Information Science

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Bing Wang

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Graduate Institute of Library and Information Studies


The nature of information science (IS) as a discipline has been a matter of dispute almost since the day it was created. What is less controversial is the interdisciplinary nature of the IS field, which has close relationships with such fields as librarianship/library science, computing disciplines, communication, and cognitive science. Since 1990s, with the rapid development and widespread application of computing and information technologies, especially the Internet and WWW, the nature, territory and education of the IS field has been constantly changing, and is increasingly tied to Internet-based technologies and connected to knowledge management and data mining. The relationships between IS and computing disciplines are becoming more complicated than ever. In this paper the similarities and differences between IS, computer science, information systems, and information technology field are examined in terms of their definitions, major research topics, primary foci, practice areas for professionals, and educations. The purpose of this paper is to provide some insights into the essence and roles of IS in contemporary academic community.