Thursday, January 22, 2015
Information Intermediaries: Types and Functions P- 05. Information Sources, Systems and Services
इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं - email@example.com
MODULE 24: INFORMATION INTEERMEDIARIES: FUNCTIONS AND TYPES Content Writer: Prof (Dr) SEWA SINGH,
former Professor & Head, Department of Library and Information, Guru Nanak Dev University, AMRITSAR 143104 Subject Name: Library and Information Science Paper
Name: Information Sources, Services and Systems Module Title: Information Intermediaries: Types and Functions Module Id: LIS/ISSS/24 Pre-requisites: Knowledge about reference and information services, role of reference librarian,
Objectives: To know about different types of information intermediaries, to know about the functions of different types of information intermediaries, to visualize their role in changing information environment. Keywords: Information Intermediaries, Information Brokers, Information Consultants, Technological Gatekeepers, Online Vendors, Expert Systems, Extension Workers, Information Filters
1 INTRODUCTION In the present information age, information has been a key factor in not only transforming society, but also the pattern of operation of the economy. The newly emerging economies, the world over, have been changing and depending more and more on information technology. People are now seeking information increasingly, say, for decision-making, or to enhance understanding of the world politics, and so on. But the problem today is the glut of information, or information overload. It is growing not only in volume, but also in multiple formats and subjects adding to the complexities of information access. It is here that the need for some human agency in the form of experts called information intermediaries arises who could undertake the responsibilities of being a link between information and the users. Since all that is available is not required by the users, only relevant information has to be collected, searched, filtered, processed, and then delivered to those who actually require it. In fact, information intermediaries establish useful link between the producers and the users of information. These functions were earlier performed by the librarians, reference librarians, and other information professionals, but in the fast emerging new information society, few new groups of individuals are taking over the traditional service providers. They include such experts in dealing 2 with information as the librarians, information brokers, information consultants, information officers, information gatekeepers, vendors, and so on.
2 INFORMATION INTERMEDIARIES - DEFINITION An intermediary is usually a third person or party that offers intermediation between two parties. The intermediary acts as a conduit for services offered by producers to users. Typically, intermediary offers some added value to the transaction that may not be possible in direct dealing. In the context of business activities, an information intermediary could be a firm or person, such as broker or consultant, who acts as mediator or a link between parties to a business deal, investment decision, negotiation, etc. Intermediaries usually specialize in specific areas, and serve as a conduit for market and other types of information. For example, in our daily lives, we come across many such instances of mediators, who work as medium, or agent, like an insurance agent for a deal for life insurance, or a bank for profitable investment, or a property dealer who can help in striking a deal between the buyer and the seller, and so on. On the other hand, an information mediator is usually a person who serves as a link or a bridge, or a middleman between the producers and users of information. His/her role becomes very important in this context as he/she is to satisfy the information needs of his/her customers. According to Ryan Womack, an information intermediary is the one who collects the required information, organizes it, and distributes to his/her clients or users. He/she does not create or generate or produce information but only mediates and establishes a link between the two.
3 CHARACERISTICS OF INFORMATION INTERMEDIATORS The importance and relevance of information intermediaries lies in their capabilities to successfully perform the following responsibilities: a) To satisfy the requirements of consumers and producers of information. b) To transfer the products and services between the producers and consumers of information. c) To possess adequate knowledge of the information sources and their usefulness. d) To have knowledge of technical aspects of information transfer. e) To have knowledge of the subject(s) in which they intend to work. f) To develop awareness of the users’ characteristics and the environment under which the users operate. g) To have knowledge of Internet sources and services. h) To possess effective communication skills. i) To have knowledge and skills for information retrieval and other search techniques. j) To have adequate mental capability to analyze and interpret users’ needs for information. k) To have such characteristics as being tactful, intelligent, imaginative, ingenious, curious, emphatic, persistent, energetic, technical sound, self-confident, and so on.
