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Abstract

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European Origins of Library and Information Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-718-4

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1984

STEPHEN A. ROBERTS

The broader context in the last twenty years awareness of the information and documentation problems of the social sciences has grown, but almost as if by stealth. During…

Abstract

The broader context in the last twenty years awareness of the information and documentation problems of the social sciences has grown, but almost as if by stealth. During that period there have been significant developments for practice, organization and research in social science information, but knowledge of these has remained largely confined to small groups of specialists closely associated with them. In the main it has been library and information developments in science and technology that have captured the interest and attention of the majority of professionals and specialists as such: for example, the development of computer‐based citation indexes; the introduction of the computer database as a successor to the printed secondary journal; the development of online search facilities and associated software and retrieval techniques; the exploitation of telecommunications and computers to create new information technology, leading to alternative means of interpersonal communication, the possibilities of electronic journals and a vision of the paperless society. This situation is hardly surprising since science and technology provide the productive base for advanced societies.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1973

P. Dansey

A statistical analysis is made of the professional literature of librarians and information scientists in an attempt to uncover the patterns of information flow and to…

Abstract

A statistical analysis is made of the professional literature of librarians and information scientists in an attempt to uncover the patterns of information flow and to evaluate the abstracting services provided for information workers. Citation analysis of some English language information science journals throws light on the principal sources used by British and American information scientists and the linguistic and national biases in the citations given. The growth of the subject matter published in the field of information science is displayed. Five abstracting services are evaluated. Their scope in terms of the language, country of origin, subject matter and format of the material selected and abstracted is determined. Coverage is assessed in comparison with three bibliographies in this subject area. Currency is determined from NRLSI acquisition dates. Key journals are found from productivity analysis of the abstracted journals. Conclusions are drawn as to the adequacy of the present services and suggestions made for possible improvements.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Abstract

Details

European Origins of Library and Information Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-718-4

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Dave Muddiman

John Desmond Bernal (1901‐1970) was one of the most eminent scientists of his generation; he also became, in mid‐twentieth century Britain, an important political figure …

8789

Abstract

John Desmond Bernal (1901‐1970) was one of the most eminent scientists of his generation; he also became, in mid‐twentieth century Britain, an important political figure – the leading public spokesperson of “red” science. One remarkable but hitherto underexplored aspect of his career is a lifelong interest in scientific communication, documentation and information science. Utilising records in the Bernal archive in Cambridge, UK, this paper assesses Bernal's information career. It explores Bernal's initial interest in scientific documentation in the 1930s and examines his blueprint for the reform of scientific communication in Britain, advanced in Bernal's 1939 work, The Social Function of Science. It details his subsequent role, in 1945‐1949, as figurehead of a co‐ordinated but unsuccessful left‐wing campaign to establish an Institute of Scientific Information in Britain. It analyses Bernal's later theoretical papers in information science, and describes his support, in the 1950s and 1960s, for an emerging information profession. Bernal, it concludes, can justifiably be regarded as a major influence on twentieth century information science, above all because of his pioneering focus on the social dimensions of the discipline.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 59 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2014

Fredrick Kiwuwa Lugya

The convergence of librarianship and information science to form library and information science (LIS) is seen as a recent phenomenon, with the term “information science”…

8460

Abstract

Purpose

The convergence of librarianship and information science to form library and information science (LIS) is seen as a recent phenomenon, with the term “information science” originally focused on the application of computers to library operations and services. LIS as a science and multidisciplinary field applies the practice and perspective of information with the aim of answering important questions related to the activities of a target group. As a science, LIS is more than a collection of facts to be memorised or techniques to be mastered but is instead an inquiry carried out by people who raise questions for which answers are unknown and who have gained confidence in their ability to reach conclusions, albeit tentative ones, through research, experiment and careful thought sharpened by the open criticism of others. What is described here is a dynamic and changing field of study called LIS which differs from Cronin ' s (2004) conclusion that library science or LIS is neither a science nor a discipline. Like any other science, LIS continues to emerge, evolve, transform and dissipate in the ongoing conversation of disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

To understand LIS, this paper thoroughly reviewed the literature by paying attention to the genesis of the terms “information”, “documentation”, “scienceand “librarianship”, and then the interdisciplinary nature of library science and information science.

