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Information Management - Definition and Scope

What is "Information management"?
By Leonard D. Will and Sheena E. Will
This interdisciplinary field draws on and combines skills and resources from librarianship and information science, information technology, records management, archives and general management. Its focus is information as a resource, independently of the physical form in which it occurs. Books and periodicals, data stored on local or remote computers, microforms, audio-visual media and the information in people's heads are all within its scope. Some of the main topics practitioners are concerned with are:
·         classification and coding
·         subject indexing
·         construction and use of thesauri and controlled vocabularies
·         cataloguing and indexing by names, places, and events
·         database design and data structures
·         physical storage of books and records, in paper and electronic form
·         storage of photographic and digitized images
·         information audits: reviews of an organization's information resources
·         documentation of museum objects, both for management purposes and as a resource for scholarship.
There was an interesting discussion of the definition of "information management" on an Australian mailing list in 2007 (the list archives are unfortunately no longer available). In this discussion, Barbara Laffan quoted the following definition:
"Information Management describes the means by which an organisation efficiently plans, collects, organises, uses, controls, disseminates and disposes of its information, and through which it ensures that the value of that information is identified and exploited to the fullest extent."
This comes from the [Queensland] Information Planning Branch (IPB) Information Standards. Information Standard No. 24 is titled 'Policies for the management of information within government'.
Analogies were proposed in this discussion by Bernard Robertson-Dunn who suggested that:
Information Management = writing
Information Systems = publishing
Information Technology = printing
Each have their own issues, but in the end it is the content of the writing that is important and which drives the requirement for the others.
There is a further discussion in a paper by Richard E. Barry, "Managing Distinctions: Enterprise Information, Document, Records, Knowledge and Content Management" (Records and Information Management Review (RIMR), February 2002), which also makes the distinction between information management and information technology.
Competency profile: information resources for management specialists in archives, libraries and records management: a comprehensive cross-sectoral competency analysis / by Céline Gendron.

This competency profile represents an overall view of the work elements involved in positions held by professionals and technicians working as information resources specialists. For various reasons, it is possible to fit these positions, whether in libraries, archives or records management, to a common profile.