Introduction to Library and Information Science/Annotation of Saracevic, T. "Relevance: A Review of and a Framework for the Thinking on the Notion of Information Science."

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Saracevic,T. “Relevance: A Review of and a Framework for the Thinking on the Notion in Information Science.” Journal of the American Society or Information Science 26 (1975): 321-343.

Information science has at its core the concept of “Relevance”, which is a subjective notion. Relevance is defined broadly as a measurement of the effectiveness of an exchange or contact of information between a source and a user, all based on the differing views of what constitutes effective communication. This concept is the basis for how entire information retrieval systems are designed and utilized. There are many differing views on what this means, but all of them are somewhat related and interconnected regardless of how they are defined or utilized. The author describes in great detail, the framework for these differing views and the underlying philosophies behind each concept of what constitutes effective communication. He argues that all of these differing constructs are incomplete, (yet correct); depending on where one starts their examination of the communication process. He ends his paper with an appropriate call for more study on the subject. His paper is a recap of the opposing arguments of three decades ago, but in fact is more important now than ever before, as new information systems come on line and into being (the internet, the electronic database, funding for collections, etc.), and are all based on an incomplete definition of “effective communication”.