Information Organization and Retrieval

INFO 202

MW 9:00-10:30, South Hall 202

This course introduces the intellectual foundations of information organization and retrieval: conceptual modeling, semantic representation, vocabulary and metadata design, classification, and standardization, as well as information organization and retrieval practices, technology, and applications, including computational processes for analyzing information in both textual and non-textual formats. Students will learn how information organization and retrieval is carried out by professionals, authors, and users; by individuals in association with other individuals, and as part of the business processes in an enterprise and across enterprises.

Course Administrivia and Grading

 This is a required introductory course for incoming School of Information masters students, integrating perspectives and best practices from a wide range of disciplines. Students are also required to attend a one-hour small section meeting each Monday starting the second week of the semester (at 11 am, 12 noon, or 1pm - SIGN UP ON "SECTIONS" PAGE)


  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Assignments 35%
  • Participation in Class, Online, and in Sections 15%

Required Texts and Reader

There is only one required text this semester (NOTE: you also need to purchase the reader, see below):

  • Elaine Svenonius, The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization, MIT Press, 2000.

We will also be reading large sections from two other texts which are available online, so you do not have to buy them, but if you like them, we recommend that you do because they are great books:

  • Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan, & Hinrich Sch├╝tze, Introduction to Information Retrieval, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Marti Hearst, Search User Interfaces, Cambridge University Press, 2009

All the other articles and readings will be included in a reader that is available at Copy Central on Bancroft, right across from Sproul Hall. Some of this material is also available online, but some is not so you will need to purchase the reader.