School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 502 Outline


Course Outline
Winter 2017

Instructor: Dr. Lei Zhang
Office Hours: Email or Adobe Connect by appointment

Calendar Description:
An introduction to th organization of knowledge and information focusing on theory and principles for application in a variety of settings. Required course.

Course Objectives:

  • To provide students with an understanding of concepts of knowledge, information, and its transmission.

  • To provide students with an understanding of analytical principles for the organization of the intellectual content of information records.

  • To acquaint students with methods of creating and providing access to records.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  • Students will be able to analyze and synthesize the concepts of knowledge, information, and communication. 
  • After being introduced to the principles and practices of the organization and representation of information, students will critically examine, assess, and make recommendations as to how these concepts and principles are applied in various information environments, including the Web.
  • Students will acquire and apply descriptive and evaluative skills and methods to organize information and to create metadata records for a variety of information resources.
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the key concepts and principles of information organization.

This course surveys theory, principles, and applications of organization of information. The structure of the course begins with theoretical background of knowledge, information, and communication.

The course covers principles of organizing information as established in the literature of information storage and retrieval and examines specific applications of these principles in the field of LIS and closely related areas. Theory and practice are addressed together. Management and automation issues are integrated into each topic as appropriate. Attention to different library and information contexts is stressed. The course is an introductory course for understanding principles and surveying applications, not a skills acquisition course.

Lectures, readings, online discussions, papers, and group project.

Course Relationships:
Pre- or co-requisite: LIS 501.

Required Texts:
Taylor, A.G., & Joudrey, D.N. (2009). The organization of information (3rd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Other readings will be provided on eClass.

Assignments and Weighting:

Discussion & Participation      25%

Critical Review                          5%

Reflective Paper 1                  20%    

Reflective Paper 2                  20%    

Final Project                            30%    

Details of the assignments will be posted on eClass. 

All assignments should be submitted to eClass by the date and time indicated on the assignment instructions. Late assignments will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day (including weekends). If an extension is required in cases of illness or emergency, please email the instructor in advance to make those arrangements.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:
Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.

Academic Integrity:
The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

Inclusive Language and Equity:
The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:
Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.