Information and Society

Michael Buckland

We are frequently informed that we live in an information society. What does that signify, though? This book, part of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, provides a brief, casual explanation of the connections between society and information as well as our growing reliance on a complex variety of communications, records, documents, and data. Michael Buckland investigates the impact of information on our knowledge, the function of communication and recorded information in our daily lives, and the difficulty (or ease) of locating information by using it in its general, non-specialized sense. He demonstrates how social behavior, evolving technology, and trust-related difficulties affect all of this.

According to Buckland, every society is an “information society,” and the idea of a “non-information society” is absurd. But our culture has become particularly information-intensive due to the move away from verbal and gestural communication and to written communication, which has been made possible by new technology. In his book, Buckland explains the remarkable long-term growth of documents, describes the increasing stream of data, documents, and records, and chronicles the development of strategies to deal with them. He looks at how information manifests itself physically as documents, how data sets form, and how information is found and used. He investigates how people and societies use information, provides a basic overview of how collected documents are organized and described, takes into account the nature of naming, explains the functions of metadata, and assesses selection techniques by taking relevance, recall, and precision into account.