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Information Science 2005 . Tefko Saracevic, PhD School of Communication, Information and Library Studies Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey USA http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~tefko. Information science: a short definition.

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information science 2005

Information Science 2005

Tefko Saracevic, PhD

School of Communication, Information and Library Studies

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, New Jersey USA

http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~tefko

© Tefko Saracevic

information science a short definition
Information science: a short definition

“the science dealing with the efficient collection, storage, and retrieval of information” Webster

© Tefko Saracevic

organization of presentation
Organization of presentation
  • Big picture – problems, solutions, social place
  • Structure – main areas in research & practice
  • Technology – information retrieval – largest part
  • Information – representation; bibliometrics
  • People – users, use, seeking, context
  • Digital libraries – whose are they anyhow?
  • Paradigm shift – distancing of areas
  • Conclusions– big questions for the future

© Tefko Saracevic

scope
Scope
  • Evolution and state of the field in the last decade of the old and first decade of the new century

© Tefko Saracevic

the big picture problems addressed
The big pictureProblems addressed
  • Bit of history: Vannevar Bush (1945):
    • Defined problem as “... the massive task of making more accessible of a bewildering store of knowledge.”
    • Problem still with us & growing

© Tefko Saracevic

solution
… solution
  • Bush suggested a machine: “Memex ... association of ideas ... duplicate mental processes artificially.”
  • Technological fix to problem
  • Still with us: technological determinant

© Tefko Saracevic

at the base of information science problem
At the base of information science:Problem

Trying to control content in

  • Information explosion
    • exponential growth of information artifacts, if not of information itself

PLUS today

  • Communication explosion
    • exponential growth of means and ways by which information is communicated, transmitted, accesses, used

© Tefko Saracevic

technological solution but
applying technology to solving problems of effective use of information

BUT:

from aHUMAN & SOCIAL

and not only TECHNOLOGICAL perspective

technological solution, BUT …

© Tefko Saracevic

or a symbolic model

People

Information

Technology

or a symbolic model

© Tefko Saracevic

problems solutions social context
Problems & solutions: SOCIAL CONTEXT
  • Professional practice AND scientific inquiry related to:

Effective communication of knowledge records - ‘literature’ - among humans in the context of social, organizational, & individual need for and use of information

  • Taking advantage of modern information technology

© Tefko Saracevic

or as white mccaine put it
or as White & McCaine put it:

“modeling the world of publications with a practical goal of being able to deliver their content to inquirers [users] on demand.”

© Tefko Saracevic

elaboration
Elaboration
  • Knowledge records = texts, sounds, images, multimedia, web ... ‘literature’ in given domains
    • content-bearing structures – central to information science
  • Communication = human-computer-literature interface
    • study of information science is the interface between people & literatures
  • Information need, seeking, and use = reason d'être
  • Effectiveness = relevance, utility

© Tefko Saracevic

general characteristics
General characteristics
  • Interdisciplinarity - relations with a number of fields, some more or less predominant
  • Technological imperative - driving force, as in many modern fields
  • Information society - social context and role in evolution - shared with many fields

© Tefko Saracevic

structure composition of the field
StructureComposition of the field
  • As many fields, information science has different areas of concentration & specialization
  • They change, evolve over time
    • grow closer, grow apart
    • ignore each other, less or more

© Tefko Saracevic

most importantly different areas
most importantly different areas…
  • receive more or less in funding & emphasis
    • producing great imbalances in work & progress
    • attracting different audiences & fields
  • this includes
    • vastly different levels of support for research and
    • huge commercial investments & applications

© Tefko Saracevic

how to view structure

Information

or

People

or

How to view structure?

by decomposing areas & efforts in research & practice emphasizing

Technology

© Tefko Saracevic

part 3 technology
Part 3. Technology
  • Identified with information retrieval (IR)
    • by far biggest effort and investment
    • international & global
    • commercial interest large & growing

© Tefko Saracevic

information retrieval definition objective
Information Retrieval – definition & objective

“ IR: ... intellectual aspects of description of information, ... search, ... & systems, machines...”

