Informatics is the emerging discipline that envisions information technology design and use in terms that include its larger institutional, social, cultural, and cognitive dimensions. As information technology is applied to an ever-widening variety of contexts, including work, home, shopping, and public spaces, these new applications require a corresponding shift in the ability of information professionals to design, manage and evaluate information services.
Informatics is premised on the observation that successful design and integration of information technologies into society requires a sophisticated understanding of information seeking and use, metadata, user-centered design, electronic information genres, and how information technologies function as vehicles of power and social action.
Students who complete the Informatics specialization will thus be well equipped to design modern information services, including digital libraries and repositories, metadata services, user training and relations, technical information retrieval, in a wide variety of institutional contexts, whether that be within libraries, archives, electronic media and publishing, cultural heritage institutions, standardization organizations, government, non-profits, or online businesses.
Examples of student emphases within the Informatics specialization include:
- Information architecture
- Community and social informatics
- Digital preservation
- Electronic commerce strategies
- Electronic delivery of government services
- Digital asset management
- Design, management and optimization of metadata for information services
- Participatory and ethnographic methods for user research and system design
- Human-computer interaction, Web usability and interface design
- Database design, management, and evaluation
- Data warehousing and mining
- Standardization processes, Internet governance and information policy
- Ontology engineering, infrastructure and applications for the
- Semantic Web
- Design and evaluation of information metrics
- Geographical Information Systems
- Information retrieval
- Electronic publishing and scholarly communication services