A short hand term for Preliminary Examination. In a doctoral program, the department wants to make sure you don't embarass them should you ever graduate.

Here is the reading list for the University of Michigan School of Information preliminary examinations. I am responsible for knowing inside and out every word contained in the sources below:


Vannevar Bush, "As We May Think," The Atlantic Monthly; July, 1945; Volume 176, No. 1; pages 101-108. Available http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm

de Solla Price, Derek J., Little Science, Big Science. NY: Columbia University Press, 1963 (portion on the invisible college)

Giuliano, Vincent, "The Mechanization of Office Work," in Charles Dunlop and Rob Kling, eds., Computerization and Controversy (New York: Academic Press, 1991), 200-212.

Licklider, J.C.R., "Libraries of the Future," Excerpt in Stefik, Mark, Internet Dreams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996, 23-32.

March, J.G., & Simon, H.A. (1958). Organizations. New York: John Wiley.

Miller, G.A. "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review. Vol. 63. March 1956. pp. 81-97.

C. E. Shannon, ``A mathematical theory of communication,'' Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 27, pp. 379-423 and 623-656, July and October, 1948. Available: http://netlib.bell-labs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/paper.html. Note: There is a Scientific American article by Weaver, about the same period that is a shorter, more readable version of this work.

Simon, Herbert A., The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd edition, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. (esp. chs. 1, 2, 5, & 8)

Cognition, Perception and Memory

Anderson, J.R. (1995) Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications (4th Ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman. Chs. 3, 6-10.

Anderson, John R. (1989) Human Memory: an Adaptive Perspective Psychological Review 96(4), 703-719.

Barnard, Phil. (1995) "The Contributions of Applied Cognitive Psychology to the Study of Human-Computer Interaction." In Readings in Human-Computer Interaction: toward the year 2000. Baecker, Ronald, et al eds. 2nd. ed. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufman Publishers, Inc., pp. 640-658.

Card, Stuart, K., Moran, Thomas, P., and Newell, Allen. (1983) The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction. Hillsdale, NJ.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, pp. 23-97.

Clark, H.H., & Brennan, S.E. (1991). Grounding in communication. In L. Resnick, J. Levine, & S. Teasley (Eds.) Perspectives on socially shared cognition Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, pp. 127-149.

Finholt, T.A., & Teasley, S.D. (1998). The need for psychology in CSCW research. Social Science Computing Review, 16(1), 40-52.

Hutchins, Edwin (1995) "How a cockpit remembers its speeds," Cognitive Science, 19, 265-288.

Ingwersen, Peter (1996) "Cognitive Perspectives of Information Retrieval Interaction: Elements of a Cognitive IR Theory." Journal of Documentation. Vol. 52(1): pp. 3-50.

Lave, J. (1991). Situating learning in communities of practice. In L. Resnick, J. Levine, & S. Teasley (Eds.) Perspectives on socially shared cognition Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, pp. 63-82.

Information and Society/Social Informatics

Bowker, Geoffrey C. and Susan Leigh Star. (1999). Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999, Chs. 1-4, 9-10

Castells, Manuel, (1996) The Rise of the Network Society Vol. 1. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Chs. 1, 3, and Conclusion.

Coleman, James S. (1988). Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital. American Journal of Sociology 94 (Supplement): S95-S120.

Edwards, Paul, (1995) "From 'Impact' to Social Process: Computers in Society and Culture," in Sheila Jasanoffet al., eds., Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1995), 257-285.

Granovetter, Mark S. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology 78(6): 1360-1380.

Lessig, Lawrence (1999). Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, New York: Basic Books.

Kling, Rob. (1994). Reading "all about" computerization: how genre conventions shape non-fiction social analysis. The Information Society 10(3): 147-172. http://www.slis.indiana.edu/kling/read94a.html

Putnam, Robert (1995). Bowling Alone. Journal of Democracy 6(1): 65-78.

Van Alstyne, Marshall, and Erik Brynjolfsson (1996) "Could the Internet Balkanize Science?" Science 274 1479-80.

Information Economics

Bakos, J.Y. and Brynjolfsson, E. (2000) Aggregation and Disaggregation of Information Goods: Implications for Bundling, Site Licensing and Micropayment Systems, in Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property. Eds. Brian Kahin and Hal Varian, MIT Press.

Besen, S. M. and S. N. Kirby (1989). Private Copying, Appropriability, and Optimal Copying Royalties. Journal of Law and Economics. 32(October): 255-280.

Chuang, J. and M. Sirbu, (2000) Bundling & Unbundling of Information Goods: Economic Incentives for the Network Delivery of Academic Journal Articles, in Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property. Eds. Brian Kahin and Hal Varian, MIT Press.

DeLong, J. B. and Froomkin, A. M. (1999). Speculative Microeconomics for Tomorrow's Economy. Available from http://personal.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/spec.htm. Revised and improved version of earlier paper.

Katz, M. L. and Shapiro, C. (1985). Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility. American Economic Review. 75(3): 424-440. Available from http://www.jstor.org/.

