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ERIC Number: ED401908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jan
Pages: 81
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
One Field or Two? A Definitional Analysis of the Relationship between Library Science and Information Science.
Schrader, Alvin M.
This study addresses the problem of an adequate distinction between the concepts of library science and information science. The study identifies and analyzes the definitions of these and related terms that have appeared in English-language literature over the past century, and evaluates the logical adequacy of the linguistic expression of these terms. The definitions were examined using the philosophical method of conceptual or definitional analysis. In this examination, several levels of linguistic expression about a domain were identified and analyzed: the name, the nature, the content, the focus, and the function. The analysis of the definitional literature reveals a domain in crisis over its central identity. The literature is characterized by disagreement, contradiction, and inconsistency in the terms used to conceptualize the domain. The absence of conceptual rigor is manifest in the previous attempts to distinguish information science from library science. In order to advance conceptualization and consensus about the domain, there is need for a vision beyond science, beyond technology, and beyond professionalism, to a more basic level of understanding. A unifying theory is needed, one that will map out a unique domain, ground its central function and technology in a societal context, synthesize and simplify its terminology, and articulate an agenda of problems for inquiry. (Contains 82 references.) (Author/SWC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A