Foundations of the information sciences

My academic work here covers two aspects.

First, I am interested in the kinds of theories theories concepts and models used in the in the information sciences, and how theories are developed and used in the discipline. In particular, I have tried to examine conceptions of information in different domains, to see if lessons can be learnt, and useful insights gained, from this kind of comparison. This may mean drawing lessons for library/information science from ideas of information in the physical and biological sciences; but equally it may the work the other way, with LIS concepts informing other disciplines. Some of my publications in this area (with self-archived or open-access versions linked where available) are:

  • D Bawden and L Robinson, Introduction to information science, London: Facet, 2012, chapters 3 and 4
  • L Robinson and D Bawden, As long as we don’t pretend that it is science, Journal of Documentation, 2014, 70(1), 2-3
  • D Bawden and L Robinson, “Waiting for Carnot”: information and complexity, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2015, in press
  • D Bawden and L Robinson, “A few exciting words”: information and entropy revisited, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2015, in press
  • D Bawden, L Robinson and T Siddiqui, “Potentialities or possibilities”: Towards quantum information science?, Advances in Information Science section of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 2015, 66(3), 437-449
  • D Bawden and L Robinson, “Deep down things”: in what ways is information physical, and why does it matter for LIS?, Information Research, 2013, 18(3), paper C03
  • L Robinson and D Bawden, Mind the gap: transitions between concepts of information in varied domains, in Theories of information, communication and knowledge: a multidisciplinary approach, Ibekwe-SanJuan, F. and Dousa, T. (eds.), Berlin: Springer, 2013, pp 121-141
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    Second, I am involved in considering the information disciplines themselves, and how they are changing in response to new technologies and new information environments. This includes the kind of research carried out in the information sciences, and also education for the library/information disciplines. Some of my publications on these topics are:

  • L Robinson and D Bawden, “So wide and varied”: the origins and character of British information science, Journal of Information Science, 2013, 39(6), 754-763
  • D Bawden and L Robinson, Introduction to information science, Facet, 2012, chapter 1
  • L Robinson and D Bawden, Brian Vickery and the foundations of information science, in Facets of Knowledge Organization, Gilchrist, A. and Vernau, J. (eds.), Bingley: Emerald, 2012, pp 282-300
  • L Robinson and D Bawden, Information (and library) science at City University London: fifty years of educational development, Journal of Information Science, 2010, 36(5), 618-630
  • D Bawden, Smoother pebbles and the shoulders of giants: the developing foundations of information science, Journal of Information Science, 2008, 34(4), 415-426, reprinted with amendments in Information science in transition, Gilchrist, A. (ed.), London: Facet Publishing, 2009, pp23-43
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    I use ideas derived from these studies in my teaching at City University London, where I lead the Research, Evaluation and Communication Skills course and the LIS Masters dissertation project, and contribute to a course on Foundations of Library and Information Science.

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