ERIC Number: ED333901
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Open Access: A User Information System. Professional Paper Series, #6.
Gleason, Bernard W.
Focusing on the need for information systems that provide faculty, staff, and students with open access to all necessary information resources, this paper begins by discussing the issues involved in developing such systems. A review of the traditional environment looks at the traditional centralized resources versus the current trend toward decentralization, the budget processes involved, the demand for immediate results by upper levels of management, and the need for more user involvement in system design. The complementary roles of the strategic planner and the conceptualist in systems development are described, and it is argued that the architecture of an information system which promotes and supports the concept of open access to information is made up of several central criteria: intelligent and intuitive systems, organizational flexibility that supports the ability to capitalize on change, the special challenge of security and access control, and responsible data administration. Each of these criteria is discussed in depth. A realization of this "vision," the User Information System (UIS) at Boston College (Massachusetts), is described in detail, including its "single system image," functional and customized menus, consistency, access control, central directory, intelligent routing, messaging, status tracking, and voice/data integration. It is concluded that the question is not which parts of information technology get distributed and which do not but, rather, how users can be provided with open and easy access to information, and that this "vision" is central to the whole process. A profile of Apple Computer, Inc., the corporate sponsor of this report, and an annotated listing of reports in this series are included. (19 references) (BBM)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Administrators, College Faculty, College Students, Computer System Design, Design Requirements, Higher Education, Information Management, Information Systems, Systems Development, Technological Advancement
CAUSE, 4840 Pearl East Circle, Suite 302E, Boulder, CO 80301 ($8.00 to individuals at CAUSE member institutions/organizations, $16.00 to others; orders should be prepaid).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Apple Computer, Inc., Cupertino, CA.
Authoring Institution: CAUSE, Boulder, CO.
Identifiers: Boston College MA