Aberystwyth This volume contains papers presented at the Third International Information Research Conference

Patricia Layzellward
1993 unpublished
It consists of seventeen papers' together with an introduction and summary, which are presented in the original language of the author together with a summary in either English or French. The idea lying behind the international information conferences is a continuation of the format of the earlier Cranfield conferences-a comfortable setting, experts presenting papers and informal discussion. Although the printed papers will be of value, the ftustration for the reader is that there is no way of
more » ... there is no way of capturing the discussion that the papers provoke and stimulate. So the volume is the skeleton of the proceedings and the reader is left to speculate on the discussions. It is in no sense a state of the art review-rather it records progress made on some topics within the field of the economics of information, and suggestions for research. The summing up is brief and comments that the final session was intended to bring out major topics, identify any gaps, and indicate areas foi research. The participants indicated the need to focus on information rather than technology; there is no agreed definition of what is meant by information, nor strategies to improve effectiveness. The discussion identified three categories of information as possible ways to approach this problem: "Information which transfers knowledge from generation to generation... Information which measures processes or status... where it can become hard information and progress to... Information which is normative or provides a framework, such as patents, legal cases or standards...". Technology and information are interdependent, and improved understanding is ne eded of the way in which people use information, and of information flow. The question of benefit is important. Better models are required of the information economy, and there was questioning of the neo-classical model traditionally associated with marketing and libraries. The real need was seen to be to move beyond theoretical models to the development of empirical, case study research using real people and real information to test the models. The conclusions are given in order to encourage researchers and practitioners to read the volume despite the frustrations. The papers are eclectic. In his introduction Le Coadic draws attention to the increased role that IT plays in the strategic planning of most organizations, and the significant costs involved. He comments that 21