Calvin Mooers, 1951

  • How to provide users with relevant information effectively?

For that objective:

1. How to organize information intellectually?

2. How to specify the search & interaction intellectually?

3. What techniques & systems to use effectively?

© Tefko Saracevic

streams in ir res dev
Streams in IR Res. & Dev.

1.Information science:

    • Services, users, use;
    • Human-computer interaction;
    • Cognitive aspects

2. Computer science:

    • Algorithms, techniques
    • Systems aspects

3. Information industry:

    • Products, services, Web
    • Market aspects
  • Problem:
    • relative isolation – discussed later

© Tefko Saracevic

contemporary ir research
Contemporary IR research
  • Now mostly done within computer science
    • e.g Special Interest Group on IR, Association for Computing Machinery (SIGIR,ACM)
  • Spread globally
    • e.g. major IR research communities emerged in China, Korea, Singapore
  • Branched outside of information science - “everybody does information retrieval”
    • data mining, machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, computer graphics …

© Tefko Saracevic

text retrieval conference trec
Text REtrieval Conference (TREC)
  • Started in 1992, now probably ending
    • “support research within the IR community by providing the infrastructure necessary for large-scale evaluation”
  • Methods
    • provides large test beds, queries, relevance judgments, comparative analyses
    • essentially using Cranfield 1960’s methodology
    • organized around tracks
      • various topics – changing over years

© Tefko Saracevic

trec impact
TREC impact
  • International – big impact on creating research communities
  • Annual conferences
    • report. exchange results, foster cooperation
  • Results
    • mostly in reports, available at http://trec.nist.gov/
    • overviews provided as well
    • but, only a fraction published in journals or books

© Tefko Saracevic

trec tracks 2004 103 groups from 21 countries
Genomics with 4 sub tracks

HARD (High Accuracy Retrieval from Documents)

Novelty (new, nonredundant information)

Question answering

Robust (improving poorly performing topics)

Terabyte (very large collections)

Web track

Previous tracks:

ad-hoc (1992-1999)

routing (92–97)

interactive (94-02)

filtering (95-02)

cross language (97-02)

speech (97-00)

Spanish (94-96)

video (00-01)

Chinese (96-97)

query (98-00)

and a few more run for two years only

TREC tracks 2004103 groups from 21 countries

© Tefko Saracevic

broadening of ir ever changing ever new areas added
Broadening of IR – ever changing, ever new areas added
  • Cross language IR (CLIR)
  • Natural language processing (NLP IR)
  • Music IR (MIR)
  • Image, video, multimedia retrieval
  • Spoken language retrieval
  • IR for bioinformatics and genomics
  • Summarization; text extraction
  • Question answering
  • Many human-computer interactions
  • XML IR
  • Web IR; Web search engines
  • DB and IR integration – structured and unstructured data

© Tefko Saracevic

commercial ir
Commercial IR
  • Search engines based on IR
  • But added many elaborations & significant innovations
    • dealing with HUGE numbers of pages fast
    • countering spamming & page rank games – adversarial IR
      • never ending combat of algorithms
  • Spread & impact worldwide
    • about 2000 engines in over 160 countries
    • English was dominant, but not any more

© Tefko Saracevic

commercial ir brave new world
Commercial IR: brave new world
  • Large investments & economic sector
    • hope for big profits, as yet questionable
  • Leading to proprietary, secret IR
    • also aggressive hiring of best talent
    • new commercial research centers in different countries (e.g. MS in China)
  • Academic research funding is changing
    • brain drain from academe

© Tefko Saracevic

ir successfully effected
IR successfully effected:
  • Emergence & growth of the INFORMATION INDUSTRY
  • Evolution of IS as a PROFESSION & SCIENCE
  • Many APPLICATIONS in many fields
    • including on the Web – search engines
  • Improvements in HUMAN - COMPUTER INTERACTION
  • Evolution of INTEDISCIPLINARITY

