Mousaion - Volume 21, Issue 1, 2003
Volumes & issues
Volume 21, Issue 1, 2003
Author E.M. GerickeSource: Mousaion 21, pp 3 –5 (2003)More Less
This issue includes six articles on a variety of topics related to information, knowledge and information work, written by practising professionals and academics. Two articles based on postgraduate work (one Master's and one doctoral thesis are included). The next issue of Mousaion will be a commemorative edition to celebrate the twentieth year of the journal's existence in the present form.
Author Peter Johan LorSource: Mousaion 21, pp 6 –26 (2003)More Less
Information is the lifeblood of democratic governance. Without an unobstructed flow of quality information, the people cannot participate meaningfully in the democratic process. In particular, the electorate needs ready access to official publications of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government at national, provincial and local levels, as well as to publications of
The Legal Deposit Act, 1997 (Act 54 of 1997) for the first time makes provision for the establishment of official publications depositories (OPDs) in South Africa. At least one OPD is to be established in each province. OPDs will be entitled to receive, free of charge, a copy of every publication published by national, provincial and local governments, parastatal organisations and any other institutions listed as public entities. In terms of regulations that were published in June 2001, OPDs are required to organise these materials for use and make them accessible to members of the public. They must also serve as centres for promoting public awareness of, and access to, official publications generally and to unpublished information held by government, including access to government databases to which the public is entitled to gain access under any law.
A considerable amount of preparatory work had to be done and various practical hurdles had to be overcome before regulations for the establishment of OPDs could be published. This article outlines the provisions in the Legal Deposit Act that apply to OPDs, describes the work currently in progress for the establishment of OPDs and the development of OPDs in the context of other current initiatives to make government information more widely accessible to the general public.
Author Hester W.J. MeyerSource: Mousaion 21, pp 27 –52 (2003)More Less
Communication mechanisms of any information resource system play an important role in ensuring access to its content. The communication mechanisms of indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) (mainly based on oral communication) are identified and discussed in this article to show how they serve their particular users. The differences between them and those of modern information resource systems are emphasised. Knowledge of these communication systems may help outsiders to better access IKSs and then report on the contents by applying communication mechanisms of modern information resource systems. It is argued that field workers operating at grassroots level among people of developing communities may access IKSs through oral communication and observation. Indigenous knowledge obtained in this way is reported in either print or electronic format. Once information is in a format acceptable for communication mechanisms of the modern information resource systems, it can be disseminated worldwide. The use of communication mechanisms of IKSs is viewed as a prerequisite when it comes to the globalisation of IKSs.
Author J.J. BritzSource: Mousaion 21, pp 53 –81 (2003)More Less
This article focuses on the reconceptualisation of information with special reference to its application on information ethics. It takes as starting point a diachronic approach to information and presents a working definition of information. An own model of information is presented, with its point of departure Popper's view on the world. It is based on three distinctive characteristics of information, namely reality as primary carrier of information, the human being as giver of meaning to information and information as objectified presentation of reality. The main implications for information ethics, based on these characteristics, are indicated.
Source: Mousaion 21, pp 82 –95 (2003)More Less
As an instrument of society, information services have always been influenced by changes in the host environment. This being the case, information services are compelled to change, posing the challenge to managers who have to see to it that the challenges are properly dealt with. The strategies and techniques for managing change in academic information services have been explored thus providing guidance for managers in this regard. This article investigated the extent to which change is being managed in academic services in South Africa. This was done by using pre-structured questionnaires. The article also provides recommendations on how information services can successfully manage change in order to survive in a competitive environment.
Source: Mousaion 21, pp 96 –116 (2003)More Less
Science fiction has become a popular, powerful and prolific fiction genre with a strong corpus of academic study and criticism. It is viewed by many critics as being on the cusp of postmodernism, a significant body of contemporary literature, and a supreme expression of late capitalism. Very little research has been done into its selection, a vacuum which gave rise to this study. Survey research and a literature study were effected. Research evinced that no satisfactory evaluative criteria exist and that the existing theory of fiction selection is not always capable of guiding this process. A model including a scorecard with specially compiled criteria for evaluating items was designed. The model demonstrates that the selection of science fiction can be structured, controlled and guided within established parameters.
Source: Mousaion 21, pp 117 –136 (2003)More Less
The current image of the university (the main venue of scholarly work) seems to be one of a factory that produces workers for the labour market. One can think of many examples: the raw material is fed in on one side and after any number of processes the end product appears on the other side, ready for the market.
Source: Mousaion 21, pp 137 –139 (2003)More Less
The role and effects of technological developments, especially information and communication technologies, on humans and societies cannot be denied. The influences of these developments are so vast that they affect and influence modes of thinking, views of who human beings are, understanding of the self and activities such as reading, writing and teaching, but also understanding of knowledge and information and the usage of both of these. I wish to underline the importance of three very relevant and thorough studies conducted in this field by very competent people.
Source: Mousaion 21, pp 139 –142 (2003)More Less
A significant point to make is that this study is a report on a research project commissioned by the European Commission. Lévy writes that a new communication space is now available, called cyberspace, and it is up to us to exploit its most positive potential on an economic, political, cultural and human level. Many people are eager to experiment with new forms of communication that differ from those provided by traditional media.
Human situatedness in time and regarding the future
Technics and time, 1 : The fault of Epimetheus, B. Stiegler : book reviewSource: Mousaion 21, pp 142 –144 (2003)More Less
Author Karin McGuirkSource: Mousaion 21, pp 144 –145 (2003)More Less
What a refreshing pleasure this book was to read. Even though it is aimed at a subject specialist group (that is, Library and Information Science), it will be of equal interest to those in sociological, communications, and political and economic contexts. Everyone, whether academic or not, are affected by information. The book offers a balanced debate on the status and place of information not only for the disciplines, but for society and government as well.