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|ABOUT FIELDS OF KNOWLEDGE|
PeopleFields of Knowledge is deeply rooted in academia. Eighty-eight percent of the subject specialists who provide content to The Infography are college professors. The board of the company includes the heads of reference from two college libraries, the head librarian of a college, a person who automated the card catalogs of more than two hundred college libraries, the technology educator from a public school system, the former director of information systems at two universities, and others. Our consultants include the past president of a state university and former state governor.
MissionWe are dedicated to the immediate mission of better enabling librarians, students, and others to identify good information for learning. Although this is an age of specialization in which scholars have honed their understanding of specific subjects, this is also an age of information overload, and the wisdom of accomplished scholars remains elusive. Such wisdom exists on the Internet and in libraries, but it is hidden deep within other information of dubious quality and overwhelming quantity. The mission of Fields of Knowledge is to deliver the research recommendations of professors and other learned experts to the public in ways that will benefit both the experts and the masses, without breaching the privacy of the experts.
ProductThe Infography is comparable to Internet search engines, reference books, and other disparate reference resources. We believe that the pinnacle need of librarians and students is for a research threshold where scholarly specialists guide them to superlative information. Read more about The Infography here.
SponsorsThe Infography is supported by commercial sponsors who purchase display space, revenue from which enables Fields of Knowledge to pay royalties to its contributing scholars, to continue to develop The Infography, and to make this important learning tool available to students, librarians, and other end users for free! Free display space is made available, at our discretion, to educational institutions and other select nonprofit organizations.
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"Though it is egalitarian, even noble, to have a way for everybody to write about everything and 'publish' it freely in the Information Marketplace, the result is the same: a huge pile of info-junk that most of us will not care about or read. Here, too, we will need the brokers of the written word, the visual and performing arts, and the new creative forms that will arise. Will software agents take care of this? I doubt it, because they won't be sufficiently intelligent for the task. More likely we will turn to the flesh-and-blood editors, publishers, and critics who can bring some judgment to bear in sorting the jewels from the info-junk."
What Will Be, Michael Dertouzos (Director of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science)
"Good education used to be primarily a matter of how much you knew; now it is also a matter of how well you are able to find the information you need."
Chelsea School News, School Librarian Nancy Kerwin, Chelsea, Vermont
"'Whatever the approach, one thing is for sure: the need for the next generation of search tools is becoming critical,' asserts Prabhakar Raghavan, one of the IBM researchers who helped to develop ARC [automatic resource compiler: a digital method of rating the frequency of citations to particular Internet web pages]. When and how ARC and others will be introduced commercially, however, is unclear. 'The amount of stuff on the web is growing exponentially,' he says, 'but the amount we can digest is not. So the information you do retrieve must be exemplary.'"
Scientific American, "Lost in Cyberspace: Scientists Look for a Better Way to Search the Web," Alden Hayashi
"The diversity of materials on the Net goes far beyond the scope of the traditional library. A library does not provide quality rankings of the works in a collection. Because of the greater volume of networked information, Net users want guidance about where to spend the limited amount of time they have to research a subject. They may need to know the three 'best' documents for a given purpose. They want this information without paying the costs of employing humans to critique the myriad Web sites."
Scientific American, "Searching the Internet," Clifford Lynch
"...the entire [World Wide Web] browsing process is...a mental blur of reference-upon-reference, fact-upon-uncertain-fact. It's like being trapped inside a card catalog."
Civilization, "Adrift on the Digital Sea," Karen Olsson
"It's great that anybody can put information on the Web, but...when everybody is producing [electronic information], as with paper [information], there's going to be so much rubbish out there, so much junk. And so there will still be the need [for] people who review, people who produce lists of recommended reading, of collections of information which they recommend, which seem to be stable, which seem to be produced by reputable institutes of academic papers which are being reviewed...we're going to need all the structures to be able to distinguish the wheat from the chaff."
Using the Internet, Interview of Tim Berners-Lee (creator of the World Wide Web), PBS
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Essex, Iowa 51638-4608 USA