Cogent Communication: Overcoming Reading Overload

By Charles L. Bernier; A. Neil Yerkey | Go to book overview

2
Problems of Information Science

The principal problem pursued by information scientists for the past thirty-four years stems from a pervasive belief in the inadequacy and dearth of indexes. The year 1945 has been taken as a starting point for intensive research in information science (although much thought and effort have been invested in the improvement of information systems for centuries-- even millennia) because of Bush paper "As We May Think." Thirty-four years ago, Vannevar Bush in his classic article on the Memex ( Bush 1945), on the surface, seemed to indicate indexing to be the major problem. A closer examination of the article reveals the major problems to be scatter and a lack of organization of data. The false rationale behind the perceived problem became, in effect, "Since we can't find what we want and need in the literature, we need more and better indexes." This error became translated into the problem of how to design "in formation-retrieval systems." "Information" was defined, usually implicitly as conclusions, data, items, and the like, in printed matter. Overlooked were the fact that one man's "information" was another man's "irrelevant material," that information is a change in the central nervous system (CNS); and that professional people were drowning in relevant material that they had no time to read. Messages that changed the CNS were confused with the changes in the CNS. Information is not a mysterious essence that can be squeezed out of library

-18-

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Cogent Communication: Overcoming Reading Overload
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 3
  • 2 - Problems of Information Science 18
  • 3 - Reading Overload Awareness 31
  • 4 - Overcoming Reading Overload 45
  • 5 - Indexing 57
  • 6 - Condensed Surrogates 64
  • 7 - Organization of Surrogates 81
  • 8 - Selective Dissemination of Surrogates 92
  • 9 - Assimilating, Remembering, and Integrating 99
  • 10 - Complex Terse Literatures and Ultraterse Literatures 109
  • 11 - Message Diffusion 118
  • 12 - The Research and Development Helix 129
  • 13 - Access 140
  • 14 - The Psychological Basis for Cogency 149
  • 15 - The Source in Cogency 167
  • 16 - The Message in Cogency 180
  • 17 - The Receiver in Cogency 196
  • 18 - Reading and Doing 208
  • Appendix: Collectanea of Terse Conclusions 221
  • Bibliography 243
  • Index 255
  • About the Authors 281
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