Findings

The differences between librarianship and information science are an indication that there are two different fields in a strong interdisciplinary relation, rather than one being a special case of the other. LIS has grown to be a scientific discipline, knowledge and a process that allows abandoning or modifying previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence. Therefore, like any other science, LIS is a science and discipline in its own right that continues to emerge, evolve, transform and dissipate in the ongoing conversation of disciplines.

Originality/value

What is described here is a dynamic and changing field of study and a science called LIS that differs from Cronin ' s (2004) assessment that library science or LIS is neither a science nor a discipline. The originality of the paper is rooted in a growing discussion to understand the relevance and appreciate the continued existence of LIS as a science and a field of study.

Details

Library Review, vol. 63 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2012

Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan

Purpose — This chapter describes how incoherent government policies implemented in the first two decades (1970–1990) following the official recognition of Information

Abstract

Purpose — This chapter describes how incoherent government policies implemented in the first two decades (1970–1990) following the official recognition of Information science (IS) as an academic discipline within the broader interdiscipline of Information and Communication Sciences (ICS), shaped the current landscape of IS in France. This led to a narrow conception of IS often reduced to a technical specialty solving the problem of information explosion by setting up bibliographic databases, document indexing and delivery services.

Design/methodology/approach — The approach is historical and comparative. The author relies on earlier accounts by previous French authors and performs a comparison with the situation of IS in Anglophone countries (United States mostly).

Findings — The historical narrow conception of IS is now outdated. IS neither plays the role of gatekeeper anymore to scientific and technical information nor to information access since the generalisation of Internet search engines. Its scientific community in France lacks identity and is fast dwindling. Also, its problematics are not properly identified.

Research limitations/implications — Field work involving interviews of French figures and archival research could not be carried out in the limited time and means available. This needs to be done in the future.

Practical implications — This chapter should stimulate more comparative approach on the way Library & Information Science (LIS) is structured in other countries. Although the French situation appears unique in that IS is embedded within an interdiscipline (ICS) and does not exist autonomously, other similarities could be found in other countries where IS has had a similar trajectory and lessons could be learned.

Social implications — This chapter may serve as a stepping stone for future research on the historical foundations and epistemology of IS in France and elsewhere. It should also help disseminate to the LIS community at large how the French IS landscape has been evolving, since most French scholars publish in French, language has indeed been a barrier to disseminating their research worldwide.

Originality/value — There has not been a recent and comprehensive study which has looked at the peculiarities of the French IS landscape but also at the commonalities it shares with the situation of IS in other countries with respect to how the field originated and how it has evolved.

Details

Library and Information Science Trends and Research: Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-714-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2019

Abstract

Details

European Origins of Library and Information Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-718-4

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Dave Muddiman

ASLIB – the Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux – was founded in 1924 with the aim of co‐ordinating the activities of specialist information services…

1278

Abstract

Purpose

ASLIB – the Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux – was founded in 1924 with the aim of co‐ordinating the activities of specialist information services in the UK. This article seeks to present a new history of the first quarter‐century of the Association.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a historical study based substantially on two collections of primary documents: ASLIB's own records, held at Aslib Headquarters, London; and the papers of Edith Ditmas, held at the National Library of Wales.

Findings

The paper explores the origins of ASLIB, and its roots in the “science lobby” of the time; it then traces the development of ASLIB as both a “national intelligence service” for science, commerce and industry, and as a quasi‐professional association with international significance. It concludes that the first of these two functions was the Association's fundamental raison d'être.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to study of ASLIB in the period 1924‐1950 and an obvious continuation would be a history of “corporate” ASLIB (1950‐1997). More generally, the paper reveals that the history of UK documentation and information science in the twentieth century is underexplored: there is scope for future research focused on key pioneers and ideas, as well as institutions such as ASLIB.

Originality/value

As far as is known, this is the first historical study of ASLIB to be based on contemporary records: it should therefore be of value to both historians of information and library science and practitioners interested in their professional heritage.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 January 2005

Abstract

Details

Power Laws in the Information Production Process: Lotkaian Informetrics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12088-753-8

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