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Information Science

Peter Ingwersen


Information science (IS) is a multidisciplinary field concerned with “facilitating the effective communication of desired information between human generator and human user” ( Belkin 1978 , 58). IS became established as an academic discipline with the creation of the American Society for Information Science in 1937 (now abbreviated ASIS&T) and the UK Institute of Information Scientists in 1958. Previously, work on scientific and technological →  Information had been called documentation , and had its roots in French and US universities at the beginning of the twentieth century. The foundation for quantitative analyses of scholarly communication (scientometrics, bibliometrics) was laid in studies by pioneers like A. J. Lotka (on scientific productivity and publication ratios, 1926), G. K. Zippf (on rank and frequency of terms in large text corpora, 1932 – later applied to automatic indexing in information retrieval research), and S. C. Bradford (on the distribution of academic articles about a scientific topic across journals, 1934). These pioneering efforts were accelerated by the digital computer. From the 1950s, former laboratory scientists began, as information scientists, to develop, manage, and evaluate systems for the retrieval and use of technical and scientific information, as well as to analyze the impact of information and information technologies (IT) on scientific ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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