Information products


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Information products

  1. 1. INFORMATION PRODUCTS Mohit Kumar Senior Research Fellow Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) Library Avenue, Pusa, New Delhi
  2. 2. Introduction Information is an important commodity and a vital resource needed for development in addition to other resources. The accessibility of the information to its potential user is possible only if it is available in organized and consolidated form. The information products issued by industrial, commercial, public service, or similar organizations, as promotional material for the target audience. These products are newsletters, house journals, Trend reportand state- of –the- art –report ,etc. 1
  3. 3. INFORMATION PRODUCTS A product generated out of services to be provided to the users. It is a kind of consolidation and presentation process giving tangibility to information. Information publication often simple in format and crisp in style provides special information for a defined audience. 2
  4. 4.   TYPES OF INFORAMTION PRODUCTS        Libraries and information centers offer today a variety of information products and services keeping in view the demand for information from different categories of users. Some of these varieties of information products are: Information newsletters In house journals. State-of-the-art reports Trend report Technical reports Patents Standards, etc. 3
  5. 5. Newsletter A regular publication focused on a particular subject, such as the news of a special interest group. It may have announcements and events listings. It may be in print or sent via electronic mail. Newsletters are published by societies, associations, companies, etc. to provide information of interest to their members or employees. Some newsletters are created as money-making ventures and sold directly to subscribers. 4
  6. 6. Newsletter can be defined as “a serial consisting of one or a few pages in print, electronic or any other form, containing recent information or news which is of interest to a special or particular group of users and which is published periodically . Organizations often issue newsletters to members or subscribers”. According to Encyclopaedia of Britannica, Newsletters are publication issued by organizations, often simple in format and crisp in style, that provides special information for a defined audience. Ex . OCLC Newsletter, IASLIC Newsletter. 5
  7. 7. Types of Newsletters Newsletters can be categorized into different types based on the publishing organizations such as:  R&D Organizations (National and International);  Associations (National and International);  Government Organizations;  Public Sector Undertakings;  Private Institutions; and  Academic Institutions, etc. 6
  8. 8. Functions Newsletters are publications, which are simple in format and provide speedy information for a definite group of audience. The newsletters are relatively easy, fast and inexpensive to produce. The Newsletter serves as a medium to: Publicize or promote products and services of the institutions; Announce current and forthcoming events like conferences, seminars or workshops; and Communicate information about social and cultural activities, personnel information , appointments, promotions, transfers, retirements, obituaries, etc. of the concerned institution(s). 7
  9. 9. Electronic Newsletters Newsletters published and distributed electronically over the computer networks are known as electronic newsletters. ENewsletters started appearing in 1990s and have proliferated since then. These are distributed by e-mail to people who voluntarily subscribe to them online. Initially, e-newsletters contained hyperlinks to web pages – a method employed by website operators to draw users to their sites. E-mail newsletters are convenient and delivered straight to the user’s information desk;  E-mail newsletters have timely information and real-time delivery;  E-mail. newsletters are informative and keep users up-to-date 8
  10. 10. STATE-OF-THE-ART REPORT  A product, system, or design that represents the most advanced degree if technical achievement in its field at the present time. In the construction of new facilities, libraries typically strive for state-of-the-art design and technology but must often settle fir what is financially feasible.  The state-of-the-art reports are of several types. They vary marginally in the presentation of the content. However their main purpose is to present consolidated information available in various forms and to repackage the same in a condensed form for the users. 9
  11. 11. Conti…. The need for consulting this type of source arises when a particular user desire to know about the development of a particular area in which he has not been interested so long. This requires basically consolidation work. This category of reference source is generally serial publications but they differ in frequency and format subject periodicals having regular frequency. They contain articles dealing with current and significant trends of development in a specific field. They are compiled from primary sources but are arranged according to some definite plan. 11 10 10
  12. 12. Conti…. They deal with already published knowledge in a more organized and systematic way, they are more frequently referred to than the primary sources because they provide organized and consolidated information in useful packages which are self-sufficient. They are published periodically to present in a suitable form, analysis of the progress made through research and practice. The state-of-the-art reports can be grouped into three categories (for the sake of convenience). Reviews and Surveys: – ex. Reviews: Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. – Surveys: National Readership Survey’ Annual. London:- National Readership Surveys Ltd.,1989. Advances and Progresses: •ex. Advances: Advances in Librarianship. New York: Seminar Press, 1971. Trend Reports. – Ex. Trends in cancer Research. New York: World Health 11 Organization (1996).
