Dear Loet,

I think you made an important point.
It is really a problem if we use the same term "Information Science" for 
different things.
What "Information Science" in the Web-of-Science's Science Citation Index 
journals is about is something different from what we thought of.
"Science" in their case consists in systematization, description etc. - a 
conventional idea of science about already existing artifacts and related 
addressed by already established methods.

That is why the Handbook on the Philosophy of "Information" (which is close to what we discuss within FIS)
is not titled Handbook on the Philosophy of "Science of Information".

Maybe the field we have in mind is just "Information" or "Foundations of 
Information" (that is how Brian Cantwell Smith calls it)?

Maybe that is why the journal "Information" is not in the Web-of-Science's 
Science Citation Index.
Because we discuss things that are not mainstream and already existing.
However, this does not prevent us from trying to introduce into curricula some 
basic knowledge that already is established in Foundations of Information.
In the similar way as it is introduced in the HPI, even though many things are 
still under development.


From: [] On 
Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: den 3 december 2011 18:08
Subject: Re: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear colleagues,

The category of "Information and Library Science" contains 40+ scholarly 
journals in the Web-of-Science's Science Citation Index. Of these at least 10 
can be identified as Information Science. The lead journal is the Journal of 
the American Society for Information Science & Technology. May universities 
have special schools for library and information science (LIS).

This is different from our discussions at this list about "information theory". 
Nevertheless, there is a problem with reinventing a wheel. :)

Best wishes,


Loet Leydesdorff

Professor, University of Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR),

Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.

Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111 ; ;

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On 
Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 1:24 PM
Subject: [Fis] Discussion of Information Science Education

Dear Colleagues:

There are some questions which periodically return to FIS discussions without 
conclusive answers. For instance: "What is information?" However, the lack of 
consensus regarding central concept is not an obstacle in the development of 
Information Science. There is no commonly accepted answer to the question "What 
is life?" But, this does not threaten the identity of Biology.

Information Science has not yet achieved a status of a commonly recognized 
discipline. It is frequently confused with Computer Science, because of the 
term Informatics which in Europe denotes what in the US is called Computing, or 
with Library Science and sometimes even with Philosophy of Information, as 
visible from the Handbook on the Philosophy of Information where philosophy and science interleave on many 

Information Science will never receive recognition without an organized effort 
of research community to introduce its philosophy, goals, methods, and 
achievements to the general audience.

Books and articles popularizing the theme of information as a subject of 
independent study do not have big enough circulation to be sufficient in 
establishing an identity of the discipline. The only effective way is to 
introduce Information Science as a subject of education at the college level 
for students who do not necessarily want to specialize in this direction.

Certainly, introduction of a new subject to curriculum is not easy, but it is 
possible. After all, Information Science is a perfect tool for integration of 
curriculum, especially in the context of Liberal Arts education. Which other 
concept, if not information, can be applied in all possible contexts of 

Now, the question is whether we are ready to come out with a syllabus for such 
a course acceptable for all of us, those who are involved in the subject, and 
those who aren't, but participate in the development of curricula. Can we 
overcome differences between our views on the definition of information, on the 
relationship of information understood in a general way to its particular 
manifestations in other disciplines?

Since the course (or courses) should present an identity of the discipline of 
Information Science, it is very important that we are convinced about the 
authentic existence of a large enough common ground. Can we develop a map of 
this territory?

Can we pool resources to establish foundations for a standard, Information 
Science curriculum?

Marcin and Gordana

Marcin J. Schroeder, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs

Akita International University

Akita, Japan<>

Gordana Dodig Crnkovic,

Associate Professor

Head of the Computer Science and Networks Department School of Innovation, 
Design and Engineering Mälardalen University Sweden

Organizer of the Symposium on Natural/Unconventional Computing, the Turing 
Centenary  World Congress of AISB/IACAP


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