3 4 FUNCTIONS OF INFORMATION INTERMEDIARIES The key function of the information intermediaries is to provide sufficient information to the users as quickly as possible to meet their needs. In order to achieve their objectives, they perform the following main functions: 4.1 Searching Data and Information The information intermediaries are required to search data and information from various sources available, including the information producers. To fulfil this function they undertake the following activities: - Identify the users and their information needs. - Identify the data sources which may satisfy the information needs of users. - Develop search strategy for accessing the databases, either manually or electronically. - Search data from various physical formats of data, including the digital and virtual collections. - Evaluate the searched data and information. - Direct users, if need be, to other sources of data and information. The information intermediaries who carry out the above mentioned activities are also known by such names as Information Counsellor, Information Searcher, Reference Librarian, Information Professional, Technical Information Officer, Knowledge Manager, Knowledge Officer, etc.
4.2 Analysing Data and Information While performing this function, the information intermediaries have the need of research and analysis of data and information in various sources available in libraries, computer files, databases, web portals, etc. In order to do proper analysis, information intermediaries need to take up the following activities: - To do abstracting work of data and information. - To summarize the previously written materials. - To consolidate the information from various sources. - To generate computer outputs of analysed data and information. The information intermediaries who carry out the above mentioned activities are also known by such names as Analysis Specialist, Information Counsellor, Operations Analyst, Knowledge Resource Analyst, and so on.
4.3 Disseminating Information The information intermediaries are required to deliver the needed information in required form and format. For this purpose, they have to carry out the following activities: - To consolidate the required information. - To repackage the needed data and information. - To prepare the state-of-the-art reports. - To design and develop reviews, etc.4 The information intermediaries performing these activities are also known by such names as Information Analyst, Information Research Officer, Documentation Officer, etc. 4.4 Maintaining Contact with Information Providers The information intermediaries are required to maintain liaison with the producers and providers of information so as to keep themselves up to date regarding various trends. 4.5 Conducting Research of User Needs It is incumbent on the information intermediaries to undertake research in user needs, through user studies, etc., to find out solutions to the problems likely to crop up. 4.6 Gathering Material from Various Sources Information intermediaries have to take up the responsibility of collecting the requisite material from as many sources as possible, and prepare succinct notes about them and deliver to the users for their use, whatsoever.
4.7 Handling Enquiries from Media, Organizations, etc. It is incumbent on the information intermediaries to extend help by providing requisite information in handling various enquiries, from media, various organizations, and public at large and providing needed answers to them. 4.8 Spreading Information through Variety of Media Information intermediaries must take up upon them to spread the information through a variety of media so as to reach a large number of users. 4.9 Developing Range of Publications They must develop and expand the range of various types of publications, based on a variety of information for specialized markets, etc.
TYPES OF INFORMATION INTERMEDIARIES
Information intermediaries are mainly of two types. One is the profit making category of information intermediaries; while the other is non-profit making category. Let us discuss about these as follows:
5.1 Profit Making Information Intermediaries This category of information intermediaries includes those individuals or organizations that provide information after charging some payment. These include the following: 5.1.1 Information Brokers When the society acknowledged information as a commodity, more so a tradable commodity, the need for information brokers also took place. An information broker, according to Katz, “is a private individual or organization that sells…information”. But Keith Londrie believes that information broker does not sell 5 information as he is not actually “broker” of anything. He further states that information broker is more common with a lawyer or a doctor and charge a fee for professional services. However, information broker would invariably deal with specific questions and problems relating to information. In response to these questions, the information broker would usually prepare a list of citations of documents, or the actual information, that may help the user to find answers to the problem. .
1.1.1 Customers of Information Brokers The customers of information brokers usually include those individuals, firms, organizations, etc. that do not have their own library to depend upon for information when needed. They invariably approach such information brokers for any information useful to the users, as the brokers are a suitable link between the information producers and the users. They, therefore, work as the clearing houses for information, i.e., obtaining information from the sources and delivering to the needy users.
.1.1.2 Functions of Information Brokers Information brokers usually perform the following functions: 1. The information brokers usually deal with problems by providing the required information to answer such question from their users as may help solve their daily needs. Such queries do not take much time in responding to the satisfaction of the users.
2. Another function performed by information brokers is to deal with the complex type of questions which require more time, more research, and detailed information to satisfy the needs of the users.