IR has a long, proud history

© Tefko Saracevic

part 4 information
Part 4. Information
  • Several areas of investigation;
    • as basic phenomenon – not much progress
      • measures as Shannon's not successful
      • concentrated on manifestations and effects
    • information representation
      • large area connected with IR, librarianship
      • metadata
    • bibliometrics
      • structures of literature

Covered in separate lectures

© Tefko Saracevic

part 5 people
Part 5. People
  • Professional services
    • in organization – moving toward knowledge management, competitive intelligence
    • in industry – vendors, aggregators, Internet,
  • Research
    • user & use studies
    • interaction studies
    • broadening to information seeking studies, social context, collaboration
    • relevance studies
    • social informatics

© Tefko Saracevic

user use studies
User & use studies
  • Oldest area
    • covers many topics, methods, orientations
    • many studies related to IR
      • e.g. searching, multitasking, browsing, navigation
  • Branching into Web use studies
    • quantitative & qualitative studies
    • emergence of webmetrics

© Tefko Saracevic

interaction
Interaction
  • Traditional IR model concentrates on matching not user side & interaction
  • Several interaction models suggested
      • Ingwersen’s cognitive, Belkin’s episode, Saracevic’s stratified model
    • hard to get experiments & confirmation
  • Considered key to providing
      • basis for better design
      • understanding of use of systems
  • Web interactions a major new area

© Tefko Saracevic

information seeking
Information seeking
  • Concentrates on broader context not only IR or interaction, people as they move in life & work
  • Based on concept of social construction of information
  • Most active area, particularly in Europe, with annual conferences

© Tefko Saracevic

information seeking sampling of theories models
Information seeking Sampling of theories, models
  • Why people seek information:
    • Taylor’s stages of information need
    • Dervin’s Sense-Making – gap, bridge
    • Belkin’s Anomalous State of Knowledge
    • Chatman’s life in the round – inf. poverty
  • How people seek information:
    • Wilson’s General Model of inf. seeking
    • Bates’ berrypicking – acts in searching
    • Kuhlthau’s information search process
    • Chang’s browsing model
    • Benoit’s communicative action - Habermas

© Tefko Saracevic

part 7 paradigm split in technology people
Part 7. Paradigm split in technology - people
  • Split from early 80’s to date into two orientations
    • System-centered
      • algorithms, TREC
      • continue traditional IR model
    • Human-(user)-centered
      • cognitive, situational, user studies
      • interaction models, some started in TREC
  • These became almost separate universes – one based in computer science, the other in information science & libraianship

© Tefko Saracevic

critiques cultures
Critiques, cultures
  • Number of critiques (e.g. Dervin & Nilan) about isolated systems approach
    • calls for user-centered approaches, designs & evaluation
  • But user-centered studies did not deliver very useful design pointers, guides
  • Very different cultures:
    • computer science has own, more science & technology oriented
    • information science more humanities oriented
    • C.P. Snow’s two cultures

© Tefko Saracevic

human vs system
Human vs. system
  • Human (user) side:
    • often highly critical, even one-sided
    • mantra of implications for design
    • but does not deliver concretely
  • System side:
    • mostly ignores user side & studies
    • ‘tell us what to do & we will’
  • Issue NOT H or S approach
    • even less H vs. S
    • but how can H AND S work together
    • major challenge for the future

© Tefko Saracevic

reconciliation
Reconciliation?
  • Several efforts to provide human-centered design
    • but more discussion than real application
  • Integration of information seeking and information retrieval in context (Ingwersen & Järvelin)
  • Research & development toward
    • using search context, improving user search experiences & search quality
    • machine learning, incorporating semantics

© Tefko Saracevic

funding
Funding
  • Most funding goes toward systems side & computer science
    • most (very large %) support for system work
  • In the digital age support is for digital
  • True globally

