Information Science in Transition

Apr 2009 | 416pp

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Information Science in Transition

Edited by Alan Gilchrist

Are we at a turning point in digital information? The expansion of the internet was unprecedented; search engines dealt with it in the only way possible - scan as much as they could and throw it all into an inverted index. But now search engines are beginning to experiment with deep web searching and attention to taxonomies, and the Semantic Web is demonstrating how much more can be done with a computer if you give it knowledge. What does this mean for the skills and focus of the information science (or sciences) community? Should information designers and information managers work more closely to create computer based information systems for more effective retrieval? Will information science become part of computer science and does the rise of the term informatics demonstrate the convergence of information science and information technology - a convergence that must surely develop in the years to come?
Issues and questions such as these are reflected in this monograph, a collection of essays written by some of the most pre-eminent contributors to the discipline. These peer reviewed perspectives capture insights into advances in, and facets of, information science, a profession in transition.
With an introduction from Jack Meadows the key papers are:
  • Meeting the challenge, by Brian Vickery
  • The developing foundations of information science, by David Bawden
  • The last 50 years of knowledge organization, by Stella G Dextre Clarke
  • On the history of evaluation in IR, by Stephen Robertson
  • The information user, by Tom Wilson
  • The sociological turn in information science, by Blaise Cronin
  • From chemical documentation to chemoinformatics, by Peter Willett
  • Health informatics, by Peter A Bath
  • Social informatics and sociotechnical research, by Elisabeth Davenport
  • The evolution of visual information retrieval, by Peter Enser
  • Information policies, by Elizabeth Orna
  • Disparity in professional qualifications and progress in information handling, by Barry Mahon
  • Electronic scholarly publishing and open access, by Charles Oppenheim
  • Social software: fun and games, or business tools?, by Wendy A Warr
  • Bibliometrics to webometrics, by Mike Thelwall.  
This monograph previously appeared as a special issue of the Journal of Information Science, published by Sage. 
Readership: Reproduced here as a monograph, this important collection of perspectives on a skill in transition from a prestigious line-up of authors will now be available to information studies students worldwide and to all those working in the information science field.

Preface - Alan Gilchrist 
Editorial - Alan Gilchrist 
Guest Editorial: Meeting the challenge - Brian Vickery 
1. Fifty years of UK research in information science - Jack Meadows 
2. Smoother pebbles and the shoulders of giants: the developing foundations of information science - David Bawden 
3. The last 50 years of knowledge organization: a journey through my personal archives - Stella G. Dextre Clarke 
4. On the history of evaluation in IR -Stephen Robertson 
5. The information user: past, present and future - Tom Wilson 
6. The sociological turn in information science - Blaise Cronin 
7. From chemical documentation to chemoinformatics: 50 years of chemical information science - Peter Willett 
8. Health informatics: current issues and challenges - Peter A. Bath 
9. Social informatics and sociotechnical research – a view from the UK - Elisabeth Davenport 
10. The evolution of visual information retrieval - Peter Enser 
11. Information policies: yesterday, today, tomorrow - Elizabeth Orna 
12. The disparity in professional qualifications and progress in information handling: a European perspective - Barry Mahon
13. Electronic scholarly publishing and Open Access - Charles Oppenheim 
14. Social software: fun and games, or business tools? - Wendy A. Warr 
15. Bibliometrics to webometrics - Mike Thelwall 
16. How I learned to love the Brits - Eugene Garfield

"This impressive volume with the title 'Information science in transition' lives up to its title and appearance....this volume adds value to already valuable material reflecting the development of information science. It will serve as a useful asset in the collection of any information science scholar and student."
- Information Research


"A reliable guide for the explorers. Though not for the faint-hearted, this book holds treasures for the intrepid….the book remains a valuable reference material, a document with specialised data from significant authors and an asset to any information library."
- Information World Review

"This makes for a fascinating resource…this volume presents an excellent tribute to a much-missed professional body."
- Update

"This volume would be of interest to anyone interested in the history of information science in the UK and for those wanting to get an overview of current trends. The volume is well produced and the layout very clear."
- Ariadne

Alan Gilchrist DLitt CMC FIMC HonFCLIP undertakes consultancy projects in the private and public sectors and for international organizations, and operates his own consultancy company, Cura Consortium. He was the Founding Editor, and is now Editor Emeritus, of the Journal of Information Science.

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