Cosma / Communication / Information

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world — Margaret Mead




I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way. — Franklin P. Adams


information : (1) a signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data (2) something (such as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (such as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct — Webster

Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, OneLook


ASIS thesaurus of information science and librarianship (J. L. Milstead Ed., 1994)

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


Information is expressed either as the content of a message or through direct or indirect observation. That which is perceived can be construed as a message in its own right, and in that sense, information is always conveyed as the content of a message. Information can be encoded into various forms for transmission and interpretation (for example, information may be encoded into a sequence of signs, or transmitted via a signal). It can also be encrypted for safe storage and communication. Information can be transmitted in time, via data storage, and space, via communication and telecommunication. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica



I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way. — Franklin P. Adams




Information theoryis a mathematical representation of the conditions and parameters affecting the transmission and processing of information. Most closely associated with the work of the American electrical engineer Claude Shannon in the mid-20th century, information theory is chiefly of interest to communication engineers, though some of the concepts have been adopted and used in such fields as psychology and linguistics. Information theory overlaps heavily with communication theory, but it is more oriented toward the fundamental limitations on the processing and communication of information and less oriented toward the detailed operation of particular devices. — Encyclopædia Britannica

Claude E. Shannon (IEEE Information Theory Society)
A Short Course in Information Theory (David J.C. MacKay)


Information system (IS) is a formal organizational system designed to collect, process, store, and distribute information. From a sociotechnical perspective, information systems are composed by four components: task, people, structure (or roles), and technology. Information systems can be defined as an integration of components for collection, storage and processing of data of which the data is used to provide information, contribute to knowledge as well as digital products that facilitate decision making. — Wikipedia

The analysis design and implementation of information systems (Henry C Lucas Jr.)
Systems analysis for applications software design (David B. Brown and Jeffrey A. Herbanek)

Information Systems Course (Gregory Gardner, Modern States)
Information Systems (Open Textbook Network)




Information science is a discipline that deals with the processes of storing and transferring information. It brings together concepts and methods from disciplines such as library science, computer science and engineering, linguistics, and psychology in order to develop techniques and devices to aid in the handling—that is, in the collection, organization, storage, retrieval, interpretation, and use—of information. The transfer of information through time requires the existence of some storage medium, which is designated a document—hence the term documentation. — Encyclopædia Britannica

What is Information Science (Association for Information Science and Technology)
IS Education and Training (Information Science Virtual Library, University of Illinois Library)
Information Science (OER Commons)


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 an economy with an increased emphasis on informational activities and information industry. In a typical conceptualization, information economy is considered a “stage” or “phase” of an economy, coming after stages of hunting, agriculture, and manufacturing. This conceptualization can be widely observed regarding information society, a closely related but wider concept. — Wikipedia

Disrupting the global economy: how information changes the way we live and work (James Manyika and Eric Schmidt, With the Economist)
The economics of information (Kenneth J. Arrow)
Economics and information: Toward a new (and more sustainable) worldview (Robert E. Babe Babe,, Canadian Journal of Communication)
Information economics (Wikipedia)




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

Information technology and civilization (J Inose, K Kobayasni and J R Pierce)

Historical Studies in Information Science: an emerging unidiscipline (Michael K. Buckland and Trudi B.o Hahn)
Historical studies in information science (Michael K. Buckland and Trudi B. O. Hahn)
Proceedings of the 1998 conference on the history and heritage of science information systems (Mary E. Bowden, Trudi B. Hahn and Robert V. Williams, Eds.)
A History of information science, 1945-1985 (Dorothy B. Lilley and Ronald W. Trice)


Quotations Page


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



We have an opportunity for everyone in the world to have access to all the world’s information. This has never before been possible. Why is ubiquitous information so profound? It’s a tremendous equalizer. Information is power. — Eric Schmidt, University of Pennsylvania Commencement Address, 2009


Information literacy empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion in all nations. — United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Alexandria Proclamation on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. — American Library Association, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Association of College & Research Libraries, American Library Association)
Information literacy (Wikipedia)

MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources


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


Information Week








The DIKW pyramid, also known variously as the DIKW hierarchy, wisdom hierarchy, knowledge hierarchy, information hierarchy, information pyramid, and the data pyramid, refers loosely to a class of models for representing purported structural and/or functional relationships between the communication content types of 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)
On passing through 80 (Russell L. Ackoff, Systemic practice and action research)



These are links to pages about closely related subjects.

DIKW Content Hierarchy

Communication, Content, Data, Knowledge and Wisdom



1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.