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Dissertation Information for James B. Macaulay

- James B. Macaulay

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Case Western Reserve University (USA) (1976)

- William Goffman

- Conrad H. Rawski
- Tefko Saracevic
- Gary Harlan Roseman Jr.

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The communications analysis of a knowledge community

Abstract: This research addresses in general the place of communications theory in the reconstruction of social theory. A model was developed to analyse the essential information transfer processes which are involved in any social communication system. The model represents the elements of an information source in abstract knowledge space, the properties of which permit the source to be decomposed into precise relations of influence and interdependence.

The university was chosen as the case study of a knowledge community. Its faculty performs as a formal source of information through curriculum and publication channels. The relevance of the faculty as a teaching source and as a research source was represented for a common time period. An information theoretic type of communications analysis was carried out and, in particular, addressed to the problem of defining, comparing and evaluating the two networks of relations among faculty which obtained when it was accessed as either a teaching source or a research source.

The degree of integration supplied by each linkage or ordered pair in a matrix of source elements was represented; this measure combines a notion of the importance of the linkage in terms of its selective information and a probability notion of the cost of inquiring through the linkage. All such linkages were found to be distributed in Zipfian fashion, indicating a hyperbolic pattern in the rate of diminishing returns, which is obtained when selections are made on any finite source. The properties of this distribution permit the specification of a threshold linkage and, subsequently, the network structure of the source.

The faculties of science were thus partitioned into a complex of teaching and research fronts, which were in turn compared and evaluated. The policy and research implications of the work have been considered with reference (1) the problems of managing large-scale research and information organizations, (2) to the problem of policy of science and the related problem of information in public policy arenas, and (3) to the preliminary requirements for an objective investigation of hypotheses of interest in the sociology of knowledge.

MPACT Scores for James B. Macaulay

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-04-07 14:06:48

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Students under James B. Macaulay

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