Table of Content
Sustainable and De-industrialization Information Science
This working paper brings together concepts and ideas about the role of information in the future of humanity. Different views have emerged within the international debate on sustainable development – a global industrialization view centers on sustaining global industrialization and a new moral order that advocates societal downscaling and de-industrialization based on regional self-sufficiency to preserve humanity. This working paper briefly outlines these approaches to sustainable development and their relationship to information science research. Both views are distinguished by their approach to de-industrialization. Global industrialization includes pockets of de-industrialization of communities and regions, and societal down scaling includes a de-industrialization process to a sustainable community. De-industrialization is therefore a growing interdisciplinary area of research within sociology, urban planning and policy, and economics. However, information science research is becoming primarily concerned with the informational dimensions of the global industrialization – not de-industrialization. Despite the growing interdisciplinary literature on sustainable development and de-industrialization, the informational aspects of these important issues have yet to be fully explored.
“The search for information in context” and information systems development
This paper reports on some findings of the explorations represented at the conference “Information Seeking in Context” (ISIC’98). These findings are investigated with the aim to evaluate their practical usefulness for the design of information computer systems. The paper discusses some common problems connected with the conceptual approaches to the information system development.
Change in higher education re-engineering
Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) is being used in a number of UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as a change management strategy. Whilst the focus of these HEIs is on re-engineering administrative services, there are also tentative attempts to redesign teaching and learning. This paper adopts a case study approach to determine the applicability of BPR to HEIs. The research started from a broad research question: How does organisational culture in HEIs impact on the implementation of BPR programmes? The conclusions drawn from the research are that the organisational culture and structure of HEIs limit the degree of change sought from a BPR project: the focus of the case study HEIs was on incremental process improvement of administrative services. The projects in these institutions were not about radical change. BPR techniques are shown to have something to offer HEIs in terms of co-ordinating administrative activities, but the emphasis on IT and processes in project design means the human resources change necessary for significant gains in efficiency is unlikely.
Legislation for libraries and free access for library education as new subjects
An outline of LIS programs offered by the Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, and University of Zagreb is given. Factors affecting the recent curriculum revision are described and the reasons for the introduction of a new course in library legislation and standards have been pointed out. The intention of the course has been to make students aware of the existence of international documents relevant to libraries and librarians and to show how the current trends are reflected in national legislation. It is hoped that the course might help students improve their understanding of the legal context surrounding libraries and other information institutions and teach them to appreciate the importance of good legislation.
The criteria of the information retrieval system evaluation are “you go to men in the catalogue”
This working paper brings together concepts and ideas about the role of information in the future of the contrast between the value placed on discriminatory power in discussions of indexing and classification and on the transformation of a query into a set of relevant records dominant in information retrieval research has not been fully explored. The value of delivering relevant records in response to a query has been assumed by information retrieval research paradigms otherwise differentiated (the cognitive and the physical). Subsidiary concepts and measures (relevance and precision and recall) have been increasingly subjected to critiques. The founding assumption of the value of delivering relevant records now needs to be questioned. An enhanced capacity for informed choice is advocated as an alternative principle for system evaluation and design. This broadly corresponds to: the exploratory capability discussed in recent information retrieval research; the value of discriminatory power in classification and indexing; Giambattista Vico’s critique of the unproductivity of Aristotelian methods of categorisation as routes to new knowledge; and, most significantly, to ordinary discourse conceptions of the value of information retrieval systems. The criterion of enhanced choice has a liberating effect, restoring man as an artificer and enabling a continuing dialectic between theory and practice. Techniques developed in classic information retrieval research can be adapted to the new purpose. Finally, the substitution of the principle of enhanced choice exemplifies the development of a true science, in which previous paradigms are absorbed into new as special cases.