3. In order to facilitate the use of information, the information brokers also provide translation services to their clients from unknown into the known language.
4. They also prepare current awareness services on the request of their customers. 5. From time to time, as the need arises, information brokers also compile bibliographies on the topics of their interest. The citations included may even show the market trends.
6. They prepare abstracts of the documents to facilitate easy use of information.
7. Sometimes the work of report writing on behalf of the users is also done by the information intermediaries.
8. Information intermediaries perform the job of conducting literature searches for their customers. The search may be manual or online, or a combination of both.
9. They also engage themselves in retrieving the specific facts or statistics from any non-classified source of information.
10. On the request of their customers, information intermediaries provide photocopies of published material. Thus, the services of information brokers are obtained by not one but a wide variety of organizations, including industries of various types and sizes, advertising agencies, media houses, publishing houses, corporate houses, business enterprises, and so on.
184.108.40.206 Types of Information Brokers Information brokers are of the following types:6 1. Independent Information Brokers: This type of information brokers include information consultants, freelance librarians, etc. They have been dealing in information and have adopted it as a profession. Therefore, they keep themselves busy in searching and researching information, analyse it, consolidate it, and repackage it for their users. They would generally charge a fee from their customers for providing such services. The fee charged, according to Katz, would be usually be based upon (a) time spent on the question or project, (b) direct costs from photocopying to online searches, and (c) miscellaneous costs, from typing and phone calls to travel.
2. Institutional Information Brokers: These information brokers are working from some organization or institution and provide services concerning them. They charge for most of the services which include online searching, compilation of document lists, current awareness services, document delivery, photocopying of published material, etc.
5.1.2 Information Consultants An information consultant may be a group of individuals, or a firm, which may further employ one or more information brokers or specialists in information related fields. In the words of Katz, information consultant “not only validates, but also evaluates, the information.” The specialists, as information consultants, do many things, but basically they act as consultants. In that capacity they advise the customers, on the basis of the best information sources, about the way to follow. The information consultants can play more important role, perhaps, in industrial environment, by providing useful information and advice about development of resources, or new product development, or process development, etc. Thus, they can help the customers in developing new skills and knowledge which can be put to profitable use. 220.127.116.11 Difference between Information Consultant and Information Broker From the above discussion, it is clear that there is a difference between the functions of an information consultant and an information broker. The major point of difference between the two is that while an information broker provides information to his customers only on demand, the information consultant, on the other hand, tells his customers what and how to do with information for his enterprise.
18.104.22.168 Objectives of Information Consultants Information consultants work to: - deliver requested information - provide solution to a given problem - carry out diagnosis that may redefine problem - offer recommendations - help implementation - build consensus and commitment - facilitate customer learning - improve organizational effectiveness
22.214.171.124 Functions of Information Consultants Information consultants are required to develop some special skills and competence to perform their functions effectively. Some of these functions are as follows:7 1. They would provide information to their customers as they know how to search required information from libraries, company files, and/or computer databases. 2. Information consultants generally specialize in a particular field such as business, medical, legal, or education, etc. They search for information in that field and provide information on the latest trends. 3. They know how to evaluate the searched information, decide about its value, and select only that which is wanted by the customers. 4. Sometimes they also compile information into detailed reports that their customers can understand and access easily for use.
