Message from the Head of Department
Welcome to our Department of Information Science.
The information explosion together with developments in technology have led to the convergence of traditional communication media and turned the Information Era into a web of integrated communication connections. This integration of paper publications, broadcast media and the web has given rise to a whole new generation of opportunities and careers and necessitates the training of information intermediaries and content producers. You can become part of this highly competitive and futuristic environment by enrolling for one of our exciting degrees. Become an information specialist, knowledge manager, multimedia developer or publisher.
B IS (Information Science) – Develop skills in the management, organisation and retrieval of the most important resource of an enterprise – information and knowledge.
B IS (Multimedia) – IT solutions require both creativity and logical thinking. Multimedia consolidates technology, art and design.
B IS (Publishing) – We train a new generation of publishers who create information products to fulfil the leisure, learning and instructional needs of readers both locally and internationally.
All our programmes are also available at postgraduate level. We have dedicated staff who, through on-going research, keep abreast of new developments in our specialised fields of study.
The Department is one of the three departments in the School of Information Technology (SIT). The other two departments are Computer Science and Informatics; see http://www.up.ac.za/school-of-information-technology. SIT was established in 1998 and since 2000 SIT has been housed in the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT). The three departments joined forces in 1999 to offer a joint coursework Master's programme, the M.IT, currently known as the M.IT Stream A, to distinguish it from the Carnegie-funded M.IT Stream B, as well as a four-year Bachelor's programme, the B.IT.
Our Department was awarded a grant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to offer a Master's programme for qualified librarians from academic libraries from specified sub-Saharan African countries, for the period 2011 – 2014, focussing on knowledge and skills in ICTs, viz. the M.IT Stream B programme. This programme makes use of a blended teaching model, using technology-mediated lectures through audio-conferencing and the University of Pretoria (UP) learning management system, as well as four on-site block lecturing periods, two of which take place in Pretoria and the other two at our two partner institutes in the USA and Uganda.
We were awarded a second grant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to offer eight four-week residential continuing professional development (CPD) programmes for qualified librarians from specified countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for the period 2014 – 2016, focussing on hands-on ICT skills. The training takes place in Pretoria.
Our Department also hosts a research centre, the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE). In 2007, a group of international academics in the fields of Information Science, Information Technology, Philosophy and Politics came together to form an academic network to do research on Information Ethics. This network is now known as the African Network on Information Ethics (ANIE). ANIE identified a gap in the academic representation of the African continent on the global stage, specifically pertaining to Information Ethics, and therefore started organising events to stimulate research on Information Ethics in Africa. The result of these activities and international collaboration has led to a partnership with the South African National Department of Communications (the DoC), the United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) and various universities across Africa. This collaboration contributed to the establishment of the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE), currently funded through a grant from the DoC for the period 2011 – 2014.
We organise our research in four research focus areas, viz.: Information and knowledge management, Information organisation and retrieval, the Meta-context of information and Publishing studies. Our staff are very active researchers, publishing widely in international and local accredited journals, presenting many papers at conferences and producing many other research outputs of a high international standard. Staff regularly travel abroad for research visits and/or to present papers at international conferences. Through our research and teaching we have built up a wide international network of collaborators. Staff serve on the editorial boards of many journals and are active in the management structures of a number of local and international scholarly organisations.
Come join this exciting new world of Information Science in all its facets.
Prof Archie Dick
Head: Department of Information Science
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