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Department of Information Science and Media Studies

About the Department

The Department of Information Science and Media Studies was established in 2004 when the two former departments of Information Science and Media Studies merged. The merger was motivated by the realisation that processes of convergence within media, communication and information demand new and interdisciplinary research. The common technological platform defines the foundation for merging the two disciplines into one department.

 

Research at the department focuses on information and communication technologies, their historical, contemporary and future functions for individuals, groups, organisations, institutions and societies, their aesthetic and contextual aspects, as well as their contents  – from a variety of methodological approaches. The multi-faceted characteristics of research efforts at the department reflect this diversity. As a research-based department, this effort is also reflected in the courses offered by the department and in the daily teaching and supervision of students. The department offers a number of theoretically and practically oriented degrees in addition to the traditional academic subjects in the field of information science and media studies.

The department’s research profile is based on the realisation that the two diverse research areas of information science and media studies have much to offer one another. At the same time, the two traditions need to be maintained in their own right. Research at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies is based on an encounter between the social sciences, the humanities, and the technological.

Media Studies concerns research into the media in the wider sense of the word, from a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Media research at the department is partly based in a humanistic interpretive tradition emphasising historical-critical studies, and partly in theories and methodologies central to the social sciences. A collective research focus within media research at the department is here issues pertaining to democracy and cultural dissemination.

Information Science concerns the study of digital artefacts in social contexts, and contributes to the development of such artefacts and to the understanding of their social consequences and conditions. Central here is research on technological development for information handling in relation to individuals, groups, organisations and societies. The research combines methods from informatics with theories from the social sciences. A central focus within information science at the department is the study of semantic technologies.

Collectively, the focus of research efforts at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies can be summaries in the challenges of digitalisation. Much of the research that takes place at the department addresses the processes of digitalisation directly or indirectly. Digitalisation implies first of all that the objects that information scientists and media researchers study change – everything from movies to information systems. This development is reflected in different ways in the form of new empirical realities, new methodologies and new theories. And the consequences of digitalisation raises further issues, for instance in how digitalisation affects broadcasting regulation, or how mobile technologies can be used for learning. As part of the collective effort to study the consequences of digitalisation, the department places specific focus in the following three areas:

  • Multimedia technology and visual studies
  • Journalism, information management and new media
  • The social web and online media