2 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Learning Objectives At the end of this lesson you will: be aware of the importance of a workflow for creating, processing and delivering internal documents; recognize the need of systematic management processes to perform these tasks; understand how new approaches to information access are creating a need for new jobs and players, and new structures and procedures.
3 of 15 Information Access Internal Information We will focus on the mobilization of internal information. How can your organization: deal with the information that it has generated internally in a cost/effective way, and disseminate it to audiences in formats that they find useful and convenient? Introduction
4 of 15 Information Access Internal Information To access and re-use internal information, it is important to optimize the way documents are produced. The best solution would be to adapt current working practices to improve the generation of all new information, focusing on approaches that will enhance access. Lets consider what can be done by examining a very common scenario. Introduction
5 of 15 Information Access Internal Information A common scenario Ms. Lee is in charge of publications in an agricultural organization. Her department produces reports, working papers, newsletters, and conference proceedings from three different research teams. She usually publishes these documents in hardcopy, via e-mail, and on her organizations website.
6 of 15 Information Access Internal Information A common scenario But the old procedures for publishing in hardcopy are no longer working well with electronic media. She to develop a new process, supported by new roles and new organizational structures, in order to manage the generation and dissemination of both hardcopy and (increasingly) electronic documents. OUR CURRENT PROCESS IS MAINLY ORIENTED TOWARD PRINTING. MY DEPARTMENT HAS MANY PROBLEMS WHEN WE HAVE TO CONVERT DOCUMENTS INTO FORMATS THAT ARE APPROPRIATE FOR E- MAIL OR THE INTERNET.
7 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Ms. Lee sees that the process for creating documents to be generated and disseminated through either electronic or print media comprises five main stages. Each stage consists of specific tasks (e.g. selection of documents, review, approval and so on). The process for creating and disseminating documents 3. CONVERSION 4. STORAGE 5. DISSEMINATION 1. AUTHORING 2. SELECTION AND APPROVAL
8 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Also, Ms. Lee will have to decide what effect the following aspects will have on the five stages and various tasks associated with them: The process for creating and disseminating documents FORMATS CHANNELS INFRASTRUCTURE MEDIUM
9 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Ms. Lee will also need to take into account some important technical resources that will support the process and affect the quality of the outputs: Issues involved in the development of the process STANDARDSTOOLS
10 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Management issues We have seen that mobilizing internal information involves three management issues: process; people; and organization. In Ms. Lees scenario, we examined aspects of the process. We will now consider the remaining two management issues: people (new tasks and roles); and organization (new structures).
11 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Management issues The new digital environment has brought changes in the work of the information staff, in several ways: New jobs may be created, such as Webmaster, Chief Information Officer and Information Management Specialist. Some jobs differentiate. Some job titles remain the same, such as the librarian.
12 of 15 Information Access Internal Information New tasks and roles What new skills will be useful for performing new tasks in an electronic environment? Librarian Computer Systems Officer Author Webmaster Publications Officer Role Word processing, including use of templates and style sheets. management of digital images in various formats. Subject indexing and associated creation of metadata supported by the use of thesauri. Development of processes and systems for electronic document storage. Database management. Assessment of and selection between various document and image formats in different types of publications. Assessment of costs and benefits of different options for providing access to different types of document collections.
13 of 15 Information Access Internal Information New structures and procedures All of this can sometimes lead to disputes between different departments. For example, look at the following debate: I dont agree: the Internet is a PR tool, so the Public Relations department is responsible. OK, but it is the Library that has to present the content in a logical way, and respond to the users! The Webmaster should report to the Computer department: they maintain the servers and the software.
14 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Each organization is different, and there is no best approach that will suit all organizations. But a general principle is the following: New structures and procedures In considering new directions in which players are trying to define (and re-define) their tasks, it is better to choose participation over hierarchy.
15 of 15 Information Access Internal Information Summary Because internal information is increasingly in electronic formats, an organization will need a workflow that describes how electronic documents will be mobilized, i.e. generated, processed, stored, and disseminated. In developing this workflow, the organization must take account of issues and options concerned with alternative media, formats, access procedures, Information Technologies, and data standards. Implementation of the workflow will involve new tasks and roles, and new structures and procedures.