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In, LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE TRENDS AND RESEARCH: EUROPE, Amanda Spink and Jannica Heinström (Ed.) (2012) 273-295
Information science in France. Emergence, Evolution and Perspectives
Fidelia Ibekwe-Sanjuan 1
(10/12/2012)

As an academic specialty in the French higher education, Information Science was shaped by short-term government policies implemented after world war II until the late nineties. The field was officially recognised in 1974 as part of an interdisciplinary field named "Information and Communication Science". Information Science was seen by the successive French governments as an instrument with which to gain information independence from the United States. The aim was to develop information infrastructures (telecommunications, databases, servers), hence to develop an industry rather than a science. This led to narrowing the focus of the field to only one type of information - scientific and technical information. The first higher education curricula and doctoral programs were technologically-oriented, driven by the need to train information professionals rather than scientists. Little attention was paid to research on conceptual models, on theories and on knowledge organisation which used to be the stronghold of European and French pioneers in bibliography and in documentation (Paul Otlet, Suzanne Briet, Georgette and Eric de Grolier among others). Currently, the trend is to bring information science back to its humanistic origins and to engage in a more theoretical and people-oriented research. However, there is yet no coherent agenda that clearly defines what information science research should be about. There is also little visibility of French information science both at the national and international arena.
1 :  Equipe de recherche de Lyon en sciences de l'information et de la communication (ELICO)
Université Lumière - Lyon II : EA4147 – Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I – Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III – Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Lyon – École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l'Information et des Bibliothèques - Lyon
ELICO Lyon 3
Sciences de l'Homme et Société/Sciences de l'information et de la communication
Information science – Suzanne Briet – Paul Otlet – Eric de Grolier – foundations of information science – France – history of information science
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