KC7020 - Information Organisation and Access

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the key principles of information organisation and retrieval, and put them into practice and demonstrate advanced information and data management skills in diverse environments. You will be able to critically reflect on the theory and practice as well as contemporary research into the issues and contexts of information organisation and interactive information retrieval. You will also develop creative, critical and reflective problem solving capabilities and a commitment to lifelong learning in the management of information and data in different contexts.
Topics include:
1) Information and knowledge concepts and frameworks
a) Information concepts including Information behaviour models
b) Knowledge mobilisation concepts and frameworks including ISO 30401 Knowledge Management

2) Information organisation and access
a) Context, concepts, approaches, tools, techniques and standards
b) Structured and unstructured information, web information
c) Research data

3) Interactive information retrieval
a) Indexing techniques
b) Information retrieval models
c) Information interactions in specific domains and contexts

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on campus through a series of lectures, which will deliver theory and practical examples to enable you to explore the theory and concepts further through practical exercises during lab sessions and tutorial discussions.

If you are learning at a distance, you will learn using online learning materials, in addition to discussion boards and online activities. This is facilitated by our University eLearning Portal which has been successfully delivering distance learning provision for a number of years. It is expected that you will draw heavily on your own working experience to contextualise the theory learnt.

Whichever mode of study you are undertaking there will be a significant amount of independent learning and to that end you will be encouraged to establish Action Learning Sets to work with your peers face to face or virtually.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by feedback from tutors during practical and tutorials and also an open-door policy so that you can come and see us to discuss module questions on a one-to-one or small group basis face-to-face as and when the need arises. If you are learning at a distance, tutors can make use of the eLearning portal web conferencing software to talk to you face-to-face, in addition to simpler technology such as telephone calls. This allows you to make appointments to discuss, clarify or confirm anything concerning the module either virtually or face to face. In addition tutors will respond to questions via the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal so that the whole group can benefit. The University Library also offers a series of Information and Research Skills events to all PGR students and you will be encouraged to attend these.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Have a critical understanding of the concepts of information behaviour, knowledge mobilisation in the context of information organization and information retrieval interactions
2. Have a comprehensive knowledge of how to identify, analyse and critically evaluate theories, conceptual frameworks and applications for the organisation of information of different forms, formats and contexts
3. Have a comprehensive knowledge of how to identify, analyse and critically evaluate theories, conceptual frameworks and models for interactive information seeking and retrieval

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. You will develop comprehensive and demonstrable skills and capabilities required for effective organisation and retrieval of networked information resources relevant for specific clients and contexts.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Understand and critically apply the principles of information organisation, storage and retrieval with respect to professional, legal and ethical issues.

How will I be assessed?

1) In the first assignment (40%), you will use a range of information systems such as library databases, digital libraries and web-based search engines to conduct a literature search to find information relevant to a specific context. Tasked with the information need of a client, you will find relevant resources to satisfy the search requirements, and document the details of the search strategy which has been used and the means through which you assign relevance judgments on the documents that you find. This assignment will demonstrate you critical understanding of:

• The role of user context in information seeking behaviour
• The usability and features of various information systems
• The methods and the challenges of accessing relevant information in a specific context in today’s digital information age.

(MLOs 1, 4 and 5)

2) In the second assignment (60%), you will profile the information requirements of an organisation. Choosing from a range of scenarios that are provided, you will first develop a means of classifying the data and information currently held within the organisation. Secondly, you will analyse how the organisation may best approach the development of an intranet-based search system to provide employees with effective and efficient access to the information and knowledge held by the organisation. The discussion and arguments within both sections should be informed by relevant literature produced through research and practice. Within this assignment, you will demonstrate an understanding of:

Classification taxonomies
• The use of metadata
• Information retrieval methods, models and performance evaluation.
• Indexing and retrieval

(MLOs 1, 2, 3 and 5)





Module abstract

This module explores the organization and access requirements of a range of data and information resources in diverse settings. It covers a range of topics such as indexing, metadata, information architecture, information seeking and information retrieval. Through this module you will develop an understanding of the theory and practice of information organization and retrieval in networked information environments. You will be assessed by two assignments : in the first assignment (40%), will use a range of databases, digital libraries, search engines and similar information services, in order to find information relevant to specific research or business contexts. You will produce a report with a portfolio of evidence of the information systems and services used. In the second assignment (60%), you will analyse how best an organisation is able to effectively organise and classify the information it holds, and propose a means for that information to be effectively and efficiently accessed by users.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time (with advanced practice in second year)
1 other options available

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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