5.1.3 Online Vendors A vendor is usually said to be an organization or individual supplier in a supply chain that markets and sells materials and /or services to an individual or organization. Online vendors, as defined in ERIC Thesaurus are those organizations that maintain databases and related software on their computer systems and sell online retrieval time to clients at multiple remote locations. Among the clients of these online vendors may be various types of libraries and information centres. These libraries, from time to time, may access the computerized databases of the online vendors, for such information is usually not available in their own resources. As information intermediaries, these vendors/suppliers of information serve as useful sources of external search services for various information centres, companies, and other organizations to answer the queries, in turn, of their users. Most of these online vendors are major global commercial services that are available online 24x7 through various dedicated telecommunication networks. They provide access to their databases after charging some fees for the purpose depending upon the use; while in some cases they charge membership fee for obtaining their search services. Some examples of such online vendors include: USA: OCLC, DIALOG, BRS UK: BLAISE, ESA-IRS India: Informatics 5.2 Non- Profit Making Information Intermediaries This category of information intermediaries provide information to the staff working in their parent institutions. Some of them are described as follows:
5.2.1 Technological Gatekeepers Since old times, scientists and other researchers have been consulting each other in common areas of research through personal contact, peer groups, etc. They have been exchanging information regarded very important and not easily available through documentary sources. Technological gatekeepers are one such type of information intermediaries. According to Psychology Dictionary, an online comprehensive dictionary, Technological gatekeepers may play a role which consists of channelling data regarding innovations into the establishment from the outside. 8 The individuals filling this role correspond with professionals inside and outside the establishment functioning as the conduit for new technical data. Technological gatekeepers are experts both in internal and external communication having much higher frequency of exposure to the professional literature, attending more conferences, and more professional affiliations. Allen termed some key persons who mediated between Research and Development (R&D) professionals and the outside world, as Technological Gatekeepers because they act as ‘gate’ through which information of external technologies flows into the R&D group. This is facilitated by developing good external contacts as well as making timely and extensive use of available information services. Whelan et al. put forward a more formal definition which explains that technological gatekeepers are those key individual technologists who strongly connected both to internal colleagues and external sources of information and who possess the ability to translate between the two systems.
126.96.36.199 Functions of Technological Gatekeepers Technological gatekeeper is a key node in the innovation process, i.e., acquiring, translating and disseminating external information to researchers throughout the organization. It may, however, be mentioned that the function of the Technological Gatekeepers is not limited only to the inflow of technical information. Gatekeeper role is vital to the organization, but their functions no longer be performed by a single individual. According to Whelan et al., Technological Gatekeepers essentially perform the following three functions: a) Acquisition: They perform the task of information acquisition from external sources. They scan the outside world for emerging scientific and technological developments relevant to the work of their researchers in the organization. b) Translation: Technological gatekeepers perform the task of translating the external information. It involves delivering external information in a way that ensures its use by researchers within the organization or R&D group. In other words, they make the technical information understandable and relevant to the research projects by translating it into a language known to researchers from other languages unknown to them. c) Dissemination: Gatekeepers perform the task of internal information dissemination. Although they may have their own use for the information they acquire, they are also keenly interested in passing it on to others in the organization for their use. Thus, the Technological Gatekeepers, usually repackage the external information for internal use by researchers in a format that is convenient to them.
188.8.131.52 Role of Technological Gatekeepers in Internet Era As a modern information intermediary, the role of Technological Gatekeepers has always been increasing to enhance scientific and technological research. It has further grown up in the present times of Internet. The concept as well as role of Technological Gatekeepers needs to be re-examined, according to Whelan et al., in the light of recent advances in Internet technologies.9 In view of the multifaceted growth of information in recent times due to, inter alia, diversification of branches of knowledge, and increasing number of narrow fields of interest, the concept of Technological Gatekeepers generated much interest in technological and innovation management literature. In the present scenario of changes in the field of information, no R&D organization can afford on its own to acquire the information relevant to its research projects. It has been found, on the basis of various studies, that the performance of development projects was significantly higher in R&D units with Technological Gatekeepers than those without them. Thus, development projects are more effectively linked to external information provided through intermediaries called Technological Gatekeepers. It underlines the need to redefine and reconsider the role of Technological Gatekeepers in the Internet era.
5.2.2 Information Officers/Librarians/Reference Librarians These are another type of non-profit making information intermediaries who offer services to meet the information needs of their users. Many research organizations, R&D units, educational institutions, etc. have on their rolls information officers/librarians/documentation officers/reference librarians who perform the function of information intermediaries. In view of the exponential growth of information, it may not be possible for researchers, scientists, educationists, etc. to access all the information published on their fields of interest. In the light of such a scenario, the role of information officer/librarian assumes all the more significance in rendering timely information to the users.
