Information Explosion in a Better Light after Fifty Years

Authors: M. Špála
Authors‘ workplace: Ústav vědeckých informací 1. LF UK, Praha
Published in: Čas. Lék. čes. 2004; : 857-860


The phenomenon of “Information explosion” emerged in the professional and later also in the unprofessionalcommunity in the middle of the twentieth century. It expresses feeling of an unexpected general congestion withincreasing number of published articles and books, which are not possible to go through, process and use in the realtime. Unexpected development of the science after the Second World War resulted in unusually high production ofnew data and information. Their fast release was enabled by modernization of the publication process together withan increase of the number of scientific journals. Despite the relative information isolationism during the totalitarianregiment, this worldwide process soon emerged also in our region. However, the overload in information was notbalanced by modernization of methods in the bibliographic and librarian systems, which could bring the newinformation to the scientific community. The turning point in the transfer of information was the development ofworldwide interconnection – the word wide web or the Internet. For the processing of new information it was possibleto introduce gradually still more powerful information technologies based on computers with on-line connection tothe Internet. To solve the information explosion it was necessary to possess such technology and necessary programsand to master the elements of information and computer know-how. Contemporary modern technology with varioususer-friendly search engines, catalogues, repositories, and with voluminous bibliographic databases enable the useof full-text sources and give a better view on the formerly catastrophically looking information explosion. Alongwith that it is necessary to find financial sources to cover the access to the system. Information support of the scientificwork based on such possibilities represents in the brimof modern information society the only possibility of effectiveactivity in any field. It is also a good way how to precede the possible next information overload.

Key words:
information explosion, information society, bibliographic database, virtual library, electronicjournals.

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