  13. 13. TREND REPORTS A trend Report is one such tool which is designed to help the specialist reader by acquainting them with the recent developments and research conducted in the particular subject. So they can utilize their time more effectively in research. According to M.A.Gopinath “a trend report is an exposition of a subject, giving an account of general direction of research in the subject based on the review of the documents on current developments. The trend report helps the specialist reader in productive utilization of his time and in conversation of the research potential.” 12
  14. 14. Conti…. The main purpose of a Trend Report is to fulfill the specific information requirement of a specialist reader on a particular subject. It provides an account of the general direction of research in the subject based on a review of the documents on current developments. Trend report is a highly useful IAC (Information Analysis and Consolidation) product, which facilitates the specialists in their research work. These may be adhoc documents in a particular subject or sometimes serial publications. It provides first hand information about the research and documents on current development work that are being carried out in a country or through the world, in a consolidated form. This saves the time of the researcher, which can be utilized effectively for the research work. Trend reports are generally produced in house by various R & D organizations. 13
  15. 15. Conti… The Trend Reports are also produced by International organizations like World Bank. UNESCO, FAO etc. and by other commercial publishers. Examples of Trend Reports: FAO (1979) Development and Forest Resources in the Asia and Far East Region: Trend and Perspectives. Rome: FAO. World Bank. (1989). Trend in Developing Economics 1989. Washington D.C.: World Bank. 14
  16. 16. IN-HOUSE JOURNALS In-house journal is a serial publication issued by an industrial, commercial, public service or a similar organization to inform the public of its performance and style of functioning. It also serves as a medium to know the reaction and opinion of the public about its performance. For an organization, the public consists of its employees, customers, dealers, retailers of its products, its shareholders, and the government that have social control over it. 15
  17. 17. Conti… The functions of the house journal are to:  Improve business and industrial relations;  Keep employees and customers in the picture;  Serve as useful platform for communicating management’s views;  Promote and enhance the image of the management as well as of the organization among its employees and customers; and  Provide an objective news service. 16
  18. 18. Types of House Journals     There are three broad categories of house journals – Internal, External and Combinations of both. Internal house journal is published for employees or members of the organization, whereas external house journal is brought out for customers or potential customers of the organization. Combination publications try to do both. 17
  19. 19. Internal House Journal Internal house journal is brought out for the employees of the organization and is meant for internal circulation. Its prime aim is to keep the employees of the organization informed of the welfare measures and the concern of the organization for its employees. It also aims at providing a forum for the employees to express their views including their grievances. Therefore, it serves as a forum for a two-way communication, thereby promoting the healthy growth of an organization. Ex . NCR world , John H. Patterson, United Nation, 1887. 18
  20. 20. External House Journal The external house journals are designed for customers or potential customers of an organization and are meant for external circulation. Based upon their contents, they can further be broadly grouped into three categories:  The first category is that of a scholarly journal and can be equated in almost every respect with a standard technical journal;  The second category is the magazine. This contains general non-technical information and information about products of the organization, without technical details. 19
  21. 21. Conti…  The third category is the periodical catalogue, which is similar to a trade catalogue. The basic difference between this and the trade catalogue is, that the former is issued under the same title at regular intervals, just like a periodical publication. Ex. The Travelers Insurance, Companies at Hartford, 1865. Characteristics of House Journals  They are produced by the sponsoring organization for enhancing the image of the organization and for promoting its products and services, 20
  22. 22. Conti…  They are usually distributed free to the employees and potential customers;  Financial support is provided through budget allocation by the sponsoring organization;  They carry no advertisements except that of the sponsoring organization; and  They are printed on good quality art paper and are usually colourful and attractive. 21
  23. 23. Bibliographies A bibliography is an organized list of primary or other sources related to a given subject(s) or persons. It is usually arranged alphabetically by author or chronologically or topic-wise. It may be comprehensive or selective. It may be published as a part of large work or separate work. The basic aim of a bibliography is to assist the user in locating the existence of or identifying a book or any other material which may be of interest to him. A well prepared bibliography provide a definitive coverage of a document over a period of time within specified limits. Ex. ASLIB book list: monthly list of recommended scientific & technical book with annotations, London, ASLIB, Vol.11935-monthly, 22