184.108.40.206 Functions/Services They perform the basic functions of acquiring, processing, and organizing the documents and information contained therein to facilitate access. Although they have been providing these services for a long time, but in the context of application of the modern information technologies, and their professional skills and competencies, they would be providing the following services to their customers: a. Indexing services b. Abstracting services c. Current awareness services d. Selective dissemination of information e. Information consolidation and repackaging f. Online information services For providing these and many more services, they would have to acquire, and further develop their professional knowledge, skills, and competencies. Their professional and personal skills would make them effective information officers/librarians/reference librarians. 5.2.3 Information Filters In recent years there has been tremendous growth of literature and information in all fields of knowledge. As a result of this growth and time constraints on the part of researchers and scientists, it has become well-nigh impossible to search for relevant sources, through a maze of information, required by them. The vastness of information creates problems for the users as they retrieve a large number of references to literature which makes it difficult to sift through and look for the most relevant citations. This calls for the need of an information intermediary who could do this job of filtering and provide them only the relevant citations.10 ‘Filters’ help define a search, and determine which possibilities the librarian will present to the user in response to a query. Earlier, in libraries and information centres, this function of ‘filtering’ had been performed by librarians/reference librarians. However, with the change in the nature of collection in libraries and information centres, developments of computerized databases, application of computers for storage and retrieval of information, users’ needs becoming more complex and subject oriented, new and more skilled intermediaries are required who are well equipped with the professional skills as well as subject knowledge. These intermediaries can use both manual and electronic method for the filtering process so as to focus only on the relevant information citations. While searching computerized databases and/or websites, they can make use of filters to restrict, delimit, or even block such information as is irrelevant for the potential users. The filtering software has made the filtering process very simple for the intermediaries to access electronic information. For example, SDI service keeps the researchers and scientists automatically updated by sending e-mails about the recently published information in their areas of interest. 220.127.116.11 Functions 1. These intermediaries will be able to perform the function of information filtering from the vast array of references, and thereby can overcome the problem of information overload. 2. These information intermediaries, while using filters, will be able to bring all the possible but relevant information resource to the notice of their users to the latter’s satisfaction. 3. They perform the function of an important link between the researchers and the information resources on all the possible subjects. 5.2.4 Invisible Colleges This is another type of information intermediary from which information is collected by researchers and scientists working in different fields, and which does not charge any fee for its services. According to Kronick, the concept of “Invisible College” is not very recent, as it has been described as a precursor group to the Royal Society of London, consisting of a number of natural philosophers who would share their ideas among themselves. He states that the concept was also used in the seventeenth century Europe letters. It is said that the concept of “invisible college” was recently developed in the sociology of science by Diana Crane in 1972 based on Derek J. de Solla Price’s work on citation networks. More recently, Wagner applied the concept to the global networks of communication among scientists. In the words of Crane, invisible college is a communication network of a subgroup of researchers within a research area. Thus the concept of “invisible college” refers to a community of scientific researchers who are working within a specific field of study that has some core issues in common. It is the name applied by some philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science to loose-knit but intercommunicating scientific research groups operating within a paradigm. According to Katz, the procedures in information gathering are, in most cases, common as mentioned below: 1. The first source of information used by subject experts is usually conversation with a friend who knows the subject matter. They value the informal personal contact next door, or may be through telephone, correspondence, contact at conferences, seminars, meetings, etc
.11 2. The low-cost communication over Internet has made e-mail a popular “invisible college” of today. A scientist may talk person to person over the Internet or use a Listserv or Usenet discussion group and make it one- to- many conversation. 3. The personal library of the researchers is another important source of information. It contains books, periodicals, newspaper clippings, and now a days even many reference sources on CD-ROMs or downloaded on personal discs.
4. The last dependable source of information is the reference librarian in their respective institutional libraries. The reference librarian, in turn, most likely, may have access to such databases that may provide the needed information not available elsewhere. Thus, such formal and informal groups of persons where members share their ideas, information, and knowledge are called invisible colleges. They adopt the role of helpful information intermediaries for sharing useful information on the subjects of their concern on an interpersonal level. 5.2.5 Extension Workers As information intermediaries, extension workers play a key role, particularly in rural areas. In most cases, they help in transferring information related to agricultural activities. Extension workers include agriculture agents, farm management advisors, extension service advisors, home economists, etc. The field of extension now covers a wider range of communication and learning activities organized mostly for rural people. These activities are mostly carried out by educators from different subject fields including agriculture, agricultural marketing, health, etc. Extension workers, throughout the world, usually work for government agencies. They are represented by several professional organizations, networks, etc. They are first trained by the research scientists, say in agriculture, about the latest know-how about farming, seeds, fertilizers, and so on, which information they further transfer to the needy people.
