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Twinning data science with information science in schools of library and information science

Lin Wang (Department of Management, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin, China)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 13 August 2018

Issue publication date: 24 August 2018




As an emerging discipline, data science represents a vital new current of school of library and information science (LIS) education. However, it remains unclear how it relates to information science within LIS schools. The purpose of this paper is to clarify this issue.


Mission statement and nature of both data science and information science are analyzed by reviewing existing work in the two disciplines and drawing DIKW hierarchy. It looks at the ways in which information science theories bring new insights and shed new light on fundamentals of data science.


Data science and information science are twin disciplines by nature. The mission, task and nature of data science are consistent with those of information science. They greatly overlap and share similar concerns. Furthermore, they can complement each other. LIS school should integrate both sciences and develop organizational ambidexterity. Information science can make unique contributions to data science research, including conception of data, data quality control, data librarianship and theory dualism. Document theory, as a promising direction of unified information science, should be introduced to data science to solve the disciplinary divide.


The results of this paper may contribute to the integration of data science and information science within LIS schools and iSchools. It has particular value for LIS school development and reform in the age of big data.



This paper is based on oral presentation on Information Science to Data Science: New Directions for iSchools Workshop in iConference, Wuhan, China, 2017. This paper is an achievement of projects of Tianjin Normal University Fund “National Top Talent Cultivation,” “Innovative Team of Outstanding Academic Youth” and National Social Science Funding “The Mechanism of Online Information Encountering based on Semantic Information Relations” (Number 18BTQ068).


Wang, L. (2018), "Twinning data science with information science in schools of library and information science", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 74 No. 6, pp. 1243-1257.



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