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The “DIKW Hierarchy”, also known variously as the “Wisdom Hierarchy”, the “Knowledge Hierarchy”, the “Information Hierarchy”, and the “Knowledge Pyramid”, refers loosely to a class of models for representing structural and/or functional relationships between the content of communication (data, information, knowledge, and wisdom). — Wikipedia

Most writers about the hierarchy refer to this passage from T. S. Eliot’s The Rock.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? — T.S. Eliot, The Rock

Russell Ackoff popularized the hierarchy to categorize the content of communication.
From data to wisdom (Russell L. Ackoff, Journal of Applies Systems Analysis)
The wisdom of the world: Messages for the new millennium (Russell L. Ackoff, The Futurist)
On passing through 80 (Russell L. Ackoff, Systemic practice and action research)

See Communication, Data, Knowledge, Wisdom and Information Technology


These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



information : (1) facts, data (2) the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects (3) a signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data (4) something (as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct — Webster See also OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary


Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


Information in its most restricted technical sense is an ordered sequence of symbols that record or transmit a message. It can be recorded as signs, or conveyed as signals by waves. Information is any kind of event that affects the state of a dynamic system. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica



Information studies is an interdisciplinary field that involves assisting individuals, groups, and organizations in the location, storage, organization, and delivery of information in a timely and effective manner. A primary goal of the information professional is to study and develop information systems that fit information systems to the needs of the user rather than requiring the user to adapt to the information system. — Information Studies Wiki



Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. Practitioners within the field study the application and usage of knowledge in organizations, along with the interaction between people, organizations and any existing information systems, with the aim of creating, replacing, improving or understanding information systems. Information science is often (mistakenly) considered a branch of computer science. However, it is actually a broad, interdisciplinary field, incorporating not only aspects of computer science, but often diverse fields such as archival science, cognitive science, commerce, communications, law, library science, museology, management, mathematics, philosophy, public policy, and the social sciences. Information science focuses on understanding problems from the perspective of the stakeholders involved and then applying information and other technologies as needed. In other words, it tackles systemic problems first rather than individual pieces of technology within that system. — Wikipedia

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)
Library and Information Science Portal (Wikipedia)


Information Technology : the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data — Webster

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) : consists of all technical means used to handle information and aid communication, including computer and network hardware, communication middleware as well as necessary software. In other words, ICT consists of IT as well as telephony, broadcast media, all types of audio and video processing and transmission and network based control and monitoring functions — Webster

See also Information Technology


Information Economy is a term that characterizes an economy with an increased emphasis on informational activities and information industry. — Wikipedia

What is information economy (Business Dictionary)



James Gleick’s History of Information (Geoffrey Nunberg, New York Times)
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. (James Gleick)


Quotations Page


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library



Information Literacy : to be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information– Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report (Association of College and Research Libraries American Library Association)

ACRL Information literacy gateway (Association of College & Research Libraries)
Introduction to information literacy (Association of College & Research Libraries)
Information literacy portal (University of Idaho)
Information literacy standards (Association of College & Research Libraries)
Information literacy (Wikipedia)


Information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity. The knowledge economy is its economic counterpart whereby wealth is created through the economic exploitation of understanding. People that have the means to partake in this form of society are sometimes called digital citizens. — Wikipedia


Association for Computing Machinery, Information Week, NPR Archives







InformationWeek: InformationWeek: Connecting the Business Technology Community