Information Management & Systems
Previously School of Library & Information Studies.
Infosys 101 Information Systems. Spring 1997.
Tu & Th 11-12:30.
Life Science Annex 101.
Binder of course materials: MOFFITT Reserve 260.
Visit an exhibit.
5: Social aspects of naming.
2: Using MELVYL.
4: Half-page bio.
5: Personal names.
6: WWW and Netscape.
7: Subject headings in MELVYL
8: Content of personal home-pages.
9: Social responsibility.
10: MELVYL's other databases.
11: Finding sources.
Handouts are listed in the Schedule, some are available online e.g.
Information handling, organizational
structure and power.
"Information" and related words.
Entities, attributes, & values.
Economics of information.
Last year's exam questions.
Infosys 101 explores ideas about information (data, documents,
knowledge, belief) and about the information and communication
systems that permeate our society. Information technology, broadly
defined, exists in a cultural context but keeps changing. How and
why are information systems used? What laws and policies affect
them? Explore the impact of changes in information systems on how
we live: access to knowledge, but also persuasion, loss of privacy,
and social control.
On the L&S Social & Behavioral Sciences breadth list.
Mass Communications major elective, List C.
Course description: An introduction to information and information
systems: Concepts (information, data, documents); processes
(inquiry, retrieval, use); social context (demand, provision, control,
influence of social values). Retrieval-based information services such
as archives, databases, libraries, information centers, MIS.
Three units. Three hours of lecture per week. Lectures, readings,
discussion, exercises, and assignments. No prerequisites.
Resources: Basic text: M.K. Buckland, Information and Information
Systems (Praeger, 1991). Selected additional readings to provide
additional depth. Hand-outs.
Expectations: Regular attendance and participation. Readings.
Weekly exercises. Assignments. Essay. Written work:
Well written, no binders. Late work accepted but discounted for lateness.
Individual consultation. Grading: Database 33%, Essay 33%
Exams 33%; then rounded up or down for unusual performance on
the other expectations.
Extended course description: A examination of concepts of
information, information services, information storage and retrieval,
information seeking behavior, and the social uses of information and
- The principal meanings of "information":
Information as a change in knowledge (including but not only the
reduction of uncertainty; as a process of imparting knowledge; as
documents and other "informative" things.
- Information sources:
Data, documents, directories, collections, experiments, people, etc.
Evaluation of information resources: scope, selection, accuracy,
timeliness, relevance, cost.
- Information storage and retrieval:
The representation of information, bibliographic access, indexing,
types of search, retrieval evaluation. Questions of "relevance" and
perspective. The nature of retrieval-based information services, such
as archives, databases, libraries, management information systems,
museums, and records centers.
- Information technology: The influence of information
technology on information systems, and, thereby, on the
dissemination of (and access to) information.
- Information in society:
Dissemination of information and use of information; censorship,
privacy, security, and related issues. Information policy and
priorities for governments and organizations; diversity, pluralism,
and the design of information services.
|Program: Three Related Strands|
The nature of information and of information services and systems:
Communication and information storage and retrieval
||Impact of information technology on access to information
||Social and policy aspects of information systems
Topics by Week
Not a professional, nor a pre-professional, nor a "skills" course, but,
rather, an exploration of various aspects of information and
Revised May 5, 1997.
- Information: Different meanings of "information",
"knowledge", "information system", etc. Information-as-knowledge,
Information-as-process, Information-as-thing. Reduction of
uncertainty, knowledge as (justified) belief, recorded knowledge,
- Presentation of information.
- Visual presentation (Tufte).
- Verbal: Semantics, syntax, pragmatics. Rhetoric.
- Information-as-thing (esp. visual and verbal representations).
- Information technology. Examination of the capabilities,
constraints, and social impact of different technologies:
- Recording media: Paper, film, magnetic (analog, digital), etc.
- Tools: Printing press, typewriter, computer, etc.
- Telecommunications: Messenger, railway (mail), telephone,
electronic telecommunications, etc.
- Representation of information-as-thing. Entity-attribute-value.
Worked example: Dilemmas in library cataloging.
- Information retrieval. Search strategies. Problems of subject
- Demand / need for information systems.
- Communication. Mass communication. Interpersonal
communication. Informal networks.
- Perspective: Alternative views of the same situation. How the
arrangement and presentation of information affects the searching,
finding, and interpretation.
- Provision / supply of information services. Public good, private
gain, pricing, control, censorship.
- Social aspects of information systems. Information policy.
Intellectual property. Social aspects of information: Privacy, freedom
of information, security, persuasion, equality, competitive advantage,
- through 15. Case studies, guest lectures. (Throughout semester).