  24. 24. Types of Bibliographies           Commonly recognized types of systematic bibliography are given bellow: Universal bibliography (including printing catalogue of great national libraries) (e.g. bibliotheca universalis). National bibliography (e.g. Indian national bibliography). Trade bibliography (e.g. Cumulative book index, Indian book in print). Bibliography of anonymous and pseudonymous work (Dictionary of anonymous and pseudonymous literature). Selective or elective bibliography (e.g. World’s best book). List of periodicals (Ulrich’s internationals periodical's directory). List of theses, dissertation (e.g. Indian dissertation abstract). Author bibliography (e.g. Chaucer: a bibliography manual). Subject bibliography (e.g. Library literature) Bibliography of bibliographies (e.g. bibliographic index). 23
  25. 25. Reviews A review is a survey of primary literature. It aim to digest and correlate the literature over a given period. It also indicates the developments and trends in the field concerned. It may appear as a collection of papers on regular basis (annual or quarterly or monthly) or in the form of an article in the periodical. A review provides background information to a new problem in a suitable from and serves as a key to literature. Ex. Advances in nuclear science and technology, 1962-, New York Academic Press, Irregular. 24
  26. 26. Directories A directory is a list of names and addresses of persons, organizations, manufactures, or periodicals. It may list information in way which best service the requirements of its users so as to enable them to get the required information readily. The word directory may or may not appear in the title. A directory is define “ a list of persons or organization systematically arranged, usually in alphabetic or classed order, giving addresses, affiliation, etc., for individuals and addresses, officers, functions, and similar data for organization.” Ex. World of learning, 1947-, Annual. 25
  27. 27. Types of Directories We may recognize the following types of directories:  General: International, national/regional, local.  Others: Scientific and learned societies, trade, professions, etc. Publishers Majority of directories are brought out by commercial firms. Telephone companies also publish a very large number of directories. Government agencies form a large publisher in this area. Associations bring out directories relating to their members. 26
  28. 28. Indexing and Abstracting Periodicals An Indexing Periodical is a regularly issued compilation of titles of articles that appear in current primary source journals, Generally , titles of new books, pamphlets,etc.,are also included. Ex. Applied science and technology index, New York, Wilson, 1913-, Monthly. An Abstracting Periodicals “ is a regularly issued compilation of concise summaries of (1) significant articles that appear in current primary source journals, and (2) important new research monograph, reports, patents, and other primary source publications in that field.” An Abstracting Periodical serves as an index, a tool for retrieval of information on a specific subject and provides survey of information on a specific subject and provide survey of current state of the art about the specific subject. Ex. Indian science abstract, Delhi, Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre ,Vol.1-,1965-, Monthly. 27
  29. 29. Bibliography of bibliographies A Bibliography of bibliographies lists of Bibliographies which direct readers to useful bibliographies through subject , name of an individual place, institutions etc. The bibliographies referred to may be in the form of a separately published book or part of the book or part of a periodical article or some other type of document. As the number of bibliographies published every year is large, therefore, Bibliography of bibliographies are highly selective in nature. Ex. Bibliographic index , cumulative Bibliography of bibliographies , 1937-, New York, Wilson, 1938. 28
  30. 30. Union Catalogues A Union Catalogue is an important tool for a librarian. It is “ a Catalogue listing in one sequence the holdings or part of the holdings two or more libraries.” we may recognize local, regional and national union catalogues. Further division may be done on the basis of the kinds of material included, e.g., books, periodicals, films, etc. Functions A Union Catalogue can serve the following function:  To serve as a tool for the location of a document  To identify a given document for which bibliographic information is provided. 29
  31. 31. Conti…  To help in inter library loan  To serve as a tool for selection of documents  To help to achieve coordination in the acquisition and selection programme of a group of libraries  To reveal the total document resources of libraries in a given geographical region, thereby indicating the strengths and weaknesses of the holdings in that area.  Ex. Union Catalogue of learned periodical publications in South Asia, compiled by S. R. Ranganathan, etc.,vol.1: physical and biological sciences, Delhi, ILA,1953. 30
  32. 32. Conclusion Information products (Newsletters, In- house journal, trend reports, State-of-the-art reports etc.) plays important role in specific field because they provides the bird’s eye view of a subject. Information explosion and availability of information in variety of languages and formats creates problems for their effective use. Information consolidation and repackaging can solve these problems to a great extent. Newsletters, In- house journal, trend reports, State-of-the-art report etc. are examples of information consolidation and repackaging which can overcome the barriers in the use of information. 31
  33. 33. References: 1. Ane’s Encyclopedia dictionary of Library and Information Science. vol.2,Dr.Amjad Ali, 2006. 2. Encyclopaedia of Britannica, v.8, p.661,1768. 3. Krishan Kumar ,Reference services, 4th rev. ed., 1991. 4. Pauline. Handbook for information systems and Services. Paris: UNESCO, 1977. 32
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