Southern Miss School of Library & Information Science
LIS 651: Foundations of Information Science
Online, Fall 2013

Teresa S. Welsh, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Southern Miss School of Library & Information Science
Cook Library, Room 206H
Office Hours: Mon-Thurs, 1:30-4:30pm or by appointment
Phone: 601.296.0528 or

Course Description
This 3 hour course is a survey of information science as a field of study; it examines the role of the library as an information transfer model and the associated implications to the profession and the future.

Required Texts may be purchased from USM Textbooks or another source such as Barnes & Noble or
Introduction to Information Science and Technology (2011)
edited by Charles H. Davis & Debora Shaw

Course Goals: ALA Core Competencies 1: Foundations of the Profession and 6: Research

1i. The techniques used to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions.

6b. The central research findings and research literature of the field.

6c. The principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.

Course Objectives
  1. To develop an understanding of basic practical and theoretical concepts of the nature of information

  2. To develop an understanding of the history and development of information science

  3. To apply bibliometric methodology as an evaluative research tool for author, document, literature or journal analysis

  4. To evaluate and discuss issues of information policy, information economics, professional roles and ethics within the context of library and information science

  5. To develop an understanding of continuing challenges and future roles that technology will foster in the library/information profession.

Weekly Schedule of Topics (Subject to Revision)

Week 1: Course Introduction, IS Pioneers

Week 2: Foundations of Information Science

Week 3: Information Literacy

Week 4: Representation, Organization of Information

Week 5: Information Organization & Retrieval

Week 6: Evaluaton, Management of Information Systems

Week 7: Publication and Information Technologies

Week 8: Bibliometric Research: Publication Patterns

Week 9: Bibliometric Research: Collection Analysis

Week 10: Citation Analysis

Week 11: Webometrics/Web Metrics, Scientometrics, Infometrics

Week 12: Word Frequency Patterns, Word Clouds

Week 13: Bibliometric Research Paper

Week 14: Information Policies

Week 15: Information Professions, Thanksgiving Week

Week 16: Information Theory

Grades will be based upon:
  1. Annotated bibliography (15 points)

  2. Research proposal [20 points]

  3. Research paper using a bibliometric methodology on an approved topic [50 points]

  4. Participation (15 points).

Grading Scale


Course Policies
Students are responsible for reading syllabus content and becoming familiar with course policies and procedures.

Students will not be granted an Incomplete for this course for failing to complete assignments. A student who receives an Incomplete will have only ONE semester in which to complete the work.

If a student stops attending class and does not complete the appropriate withdrawal papers or procedures with the registrar, that student will be assigned an F. If this is the only class a student is taking then the student must call the USM graduate school to properly withdraw.

If a student commits plagiarism, that student will receive an F in the course.

A student may not self-plagiarize or submit work done in another course unless receiving prior permission from the instructor. Any assignment that is self-plagiarized without prior permission from the instructor will receive zero points.

Virtual classroom attendance and participation is expected. Participation is a large part of the grade and consists of the virtual classroom participation and discussion.

Students are required to subscribe to listnews, the LIS listserv. Subscribe to lisnews by completing the online form available at

All assignments should be saved in .doc or .rtf format and posted to the Digital Drop Box. Work not turned in on time will be assessed a penalty of 10% per week without prior approval from the instructor.

Failure to follow specific instructions for content and formatting of assignments will result in lower grades.

Writing skills: all work must be in Standard English; inappropriate grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling will result in lower grades.

Academic Code of Conduct
Students are expected to follow the Academic Code of Conduct, which includes mutual respect and academic honesty.

"When cheating is discovered, the faculty member may give the student an F on the work involved or in the course. If further disciplinary action is deemed appropriate, the student should be reported to the dean of students. In addition to being a violation of academic honesty, cheating violates the Code of Student Conduct and may be grounds for probation, suspension, and/or expulsion. Students on disciplinary suspension may not enroll in any courses offered by The University of Southern Mississippi." USM Graduate Bulletin.

"Plagiarism is scholarly theft, and it is defined as the unacknowledged use of secondary sources. More specifically, any written or oral presentation in which the writer or speaker does not distinguish clearly between original and borrowed material constitutes plagiarism. Because students, as scholars, must make frequent use of the concepts and facts developed by other scholars, plagiarism is not the mere use of another's facts and ideas. However, it is plagiarism when students present the work of other scholars as if it were their own work. Plagiarism is committed in a number of ways:

  1. Reproducing another author's writing as if it were one's own.
  2. Paraphrasing another author's work without citing the original.
  3. Borrowing from another author's ideas, even though those ideas are reworded, without giving credit.
  4. Copying another author's organization without giving credit.
Plagiarism is a serious offense. An act of plagiarism may lead to a failing grade on the paper and in the course, as well as sanctions that may be imposed by the student judicial system." USM Graduate Bulletin.

Disability Statement
If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. Mailing address: 118 College Drive, # 8586; Telephone: 601- 266-5024; TTY: 601-266-6837; FAX: 601-266-6035.

Note: This is an abbreviated version of the course syllabus.
The complete syllabus is posted on the Blackboard LIS651 course site.

Web Page Design
Teresa S. Welsh
Updated 8/9/2013