© Tefko Saracevic

digital libraries large growing area
Digital librariesLARGE & growing area
  • “Hot” area in R&D
    • a number of large grants & projects in the US, European Union, & other countries up to now;
    • will it continue? It is not growing
    • but “DIGITAL” big & “libraries“ small
  • “Hot” area in practice
    • building digital collections, hybrid libraries,
    • many projects throughout the world
    • growing at a high rate

© Tefko Saracevic

technical problems
Technical problems
  • Substantial - larger & more complex than anticipated:
    • representing, storing & retrieving of library objects
      • particularly if originally designed to be printed & then digitized
    • operationally managing large collections - issues of scale
    • dealing with diverse & distributed collections
      • interoperability
    • assuring preservation & persistence
    • incorporating rights management

© Tefko Saracevic

digital library initiatives in the us dli
Digital Library Initiatives in the US (DLI)
  • Research consortia under National Science Foundation
    • DLI 1: 1994-98, 3 agencies, $24M, six large projects
    • DLI 2: 1999-2006, 8 agencies, $60+M, 77 large & small projects in various categories
  • ‘digital library’ not defined to cover many topics & stretch ideas
    • not constrained by practice

© Tefko Saracevic

european union
European Union
  • DELOS Network of Excelence on Digital Libraries
    • many projects throughout European Union
      • heavily technological
    • many meetings, workshops
    • resembles DLIs in the US
    • well funded, long range

© Tefko Saracevic

research issues
Research issues
  • understanding objects in DL
    • representing in many formats
    • non-textual materials
  • metadata, cataloging, indexing
  • conversion, digitization
  • organizing large collections
  • federated searching over distributed (various) collections
  • managing collections, scaling
  • preservation, archiving
  • interoperability, standardization
  • accessing, using,

© Tefko Saracevic

dl projects in practice
DL projects in practice
  • Heavily oriented toward a variety of institutions – primarily libraries
    • but also museums, professional societies, specific domains, etc etc
  • Main orientation: institutional missions, contexts, finances
    • sustainability, preservation in real world
    • managing growth, rights, access

© Tefko Saracevic

agendas
Agendas
  • Most DL research agenda is set from top down
    • from funding agencies to projects
    • imprint of the computer science community's interest & vision
  • Most DL practice agendas are set from bottom up
    • from institutions, incl. many libraries
    • imprint of institutional missions, interests & vision
      • providing access to specialized materials and collections from an institution (s) that are otherwise not accessible
      • covering in an integral way a domain with a range of sources

© Tefko Saracevic

connection
Connection?
  • DL research & DL practice presently are conducted
    • mostly independent of each other,
    • minimally informing each other,
    • & having slight, or no connection
  • Parallel universes with little connections & interaction

© Tefko Saracevic

conclusions is contributions
ConclusionsIS contributions
  • IS effected handling of inf. in society
  • Developed an organized body of knowledge & professional competencies
  • Applied interdisciplinarity
  • IR reached a mature stage
  • IR penetrated many fields & human activities
  • Stressed HUMAN in human-computer interaction

© Tefko Saracevic

challenges
Challenges
  • Adjust to the growing & changing social & organizational role of inf. & related inf. infrastructure
  • Play a positive role in globalization of information
  • Respond to technological imperative in human terms
  • Respond to changes from inf. to communication explosion - bringing own experiences to resolutions, particularly to the INTERNET
  • Join competition with quality
  • Join DIGITAL with LIBRARIES

© Tefko Saracevic

juncture
Juncture
  • IS is at a critical juncture in its evolution
  • Many fields, groups ... moving into information
    • big competition
    • entrance of powerful players
    • fight for stakes
  • To be a major player IS needs to progress in its:
    • research & development
    • professional competencies
    • educational efforts
    • interdisciplinary relations
  • Reexamination necessary

© Tefko Saracevic

slide51

Thank you

Hvala

Danke

Merci

Gracias

Grazie

© Tefko Saracevic