Information science is a term that refers to interdisciplinary research. This science involves the collection, analysis, and categorization of various types of information as well as the storage and retrieval of it. This type of science also involves the dispersing, use, and management of information. Sometimes people think of information science as a computer science category. Information science, however, actually includes some parts of computer science under its umbrella as well as a range of fields that span from archival science and law to library science and mathematics.
When a person studies information science, he attempts to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of problems people and companies face in collecting, storing, analyzing, retrieving, and using information. This field of science also involves using technology and developing systems to deal with such problems. For example, an information scientist may design and implement database systems for the collection, storage, and retrieval of information.
There is a range of topics that fall under the heading of information science. They include such things as information ethics and information architecture. Information ethics involves the investigation of ethics as they relate to information technologies. Some of the things that are involved in information ethics are privacy issues and those related to the life cycle of information. Information architecture, however, refers to information structuring; it involves the organization and categorization of information so it is easy to use.
Human-computer interaction and groupware are also information science topics. Human-computer interaction is the study of the manner in which human beings interact with computers. Groupware, on the other hand, refers to software that helps people to work together to accomplish tasks. For example, calendaring and e-mail programs fall under this heading. Likewise, text chat software is referred to as groupware.
Often, those who decide to pursue careers in information science do so because they are interested in the relationship between technology and applied science as well as how these subjects have affected society. Those who commit to careers in this field are often prepared to spend the span of their careers working to increase their knowledge and understanding of these subjects. There are many information science careers a person may pursue. For example, a person may go into a technical services field and work to provide support services to people who seek to retrieve and use information from catalogs and indexes. Some people interested in this field may even work as information brokers, researching and retrieving information for others who need it in exchange for a fee.