After Google, What? Information Management and the Academic Enterprise in a Networked Digital Age
Universities are knowledge organizations. Amongst their essential products one counts graduates who are accredited to establish some place for themselves in social and professional hierarchies; and research that powers economic innovation, government and public policy, and cultural and educational understanding. Both of these products depend upon the university’s massive consumption and production of information and thus on sound processes that enable its creation, management, discovery, distribution and use. These processes are not only mission critical, they are essential means by which universities distinguish themselves from one another and compete effectively in a market place where good students and good faculty are keys to its reputation and revenue growth. Yet while a university’s information management processes are mission critical, they are increasingly obsolete. They are held over from an era when information circulated in analog formats and where access to it was largely determined by one’s physical location. These same processes are increasingly dysfunctional in a world in which massive quantities of information can easily and instantaneously be “published”, discovered and transmitted.
This course evaluates trends in the information industry and how they impact upon the academic enterprise that is so heavily reliant upon outmoded forms of control over the production and flow of information. It will look in at a number of challenges in particular, including:
- the constantly evolving information needs of faculty, researchers, and students
- the changing the economics of scholarly publishing and emerging new norms of scholarly communication
- digital preservation or rather the stewardship of and entitlement to access online information that supports or results from research and learning
- the role, governance, and funding of academic libraries and campus-based information services
The course will be practically oriented and informed throughout with lectures from leading practitioners in areas under consideration.