The term ‘informatics’ was first advanced formally by the Director of VINITI, A. I. Mikhailov, and his colleagues A. I. Chernyi and R. S. Gilyarevskii, in their paper Informatics—new name for the theory of Scientific Information published at the end of 1966. An English translation was circularized in the beginning of 1967. As the authors state in this paper, they are not the first to use this term, and they quote a review by Professor J. G. Dorfmann of their own book Fundamentals of Scientific Information in which Dorfmann criticizes the use of other terminology, such as ‘documentation’, ‘documentalistics’, ‘information science’, and so on. Although the authors do not object to the use of the word ‘Documentation’ in the name of the International Federation for Documentation, nevertheless they claim that this term has not found application in the USSR and indeed they apologize for spending some time in discussing its suitability as a name for ‘the new scientific discipline which studies the structure and properties of scientific information as well as the regularities of scientific information activity, its theory, history, methods, and organization’. It is clear that the authors have made a thorough survey of the literature, as might be expected, and they argue fairly about the meaning of most of the terms that have at one time or another been advanced to name this ‘new discipline’. Their definition is as stated above but they are careful to add the rider that Informatics docs not investigate the specific content of scientific information, only the structure and properties. In their paper they also advance definitions for ‘information’, ‘scientific information’, ‘scientific information activity’, ‘information officer’, and ‘information scientist’. They have backed up their proposal by changing the title of their own book for its second edition, and the title of the information science fascicule of the Referativnyi Zhurnal, which is now called Informatiki.
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