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Title:The Evaluation of Information Policy: A Case Study Using the SATCOM Report
Author(s):Burger, Robert H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Edmonds, Leslie
Department / Program:Library Science
Discipline:Library Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, Public Administration
Information Science
Abstract:This study was undertaken in order to ascertain valid ways of evaluating information policy. It has taken a modest step toward this goal by developing a method for evaluating the SATCOM Report (1969). The study had three purposes: First it was to examine closely and identify clearly with the aid of content analysis, important characteristics of each of the Report's recommendations. Second, by surveying experts in the field of information science, it was to judge the validity and potential reliability of the author's content analyses and their potential relevance to the analysis of other information policies. Third, it was to gain some knowledge of the application of information science to the evaluation of information policy.
Method. Content analysis was applied to the SATCOM Report in order to ascertain the goal, actor, rationale and source of rationale for each recommendation. After a pretest was carried out, 15 randomly selected recommendations and the accompanying analyses were then sent to 45 experienced practitioners in the field of information science.
Findings. The findings related to the SATCOM Report, the method, information policy, and the relation of information science to the evaluation of information policy. As far as the SATCOM Report was concerned, two serious flaws were found: the goals were vague and the assumption of the applied science analytical paradigm in dealing with the problems identified narrowed the possible solutions to those allowed by such a paradigm. The method was found to be valid for the SATCOM Report and potentially applicable to other information policies. Information policy was labelled as social policy, based on this case study. Systems thinking, which now prevails in information policy analysis, may therefore not be the best way to conceptualize such policies. Finally, information science, as defined by the inferred mental model of the survey respondents, does play a role in the evaluation of information policy, but can do so most effectively only in conjunction with other disciplinary knowledge. What is needed, and what does not yet exist, the study suggests, is a body of knowledge and a research method that will provide both a value critical and paradigm critical approach to the evaluation of information policy.
Issue Date:1988
Description:237 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908634
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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