18.104.22.168 Objectives The extension workers usually work on the following aims and objectives: 1. To prepare and distribute leaflets, pamphlets, and visual aids for educational and informational purposes. 2. To collect and evaluate data in order to determine community programme needs. 3. To organize, advise, and participate in community activities and organizations such as fair events at local, state, and national levels. 4. To conduct classes and deliver lectures on subjects such as nutrition, home management, and farming techniques. 5. To maintain records of services provided and the effects of advice offered. 22.214.171.124 Functions In order to meet the objectives, the extension workers generally perform the following functions:12 a) Advisory Work: They would advise, instruct, and assist individuals and families engaged in agriculture, agriculture related processes, and home economics activities. They would respond to farmers’ enquiries regarding technical prescriptions. b) Technology Transfer: This function involves delivering specific recommendations to farmers about the practices they should adopt in their farming related activities. c) Instruction Work: The extension workers would instruct and train in product development, sales and the use of machinery and equipment to promote general welfare. d) Demonstration Work: It involves such work as to demonstrate procedures and apply research findings to solve problems. e) Human Resource Development: This function includes outreach activities of colleges and universities to give training to rural people. f) Facilitation of Empowerment: It involves experimental learning and farmer-to-farmer exchange. Knowledge is gained through interactive processes and participants are encouraged to take their own decisions to solve the problems. Thus the role of extension workers in transferring requisite information to most of the uneducated farmers, farm labourers, and other families has helped to improve the working of agriculture sector.
5.2.6 Expert Systems Expert systems have evolved from a long tradition of artificial intelligence (AI) research. Of all the branches of artificial intelligence, expert systems hold the greatest potential. Expert systems are regarded as the most promising artificial intelligence technology. They are also known as ‘intelligent systems’, or ‘knowledge systems’, or ‘knowledge-based systems’ because they are meant to manipulate knowledge to provide requisite information as to solve the problems. In the words of Ralph Alberico and Mary Micco, “An expert system is a group of computer programs, along with knowledge, information and database, which act together to simulate the problem-solving and decisionmaking processes of a human expert within a relatively narrow domain.” Therefore, the key feature of expert systems is that they involve modelling the thought processes of human experts who are very familiar with the given problem domain. This is possible because they comprise of a knowledge-base, and inference engine, and such other intellectual components which show reasoning and find solutions. As the use of computers is already there in electronic information retrieval systems, it was prudent to build some intelligence into the way the system searches for information. Until recently, most online searching was done by human intermediaries. The aim of expert systems, therefore, has been to augment the expertise of the intermediary for information retrieval. In this way, they will become quite useful for online searching by removing information bottlenecks, etc. There are many examples of developing programs for expert systems for practical applications of problemsolving. For example: a) In 1970, an expert system called PROSPECTOR was designed to make decisions in mineral exploration. It performed successfully at prospecting when it predicted some mineral deposit near a mountain in Washington State, USA.13 b) Similarly, MYCIN expert system was started in 1972 and completed in 1976. It was for infectious blood disease diagnosis and therapy recommendation. It can be stated that a wide variety of programs have been developed in many fields performing a range of tasks. Expert systems have a number of possible applications in libraries, such as acquisition, cataloguing, abstracting, indexing, classification, database searching, interlibrary loan, online information retrieval, etc. The library and information professionals can look forward to the time when they will be able to free themselves from the mundane tasks and spend more time for improving library and information services for their users.
