Information Source

information source

[‚in·fər′mā·shən ‚sōrs]
A system which produces messages by making successive selections from a group of symbols.

Information Source


any system producing information or containing information intended for transmission; in information science, the conventional designation for scholarly documents or publications, which serve not only as important sources but also as the means of transmission of information in space and time.

Information sources are distinguished by the form of representation: textual (books, journals, manuscripts), graphic (graphs, diagrams, plans, charts), and audiovisual (sound recordings, motion pictures, slides). Different information sources have arisen at various times, but they have all undergone significant evolution in the 20th century. The most important division of information sources was considered to be that into published and unpublished, since ideas and facts were acknowledged as introduced to scholarly use only after their publication, which implied wide dissemination and official registration of the corresponding documents. Information science has made a different division of information sources—into primary and secondary. Primary information sources chiefly contain new scholarly information or a new comprehension of known ideas and facts, such as books (excluding handbooks), periodicals and serials, special kinds of technical publications, scientific-technical reports, dissertations, and information charts. Secondary information sources contain for the most part information from primary documents or about them, such as reference literature, surveys, journals of abstracts, library catalogs, and bibliographical indexes and card catalogs.

Since the mid-1960’s a system of depositing unpublished information sources has spread. It consists of manuscripts, articles, and books that are of interest to a small number of specialists; they are turned over, upon the decision of publishing and editing houses, for storage in information agencies. Information on these manuscripts is published in information publications, and copies of the manuscripts themselves are sent out upon the requests of specialists.

It has been established by analysis of interrelationships between scholarly publications that, of the enormous number of information sources accumulated by mankind, a small number of publications (about 10 percent of the total quantity), half of which are not more than five years old, are most often mentioned in later works and, consequently, are actually important for further scholarly investigations. These information sources constitute the core of truly valuable scholarly works.


Price, D. “Sistema nauchnykh publikatsii.” Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1966, vol. 90, issue 2, pp. 349–59.
Mikhailov, A. I., and R. S. Giliarevskii. Istochniki, poisk i ispol’zovanie nauchnoi informatsii. Moscow, 1970.


References in periodicals archive ?
It is felt that there is a definite relationship between size of a given information source and the ability of the library to respond to the needs of the users, (Burns, 1969).
Not merely a database or web site, the Knowledgebase is a user-driven "one-stop" living workspace and information source for the Air Force security cooperation community.
0 also contains an Information Source Wizard that enables users and enterprises to connect Watson with their preferred sources of information, be they premium news sites, corporate intranets, competitors' Web sites or paid research sources.
This study identifies where consumers receive information on wood products and determines whether demographic factors such as age, income, and gender influence which product information source is chosen.
Ken Reid founded the Washington Information Source Company in 1991 with offices in Rockville, Maryland.
Of course, the mere fact that an information source contains some amount of inaccurate information is not necessarily a problem (cf.
The ElderCare Resource Guide is just the latest eldercare information source available to CPAs.
She wanted to find something in New York City's Garment District to setup shop for her Web site, a one-stop information source for international apparel, textile & accessories professionals.
The perceived effectiveness of any information source (its utility in an economic sense) varies across consumer segments and depends on situational, marketplace, and individual characteristics.
For whatever reasons, defensive or otherwise, CFOs saw themselves and their senior management associates as much more important than the annual report as an information source for the institutional investor.
Rank ordering, used by Kelly and Hensel (1974) and Luffman (1974), may give a better sense of relative importance, because buyers evaluate each information source relative to others in a mix of information sources.
Another writer feels that since all the information sources do not have identical utility and information, the probability of finding a useful source is dependent on the nature of the request and the nature of information source, rather than on the size, (Krikelas, 1966).

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