Discussion Group 2: Information Flow

Astrid Wissenburg and Colin Work facilitated a discussion group on “Information Flow” at the IWMW 1997 event.

The Information Flow discussion group was chaired by Colin Work. The reporter was Astrid Wissenburg. Eleven participants attended this discussion group.

The themes of the discussion group were:

  • The Web is new and therefore there are many new issues to consider. Everyone has high expectations but there is often a lack of resources to achieve these high expectations.
  • Top-down or bottom-up design methodologies can be employed.
  • Strategy documents and guidelines are used by about half of the discussion group members. Others developing them. These documents are valuable, but authority to implement guidelines can be difficult.
  • In order to provide personal home pages acceptable use policies and complaints procedures are needed. This will, of course, raise issues of control versus academic freedom.
  • What type of information (and minimum levels) of information should departments provide?

    The web is a red herring – this is institutional information policy.

  • Tools are needed to manage the information.
  • Metadata is needed to manage the information.


  • Set up a Working Group to look into administrative metadata. This will be headed by Colin Work on behalf of UCISA TLIG-INFS.
  • Establish national UK HE recommendations for administrative metadata.
  • Workshop participants should email Colin Work if they want to join up.