Introduction to Information Science

Jul 2012 | 384pp

Price: £54.95
CILIP members price: £43.95

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Introduction to Information Science

David Bawden and Lyn Robinson

This landmark textbook takes a whole subject approach to Information Science as a discipline. 

Introduced by leading international scholars and offering a global perspective on the discipline, this is designed to be the standard text for students worldwide. The authors’ expert narrative guides you through each of the essential building blocks of information science offering a concise introduction and expertly chosen further reading and resources.

Critical topics covered include:

  • foundations: concepts, theories and historical perspectives
  • organising and retrieving Information 
  • information behaviour, domain analysis and digital literacies
  • technologies, digital libraries and information management
  • information research methods  and informetrics
  • changing contexts: information society, publishing, e-science and digital humanities
  • the future of the discipline.  

Readership: Students of information science, information and knowledge management, librarianship, archives and records management worldwide. Students of other information-related disciplines such as museum studies, publishing, and information systems and practitioners in all of these disciplines.


  • Information science and 21st century information practices: creatively engaging with information - Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson 
  • The emerging discipline of information - Andrew Dillon
  • The scope of information science - Jonathan Furner
  • A fascinating field and a pragmatic enterprise - Birger Hjørland
  • A slippery and ubiquitous concept - Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan
  • The future of information science - Maja ´┐Żumer  

1. What is information science? Disciplines and professions

  • Introduction
  • The nature of information science
  • What kind of discipline is information science?
  • Constituents and core
  • Other information disciplines
  • The uniqueness of information science
  • History of information science
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

2. History of information: the story of documents

  • Introduction
  • Information ages?
  • Prehistory and the ancient world
  • The classical and medieval worlds
  • The age of print
  • The 19th century
  • The 20th century
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

3. Philosophies and paradigms of information science

  • Introduction
  • Philosophy and the information sciences 
  • Philosophical positions
  • Paradigms and turns
  • Philosophers and information science
  • Karl Popper and objective epistemology
  • Jesse Shera and social epistemology
  • Luciano floridi and the philosophy of information
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • Philosophy resources
  • References  

4. Basic concepts of information science

  • Introduction
  • Information and knowledge
  • Information: physical, biological, social 
  • A mathematical theory of information, with a little semiotics
  • Information for information science
  • Knowledge for information science
  • Documents 
  • Collections
  • Relevance and aboutness
  • Information use and users
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

5. Domain analysis

  • Introduction
  • Domain analysis as a theory for information science
  • What is a domain?
  • Aspects of domain analysis
  • Practical value of domain analysis
  • Examples of domain analysis
  • Domain analysis and the subject specialist
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

6. Information organization

  • Introduction
  • Controlled vocabulary and facet analysis
  • Terminologies
  • Metadata
  • Resource description and cataloguing
  • Ontologies
  • Systematic vocabularies: classification and taxonomy
  • Alphabetic vocabularies: subject headings and thesauri
  • Abstracting
  • Indexing and tagging
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

7. Information technologies: creation, dissemination and retrieval

  • Introduction
  • What are information technologies?
  • Digital technologies
  • Networks
  • Mobile and pervasive
  • Software
  • Interacting with computers
  • Information systems, analysis, architecture and design
  • Applications
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

8. Informetrics

  • Introduction
  • Historical development of informetrics
  • How much information is there?
  • The main informetric laws
  • Network theory
  • Applying informetrics
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

9. Information behaviour

  • Introduction
  • What is information behaviour?
  • Origins and development of information behaviour studies
  • Theories and models
  • Methods for studying information behaviour
  • Information behaviour of groups
  • Individual information behaviour styles
  • Summary: so what do we know?
  • Key readings
  • References  

10. Communicating information: changing contexts

  • Introduction
  • Communication frameworks
  • Changing information landscapes
  • Digitizing the world of print
  • Changing economic models
  • Open access and repositories
  • New forms of communication
  • New forms of research and scholarship
  • Information places and spaces
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

11. Information society

  • Introduction
  • What is the information society?
  • Frameworks for information society
  • Information society infrastructures
  • Problems and divides within the information society
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

