Information System: “An information system or information grid is a network of information centre at different levels working in perfect harmony and close co-operation with each other with the objectives of storing and dissemination of information usually of a specific type or a specific community”. In simple form an information system is a group of components that interact to produce information for a specific group of users.
The Information providers on the other hand are organization that collect the information, select appropriate document and convert the materials into machine readable form. They are the creator and access providers to the databases.
The Information vendors are persons / organization who are the retailer of online searching services, bibliographic databases, etc. They own the computer and software for information retrieval. They develop a set of instruction or command for searching the databases and then obtain a number of machine readable databases through licensing agreement with various databases producers and load these databases on their computer system and provide access to information to the end users, i. e libraries, information centres, etc. Information vendors are on business. Eg. DIALOG.
Types of Information System: Information network are comprised of group of individuals or organizations that exchange information in various form in a regular and organized basis. Before establishing information network a formal agreement between members of the network and a common procedure than need to be followed are established. The information network can be a decentralized structure where all the members can communicate with each other directly, or it can be a centralized one where the members communicate through centers. The structure can also be a mixed one combing the above two where certain communication will take place directly while some other may take place through the center.
Based on the geographical areas covered, an information system may be an International; regional, national or local one while based on the subject consideration, an information system may be of general or sectoral. It can be noted that the sectoral information sytem are generally the international or regional one, while the general information system are of national and local one.
a) International Information System: The International information system is also known as global information system. The Global Information System is the information system that collects, process and provide access to the information globally.
An International Information System is a network of information centre that covers the whole world or parts of the whole world i.e when a group of regional and national information system work in perfect harmony and close co-operation with the object of providing new services for identified gaps, so coordinated as to reinforced and enhance the activities of the individual units and thus enable specific categories of user to receive the information relevant to their needs and abilities then it is called as International Information System. In respect of its geographical coverage, International Information System is at the top of any information system. Eg. ENVIS.
b) Regional Information System: A Regional Information System is a network of information centre within a region or area. The area cover includes two or more nation, whose components of information system work in perfect harmony and close co-operation with the object of providing new services for identified gaps, so coordinated as to reinforced and enhance the activities of the individual units and thus enable specific categories of user to receive the information relevant to their needs and abilities.. In respect of its geographical coverage it is in between International Information System and National Information System. Eg. SAARC.
According to International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (www.isft.net/cms/index.php) a regional information system is an “information system providing access to information stored in cf. operational systems of a region”.
When Regional Information System work as part of International Information System its objectives is to be
i) Maintain Union Catalogue of monograph, serials and non-book materials held in the libraries and information centres of the region.
ii) Maintain the copies of union catalogue of other region so that union catalogue enquiries relating to the entire countries holding can be handled at the regional level itself, thereby reducing the traffic of international information centre, etc.
c) National Information System: A National Information System is basically a network of existing information resources within a nation together with new services for identified gaps, so coordinated as to reinforced and enhance the activities of the individual units and thus enable specific categories of user to receive the information relevant to their needs and abilities. The national information system exists at national level but accessibility is international eg. INSDOC.
d) Sectoral Information System: Sectoral Information System is based on subject specialization. It maintains a rich collection of materials in the specialized areas only to which it is intended but with international scope. Eg. Agricultural Information System (AGRIS).