Dictionary of Information and Library Management


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In other words, iSchools and with them SLIS seem less to be an international or just regional community in which researchers compete for positions, and are more influenced by local priorities see also Golub et al. In the first of these studies, a relatively detailed topic classification system was developed reprinted in Tuomaala et al. The authors admit that this classification system is somewhat outdated, although it was also used in the latest study to be able to compare former periods.

Its overall structure is:. Tuomaala et al. Among the methodological problems in this series of studies is that they cannot specify, for example, which studies of ISR should be considered computer science studies and which should be considered LIS studies. This is due to several factors: the migration of information retrieval from information science to computer science; the interdisciplinary nature of LIS journals cf.

Chua and Yang ; and finally the classical epistemological problem: to select something, you must already know what that something is. There have been many bibliometric studies of the intellectual structure of LIS [71]. Liu et al. Import-export studies are investigations based on citation analysis to describe the exchange of ideas between disciplines or scholarly communities.

This economic metaphor was introduced in the seminal work by Cronin and Pearson An import study for a field e. Export studies, on the other hand demonstrate which disciplines a given discipline is cited by, representing a kind of reception studies. It is a common premise in science studies that interdisciplinarity is a positive thing and that isolated disciplines disciplines not cited in other disciplines is an indicator of a crisis [73] although some disciplines such as mathematics are exceptions from this rule.

Import studies of LIS may reveal from which fields of knowledge LIS has mostly drawn, and to which it is therefore most closely related. There have been several empirical examinations of the relationship between LIS and other fields, and selected studies only are mentioned here.


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Small , 49 examined the relationship of information science to the social sciences. At the same time, information science, at least in the context of the social and behavioral sciences, appears somewhat isolated.

ODLIS: Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science

It certainly is not the central discipline, with strong linkages to many diverse fields, that many would like it to be. Warner examined the impact of linguistic theory on information science and showed that the examined portion of the information science literature cited linguistic theory very seldom. Further data analysis showed that a small number of citing and cited authors accounted for most of the activity, and that syntax and semantics gained more attention from information scientists than other branches of linguistic theory.

Borgman and Rice examined the relationship between information science and communication studies; Ellis et al. However, all such empirical studies can only identify which in the past have been the most related cognate fields based on which paradigms have been dominant. Huang and Chang investigated the interdisciplinary changes in information sciences over the period to , and found that information science researchers have most frequently cited publications in LIS. The co-authors of information science articles are also primarily from the discipline of LIS, although the percentage of LIS references is much higher.

This indicates that information science researchers mainly rely on publications in LIS, and that they often produce scientific papers with researchers from LIS. The degree of interdisciplinarity in information science has shown growth, particularly in terms of co-authoring. In LIS, many theoretical points of view are imported from other fields. Almost all well-known theorists from, for example, the social sciences have been used in LIS.


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Leckie et al. However, such theorists are seldom used to establish a broad theoretical frame for issues in LIS, such as bibliometrics, classification, information retrieval, information seeking etc. There are many export studies in LIS, and a few are briefly introduced here. They found that the discipline, as represented by the work of these six grandees, exported little to other disciplines. Tang studied citations of LIS publications drawn randomly from six years in the period and , and showed that LIS involves a wide spectrum of interests from across the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.

Cronin and Meho is a large-scale study which found that LIS exported significantly to computer science, engineering and management during the years — and also imported much from the same disciplines.

Dictionary of Information and Library Management, 2nd ed.

Odell and Gabbard is a follow-up of the study by Meyer and Spencer ; these authors also found large increases in LIS exports to computer science, business and management. Hessey and Willett is a methodologically important study that questions some of the former results concerning LIS exports. Using the subject categories in the Web of Science is popular in such studies; however, some journals are classified in more than one subject field, and this may provide a highly over-optimistic view of the extent to which LIS knowledge is being exported to the wider academic community.

Another interesting finding was that just 11 distinct articles from the Sheffield Chemoinformatics Group absolutely dominated the export from LIS. One strength of the study was that it considered the relative value of different kinds of exports. Import-export studies concerning LIS are relevant to the relationship between LIS and other disciplines, as discussed in Section 5 below. The classification of subject fields is one of the classical activities of LIS professionals and researchers. One of the major researchers in facet analytical classification was Jack Mills, who contributed to a classification of LIS Daniel and Mills It seems worthwhile to evaluate the facet analytic classification method in relation to the classification of LIS compared with other approaches, although this has never been done, and is outside the scope of this article.