12. Information management and policy

  • Introduction
  • Information management basics
  • Contexts of information management
  • Information governance and information risk
  • Information policies and strategies
  • Information auditing and mapping
  • Valuing information
  • Information for creativity and innovation
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

13. Digital literacy

  • Introduction
  • Information and computer literacies
  • The information-literate person
  • The concept of digital literacy
  • A model for digital literacy
  • Importance of digital literacy
  • Promoting digital literacy
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

14. Information science research: what and how?

  • Introduction
  • Styles of information research
  • General aspects of research methods
  • Research and the practitioner
  • Research methods for information science
  • Research methods – surveys
  • Research methods – experimenting, evaluating and observing
  • Research methods – desk research 
  • Sampling
  • Information research ethics
  • Finding and evaluating research
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References  

15. The future of the information sciences

  • Introduction
  • Predicting and prophesying
  • Drivers for change
  • What lies ahead for information professions and disciplines
  • Information research agendas
  • The future of information science
  • Summary
  • Key readings
  • References

Additional resources

  • Other textbooks
  • Journals
  • Abstracting and indexing services
  • Reference sources

'I believe this book is the best introduction to information science available at present. It tackles both the philosophical basis and the most important branches, and it is based on solid knowledge about the contemporary literature of the field. If students have the knowledge provided by this introduction, this would be a fine basis on which to go further with specific problems.'
- Birger Hjorland, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen

'I have no doubts that, for many years to come, this wonderful book will serve as one of the very best places for people to start to make a difference.'
- Jonathan Furner, Department of Information Studies, UCLA

'..an admirable and highly readable introductory source. Accessible, comprehensive, far-reaching and offering an impressive overview of the relevant literature, Introduction to Information Science is an excellent resource that will likely serve as the standard text for the foreseeable future.'
- Partnership

'This textbook presents a holistic view of information science in a context of modern technological impacts and global aspects of the changing information society. Therefore the whole work is intended not only for students and teachers of information science as a comprehensive study text, but it is also very instructive for professionals in information and knowledge management, librarianship; also for experts in the field of archives and museums, experts in the publishing industry, or professionals in information systems, especially those engaged with areas of scientific information and communication. In many ways, it is friendly and understandable for other readers who are interested in the information world, information society and information science. Both authors are long-time professionals and are well-known also from speaking activities, lectures, training and workshops around the world in information and library communities, and in the academic environment. Therefore the textbook is not only theoretical, but contains also many practical aspects of information science, and addresses many questions of professionals in practice. Particularly appreciated, in this respect, is the readability and legibility of the book, as well as its efficient graphical design. A conclusion? This beautiful book can go into the world and explain the best principles and roles of information science.'
- Journal of Documentation

'The authors’ approach to the book is rooted in the literature. The many references to literature where the reader can find more information on concepts that require much more in-depth discussion bears proof of this approach. Furthermore, the authors are well aware that books can date rapidly. Although they have sought to give up-to-date information, they have principally focused on basic principles. Furthermore, they also emphasise concepts and theories that are useful for an understanding of the subject field and place them in an historical context. Each chapter concludes with a list of key readings and references that pertain to the specific chapter. The book is well written and easy to read. A very useful index concludes the volume. Scholars and academics who are serious about information science as a discipline should not be without this book.'
- Online Information Review

'An excellent resource for those wishing to look at the challenges and issues in library science from a technical viewpoint. It is a wide-ranging look at multiple topics in information science, packed with references to important texts in these areas. Both technically complex and more abstract, theoretical discussions are delivered with concision and clarity.'
- Technicalities

'...a very useful book for any introductory course for the first year students, that builds an understanding of this wide study, research and practice area that bears the name of Information Science.'
- Information Research

David Bawden is Professor of Information Science at City University London, editor of Journal of Documentation, and a council member of Aslib. He is author of over 150 books, chapters, papers and published presentations. 

Lyn Robinson is Senior Lecturer in Information Science, and Director of the Postgraduate Information Studies Scheme, at City University London. She is author of numerous papers and published presentations, and has written two books, including Facet's Understanding Healthcare Information.