Value and Impact of Information

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hill, a former director of the British Library Science Reference Information Service, has done an admirable job of surveying current developments in information policy. The main text classifies aspects of information policy according to 22 categories (e.g., Bibliographies, International Scene, Information Technology, Legal Aspects, etc.). The categories overlap, but Hill uses this feature to his advantage: his discussion of each category typically incorporates references to publications addressed in other categories as well. In doing so, he makes explicit the relationships among different approaches to information policy. The appendixes, also 22 in number, are selective bibliographies that include the publications to which Hill refers. One drawback limits the usefulness of this work for North American readers: Hill's primary focus is on U.K. policy. Students and specialists, therefore, may stand to gain from this survey, but librarians in the United States and Canada will find it of limited value. The eight papers published in The Value and Impact of Information were originally delivered during a series of British Library information policy briefings. This title and Hill's work are being published as companion volumes. Unlike Hill's survey, however, this collection will find interested readers not only in the United Kingdom, but in North America and Europe, one imagines, as well. Of the greatest general interest are the two lead papers dealing respectively with the value of information and libraries as a national resource. The second, by Jos'e-Marie Griffiths and Donald W. King, provides a concrete application of the information evaluation framework described in Griffith's Third International Information Research Conference key-note address published in Changing Information Technologies: Research Challenges in the Economics of Information (Professional Reading, LJ 2/15/95). Remaining papers deal with statistics, the British patent industry, studies of the impact of information, information delivery, and a survey of large British companies' attitudes about national information policy. Most papers are followed by transcripts of discussions generated at the briefings. In spite of its emphasis on British data and policies, many of the ideas explored in this collection are generalizable. This book is recommended to students, specialists, and interested parties, all of whom may be inspired by it to return to the expansive work of Fritz Machlup, late professor of economics (of information) at Princeton.-Dean C. Rowan, Whittier P.L., Cal.
Presents eight papers from the British Library Research and Development Department briefings on information policy issues for the 1990s. Papers address topics such as the impact of information services on decision making, the value of libraries and information services, uses of statistical data, and the financial value of patent information. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

The Authors
Introduction 1
1 The value of information 9
2 Libraries: the undiscovered national resource 79
3 Statistical perspectives add reality to policy debates: how well are we served by our statistical data? 117
4 How much does British industry pay for patents and patent information? 153
5 The impact of information services on decision-making: some lessons from the financial and health care sectors 195
6 The impact of information on the management of a large academic institution 214
7 Information use and business success: a review of recent research on effective information delivery 229
8 What do large companies seek from a national information policy? 255
Appendix 283
Index 285
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