge domain. It includes one category, 1. The second group is composed of the fundamental body of knowledge on the phenomena explored by IS, namely the mediating and technological aspects of human knowledge.

    What is INFORMATION SCIENCE? What does INFORMATION SCIENCE mean?

    It consists of seven categories, 2 through 8 , based on phenomenological analysis of the various phenomena of objective knowledge. See the following table :. Knowledge Map of Information Science. Knowledge on the field of Information Science. Fundamental knowledge. Knowledge on the explored phenomena i. Theory is composed of Definition and Disciplines these are the disciplines that establish the theoretical foundations of IS e. Education deals with IS education. History deals with the history of the field. See the following table:. Meta-Knowledge of Information Science. Mediology, Media theory, anthropology, communication theory, computer science, economics, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy i.

    Critical analysis of power structures related to the distribution, selection and understanding of messages. Should include intercultural and interdisciplinary studies. Categories 2 — 8 are d educed from the conception of information science as the study of the mediating and the technological aspects of human knowledge in the objective domain. Based on a phenomenological analysis of the phenomena of objective knowledge one can identify at least seven basics.

    Resources includes human and non-human e. Organizations deals with the various organizations involved in dissemination of knowledge e. Major categories. Exemplary sub-categories. Human and non-human mechanisms of meaning transmission, selection and understanding. Societal, economic, cultural, legal, and ethical issues related to messages and their communication. All kinds of technologies, not just the digital ones. Operation and processes dealing with the transmission, selection and understanding of messages. The map. Please see the map before! Question 5. If you have comments, observations, or critical reflections regarding the rationale, the number, title, and order of the eight major categories, please share them with the panel.

    Answer 5.

    The field of information science has diversified sub-fields or sub-categories. Furthermore, many sub-fields have more than one title, and many titles stand for more than one sub-field. The time has come to "use the same language". Question 6. Arrange all the sub-categories or sub-fields of information science in systematic order. You can use the 8-category map presented in section 5, the map you developed in question 5.

    Answer 6. A systematic list of information science sub-categories:. Note that in the second and the third rounds the panel will zoom in on your fields. Question 7. If you have more than on field of expertise, please refer separately to each field. Please refer to theoretical background. Answer 7. Second Round. The Panel's Conceptions of Information Science. Systematic Conceptions of Information Science. A Map of Conceptions of Information Science. Research methodology. Generally, the panel approves the methodology, while reflecting on various aspects.

    I have already implemented most of the panel's suggestions. This is a challenge for this kind of study as these questions should be applied to this study itself! Criteria for the panel selection. Being aware of the importance of the panel, I strictly followed the three criteria for the panel selection see round 1. Generally, the panel approves the three criteria. Following the panel's major suggestions, I did my best to include experts in most IS sub-fields, to represent as many cultures as possible, to include scholars from related fields, and to include practitioners.

    Forming the panel. Finally, got the first round, 56 responded. However, it turned out that two of them do not meet the three criteria. They participate in the study as observers, not as panel members. The 54 panel members are characterized as:. They do not hold a doctorate, but they are engaged in research, and each has some refereed publications. One participant is a philosopher not an information scientist. I weigh the panelist's status while analyzing their responses. During the study, I identify the status of cited participants by a code s, p, ph, and ob where it is relevant.

    Philosophy of information is becoming more and more a key issue within academic philosophy. Within our own field I would like to underline the work of Birger Hjoerland Denmark.

    Information Sciences Defined – Information, People, and Technology

    The panel members practice almost all IS sub-fields of expertise. The following list summarizes the panel's responses with minor editing :. Africa , Social, legal, and ethical aspects of information, Subject analysis, Systems analysis, T axonomies , Technological information, Thesauri , U ser, V ocabulary control, W eb, Webometrics Apparently, the list is not systematic and includes duplications.

    Major subfields and key concepts. In order to ground the conceptual mapping of the field of Information Science on empirical data we will use the list above as a starting point to form two lists, a list of the most fundamental IS concepts, and a comprehensive list of IS major subfields. Every key concept and every major subfield should be represented in the map, as a category or as an entry.

    Taxonomy of Information Science. Organizing the IS major subfields in a systematic order sets a taxonomy of the field. This taxonomy is an alternative framework to the conceptual framework i. List the most basic IS concepts: Please check the following list, erase duplications, add missing concepts, and if necessary rephrase the terminology.

    The list must be coherent with your conception of IS. Your list:. List the major subfields of IS: Copy your answer to A, erase duplications, add missing subfields, and if necessary rephrase the terminology. Organize the major subfields of IS in a systematic order. Please copy your answer to B, erase duplications, add missing subfields, and rephrase the terminology if necessary. Note that the result must be coherent with your conception of IS. Your systematic list:.

    Foundations of Information Science. History of Information Science. History of Media. Information Societies. Information Systems. Subject Analysis. Knowledge Management. Information Measurement. Economics of Information. Information Ethics, Media Ethics.

    Legal Aspects. Bates Ed. New York: Taylor and Francis. Roger K. Bourne, Summit was a major figure in the online retrieval industry. Summit foresaw the need and desire to give the public access to online systems. Our journal helps you stay up-to-date with cutting-edge research and ideas in information science and related fields.

    Computer science and engineering tend to absorb the theory- and technology-oriented subjects of the field, and management science tends to absorb the information systems subjects. Hundreds of professional associations do exist that are concerned with information-related disciplines, providing a forum where people can exchange ideas about information processing. Information science. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. Read More on This Topic. While transport technology was evolving toward these revolutionary developments, techniques of recording and communication were making no….

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