Paul T. Jaeger
iSchool at Maryland
This integrative course is the first of a two-semester sequence of INST 888. Serving as your introduction to the field of Information Studies (aka, Library and Information Studies,
Information Science, the iField, and several other things, depending on who you ask) and research about information, both semesters of the course will present an overview of intellectual
foundations, key areas of research, methods, and theories used in the study of information. While it is impossible to capture the breadth of an entire academic field in the course of two semesters, this course will provide you with a foundation by which you can begin to understand the breadth and depth of this interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field.
Building on the first semester focus on foundations, users, technologies, and systems related to information and information research, this second semester of INST 888 will focus on two key perspectives by which to examine and conduct research about information. First, it will discuss the different types of contexts that information research can be used to study, from access to ethics and values and from education to public policy. Second, the spring semester will focus research about the institutions that are central to providing information access in society, ranging from the venerable public library to the omnipresent Internet. Most weeks address interrelated comments and institutions, and each week’s readings will introduce research, methods, and theories relevant to the topic. By the end of this semester, students will have a sense of the scope of the field to ensure that they have a solid foundation on which to build their own research as they progress through the doctoral program.
No required textbook.