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Center for Content and Knowledge Engineering (CCKE)

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Positioning Information Science Utrecht Internationally 

Information science is being practiced in other countries under several different names and several different scientific headers. It is not always possible to draw the division lines precisely but, globally, there are three labels that, sometimes in combination, are adhered internationally to teaching and research that we consider information science:

  • Information Science, which, in most cases, is associated with 'library' (Library & Information Science, from which comes the much-used acronym LIS), was originally concerned with accessibility of information, and, consequently, also with the new media. The American Society for Information Science (ASIS), by the way, has been founded as early as 1937, their first area of interest being microfilms. Our form of information science, as explained above, is not precisely the equivalent of the foreign form of information science: it is considerably broader, although LIS, in practice, also broadens to areas that we consider information science.
  • Information Management (IM), includes knowledge management, but is also used in the much broader sense of rendering information within organizations, for business goals, accessible and manageable, wherein development of information systems, modeling, ICT-architecture, information retrieval, decision making and information planning can also play a role. Institutes that take all these aspects into consideration within their IM program almost completely overlap with the terrain of information science in their teaching and research.
  • Information Systems (IS) also exists as an academic discipline and is concerned with the acquisition, use and application of ICT means and services as well as the development of the technical infrastructure, all this in service of organizations. The difference with IM is mainly situated in a heavier accent on technical issues.

The CCKE is therefore most closely allied to 'Information Science' and 'Information Management'. For example, its program closely mirrors that of the Berkeley School of Information Management & Systems, which highlights the organizational and societal application of ICT. This recognizability is also translated into international contacts. Regularly, people from our institute collaborate with research groups at different universities (The University of Melbourne, School of Information Systems,  the University of Texas, School of Library and Information Science; the University of Maryland, Dept. for Information Systems;  the University of Poitiers, Lab. for Language and Cognition; Laboratory of Applied Ontology, University of Trento; the University of Brighton). Furthermore, there is active participation in the European Union (EU) research circuit by means of research requests and expert assessment of research proposals concerning the sixth framework program of the EU. Last but not least, members of our Information Science group participate in the editorship of scientific journals in the areas of information science and organizational science (e.g., Interacting with Computers).