SUMMARY The present Module discusses about the implications of all round information explosion restricting the access of scientists, researchers, etc., to the required information. This need has brought in individuals or groups known as information intermediaries who would serve as link between the producers and users of information including the traditional reference librarians. It briefly describes the characteristics and functions of information intermediaries. It further discusses about both the types of profit-making and non-profit making information intermediaries. It highlights the need and functions of various types of information intermediaries such as information brokers, information consultants, technological gatekeepers, online vendors, information filters, invisible colleges etc. It also discusses about expert systems which have recently developed as a result of the advances in information and communication technologies and have been operating successfully in various fields of knowledge including libraries and information centres.
GLOSSARY E Expert Systems : A group of computer programs that emulates the decision-making ability of a human expert. E Extension Workers : Those trained persons from different disciplines who collect and transfer information useful to people mostly in rural areas. I Information Brokers : An individual or organization that sells information for a fee. I Invisible Colleges : An informal group of researchers forming an unofficial network to share information in a specific field. T Technological Gatekeepers : A group of individuals in an organization who are connected to the outside sources of information and internal colleagues and help to link them.
14 REFERENCES Alberico, Ralph and Micco, Mary. Expert Systems for Reference and Information Retrieval. New York: Allen, T. J. “Organizational Aspects of Information Flow.” Aslib Proceedings 20, no. 11 (1968): 433-54. Chamberlain, Carol. “The Gatekeeper and Information.” Library Acquisition: Practice and Theory 15, (1991): 265-69. Crane, Diana. Invisible Colleges: Diffusion of Knowledge in Scientific Communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972. Duckitt, P. “The Intermediary Today and Tomorrow”. Aslib Proceedings 36, no. 2 (1984): 79-86. Gilchrist, Alan. “Library and Information Science Consultancy in the United Kingdom”. in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, edited by Allen Kent and others. New York: Marcel Dekker. 1999. Vol. 64, p. 211-18. Grove, Ralph F. “Expert Systems Development on the Internet”. in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, edited by Allen Kent and others. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2002. Vol. 72, p 192-206. Johnson, Alice. “Information Brokers”. in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, edited by Allen Kent and others. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1991. Vol.48, p. 171-76. Kronick, David A. “The Commerce of Letters: Networks and “Invisible Colleges” in Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century Europe”. The Library Quarterly 71, no. 1 (2001): 28-43. Londrie, Keith. “What is an Information Broker?.” Retrieved from http://www.info-resource.com/ Rugee, Sue and Glossbrenner, Alfred. The Information Broker’s Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: McGrawHill, 1995. Wagner, Caroline S. The New Invisible College: Science for Development. Washington D.C.: Brookling Press, 2008. Ward, Sandra. “Information Professionals for the Next Millennium.” Journal of Information Science 25, no. 4 (1999): 239-47. Whelan, Eoin, et al. “How Internet Technologies Impact Information Flows in R&D; Reconsidering the Technological Gatekeepers”. Retrieved from http://eprints.nuim.ie/3017/1/R&D_Management_Journal_ Paper.pdf Womack, Ryan. “Information Intermediaries and Optimal Distribution.” Library and Information Science Research 24, no. 2 (2002): 129-35.
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
True and False Statements 1. Information intermediaries are a vital link between the producers and users of information. True/False
2. Information intermediaries provide information for a fee only. True/False
3. Information brokers do not provide current awareness services. True/False
4. Online vendors are now accessible through Internet. True/False
5. Invisible colleges are not visible as information intermediaries. True/False
6. Expert Systems in libraries can be used in information retrieval only. True/False Multiple Choice Questions
7. Technological gatekeepers serve as a link between internal…… ..and external………. a. sources, producers b. users, sources c. activities, providers d. researchers, funders
8. Extension workers ……. a. advise and assist people b. demonstrate procedures, etc. c. instruct and train people d. all of the above
9. Invisible colleges are conceptualized as forming …… a. official b. semi-official c. unofficial d. none of the above
10. The objectives of information consultants include providing requested information, and…. a. provide solution to a problem b. build consensus c. improve effectiveness d. all of the above
11. To be effective information intermediaries they must possess ……..a. communication skills, capability to analyse data, searching capabilities, etc. b. knowledge of acquisition, cataloguing, classification, etc. c. good personality, good furniture, good building, etc. d. none of the above
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1. True 2. False 3. False 4. True 5. True 6. False 7. b 8. d 9. c 10. d 11. a