It should be said, however, that the logical structuring of the concepts of a field is a valuable, if not indispensable, activity.


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  • However, such a logical structuring cannot replace a concern with the theoretical issues in the field classified, and cannot provide a neutral classification. Domain analysis is different from content analysis, bibliometric studies and facet analytical classification in its emphasis of the necessity of the historical and philosophical analysis of knowledge domains. This article is an attempt to provide background knowledge about LIS in order to illuminate the importance of different conceptualizations of the field.

    The main conclusion is that there is today no consensus on what constitute the most important subfields of LIS. Empirical studies reveal a confusing picture, and passing fads such as the H-index may distort the picture; on the other hand, the picture may be influenced by researchers who routinely do the same kinds of studies, although these may be of limited value. Milojevic et al. However, the subfields identified in this study seem not to be theoretically coherent fields.

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    LIS institutions, systems and processes can be understood as second-order genres depending on a critical analysis and mediation of first-order genres. For example, in evidence-based medicine, the systematic review is a genre based on certain epistemological assumptions. LIS is about providing databases and search techniques for mediating medical knowledge, including support for the researchers writing systematic reviews. The criteria for what counts as evidence are not developed within LIS, but must be known by LIS professionals working in this domain.

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    Bradford , ; , wrote under the heading The Scattering of Articles on a Given Subject :. If Bradford was right, it follows that any subject, including LIS, is more or less remotely connected to every other subject. But what determines which subjects are closely related and which subjects are only peripherally related? A rationalist philosophy may see the world as having a given structure and science as a representation of this given structure; it may expect a fixed relationship between disciplines.

    However, it seems obvious that the relationship, for example, between LIS and other disciplines is relative to the underlying conception of LIS. If LIS is considered from a cognitive perspective, LIS should be closely related to the cognitive sciences [74] , and so on; each theoretical position in LIS as in other fields has implications for the relationship between LIS and other fields, that is, for which subjects are closely related and which subjects are only peripherally related. In other words, it cannot be decided which fields are closely related to LIS until we have made up our minds on which theoretical position in LIS we consider the most fruitful.

    As shown in Section 4. However, such empirical studies simply reveal the relationship between disciplines based on what in the past have been the most influential paradigms. By implication, LIS must be understood as a metascience cf. Therefore, LIS is first and foremost related to the specific fields of scholarship, for example, chemistry, biology, art studies or literature studies. To create a classification or a thesaurus of, say, birds, primarily requires an up-to-date knowledge of ornithology. Mediation of medical knowledge requires knowledge about the medical criteria of evidence and the way evidence is provided in systematic reviews and presented in medical databases.

    In a way, culture including literature, history, music, the arts etc. Among the metascientific perspectives, the philosophical and the sociological are most important cf. Section 3. LIS has generally been greatly influenced by the institutional purposes of SLIS, which traditionally have been dominated by the education of librarians, mostly for public libraries. In marked contrast to computer science, which developed from mathematical, scientific and technological research and shaped its own market, LIS, to a much larger degree, has taken shape from the need to educate people for already existing institutions, systems and processes.

    Central questions are therefore:. Concerning 1, there are many statistics and studies regarding trends in the use of libraries; the details are not communicated here. A valuable but generally neglected study is Huymans and Hillebrink Central tendencies in the use of libraries seem to be:. Traditionally, the physical delivery of documents has been overwhelmingly the most important function for libraries.

    An important question is whether the library can develop new services which are more concerned with the intellectual communication of documents, information, knowledge and culture.

    Concept, definition and scope of library management (LIS)

    As pointed out by Huymans and Hillebrink , , it should also be considered that the use of cultural activities, such as exhibitions, probably. Regarding 2, in Section 2.

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    At the same time, it is characteristic of the definition that the listed functions almost all depend on domain knowledge, and that high-quality information services therefore demand specialized subject knowledge, e. LIS-educated persons are meeting with increasing competition from people educated in other domains. It is important to understand that the development of practice should be led by research, and not vice versa.

    LIS professionals depend on their knowledge base, and that knowledge base is closely related to LIS research.

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