Reviews. The Information Resources Policy Handbook: Research for the Information Age

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 March 2000



Mahmood, K. (2000), "Reviews. The Information Resources Policy Handbook: Research for the Information Age", Internet Research, Vol. 10 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Reviews. The Information Resources Policy Handbook: Research for the Information Age


The Information Resources Policy Handbook: Research for the Information Age

Compaine, B.M. and Read, W.H. (Eds)The MIT PressCambridge, MA(1999)631 pp.ISBN 0-262-03264-3$55.00 clothAvailable: The MIT Press, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142-1493, USA. Tel: +1 800 3558 0343 or +1 617 625 8569; Fax: +1 617 625 6660; E-mail:

With the emergence of modern systems of telecommunication and digital machines after World War II an "information age" has begun. This age of information has its base in the age of science and technology that has characterized the twentieth century. The "information explosion" has a great effect on human life. Now the societies, economies, and industries, as well as governments, need a deeper understanding and implementation of how information can be organized and processed. Like other basic resources, such as energy and materials, information resources have become building blocks of society. Information resources include computers, telecommunications, the mass media, and financial services, all created or changed by the movement from analog to digital. Keeping in view the growing importance of information resources and products in society, Dr Anthony G. Oettinger of Harvard University instituted the program on information resources policy in 1972. The program has been monitoring and analyzing developments in a variety of fields that it has defined as the "information industries". This book presents the masterpieces of research that was carried out during a quarter century of this program.

This is a collection of papers written by various renowned authors. Divided into five sections, the handbook consists of 22 chapters. Most of the chapters are reprints from the program's reports and some other journals. The five sections are the following:

  1. 1.

    ageless issues;

  2. 2.

    new age technology;

  3. 3.

    information as a resource;

  4. 4.

    the information business; and

  5. 5.

    information policy.

In a rapidly evolving discipline, certain judgements are likely to change. To strike a balance between the more abstract concepts of enduring value and writings focused on current examples, each section opens with a timeless "evergreen" chapter, followed by one or more "contemporary" chapters. Each chapter is illustrated with maps and diagrams. A comprehensive relative index is given at the end.

As information is going to become a power in the twenty-first century, the need and importance of literature on "information as resource" is undoubted. This work is really a masterpiece in this subject area and it will be a milestone in the history of the relevant literature. It covers almost all aspects of this growing discipline. The handbook is strongly recommended for professionals, researchers, teachers, and students working in various fields of information handling.

Khalid Mahmood University of the Punjab, Lahore

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