Liebowitz, S. J. and Margolis, S. E. (1994). Network Externalities: An Uncommon Tragedy. Journal of Economic Perspectives 8(2): 133-150.

MacKie-Mason, J.K., & Riveros, J. (2000) Economics and electronic access to scholarly information. in Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property. Eds. Brian Kahin and Hal Varian, MIT Press.

MacKie-Mason, J. K. and Varian, H. R. (1995). Pricing the Internet. Public Access to the Internet. Edited by B. Kahin and J. Keller. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press: 269-314. Available from http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jmm/papers/Pricing_the_Internet.pdf.

Ordover, J. A. and Willig, R. D. (1978). On the Optimal Provision of Journals qua Sometimes Shared Goods. American Economic Review. 68(3): 324-338. Available from http://www.jstor.org/.

Shapiro, Carl and Hal Varian, Information Rules, (1999), Harvard Business School Press.

Van Alstyne, M. and Brynjolfsson, E. (1995). Communication Networks and the Rise of an Information Elite: Do Computers Help the Rich Get Richer? Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems. Amsterdam. Available from http://www.si.umich.edu/~mvanalst/Papers/InfoElite.pdf.

Information Forms, Genres, Artifacts and Collections

Bolter, J. David, Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, N.J.:Erlbaum, 1991). Chapters 1, 2, 6, 10, 13, 14.

Brown, John Seely and Paul Duguid, (1996) The Social Life of Documents, First Monday. Available: http://www.firstmonday.dk/

Chartier, Roger. (1994) "Library without Walls" in The Order of Books, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 61-91.

Hedstrom, Margaret,(1991) "Understanding Electronic Incunabula: A Framework for Research on Electronic Records," American Archivist, 54: 334-54.

Orlikowski, Wanda and JoAnne Yates. "Genre Repertoire: The Structuring of Communicative Practices in Organizations." Administrative Science Quarterly 39 (1994): 541-574.

Orlikowski, Wanda and JoAnne Yates. "Genres of Organizational Communication: A Structurational Approach to Studying Communication and Media." Academy of Management Review 17.2 (1992): 299-326.

Phelps, T.A. and Robert Wilensky, (1997) "Multivalent Annotations," In the Proceedings of the First European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, Pisa, 1-3 September 1997. Available: http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/papers.html

Ruhleder, Karen. (1995) 'Pulling down' books vs. 'pulling up' files: textual databanks and the changing culture of classical scholarship in Susan Leigh Star, ed. The cultures of computing. Blackwell/The Sociological Review, pp. 181-195

Tenopir, C. and King, D. (1997). Trends in Scientific Scholarly Journal Publishing in the United States. Journal of Scholarly Publishing. 28(3).

Design and Evaluation

Dennet, Daniel C. (1996) Darwin's Dangerous Idea. NY: Simon and Schuster. Especially pages: 48-84, 104-145.

Egan, Dennis E., Remde, Joel R. Landauer, Thomas K. Lochbaum, Carol C. Gomez, Louis M., (1989) "Behavioral evaluation and analysis of a hypertext browser." Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'89): 205-210.

Eason, K. (1997) Understanding the organizational ramifications of implementing information technology systems. In M. Helander, T.K. Landauer & P.Prabhu (Eds.), Handbook of HCI. Elsevier. pp. 1475-1495.

Furnas, George W. Future Design Mindful of the MoRAS, to appear in Human Computer Interaction, New Jersey: Erlbaum 2000.
Available at http://www.si.umich.edu/~furnas/MoRAS/MoRAS-Design-Latest.doc

Grudin, J. (1989). Why groupware applications fail: Problems in design and evaluation. Office: Technology & People, 4(3), 245-264.

Landauer, Thomas K., (1995) The Trouble with Computers: Usefulness, Usability, and Productivity Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Chs. 6-13.

Norman, Donald A. (1990) The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Norman, 1990. New York: Doubleday.

Olson, G.M., & Olson, J.R. (1991). User-centered design of collaboration technology. Journal of Organizational Computing. 1, 61-83.

Olson, J. S. and Moran, T. (1996) Mapping the method muddle: Guidance in using methods for user interface design. In M. Rudisill, C. Lewis, P. B. Polson, Tim McKay (Eds.) Human-computer interface design: Success Cases, emerging methods, and real world contexts. New York: Morgan Kaufman. pp 269-302.

Tenner, Edward, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (New York: Knopf, 1996, Chapters 1, 8-9.

Information Infrastructure

Abbate, Janet, (1999) Inventing the Internet (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Durfee, Edmund H., Daniel L. Kiskis, and William P. Birmingham. (1997) "The Agent Architecture of the University of Michigan Digital Library." IEE/British Computer Society Proceedings on Software Engineering (Special Issue on Intelligent Agents), 144(1):61-71,. Also published in Readings in Agents (M. N. Huhns and M. P. Singh, editors), Morgan Kaufmann 1998.

Edwards, Paul N., (1998) "Y2K: Millennial Reflections on Computers as Infrastructure," History and Technology, Vol. 15 pp. 7-29.

Froomkin, A. Michael, (1997) "The Internet as a Source of Regulatory Arbitrage," in Brian Kahin and Charles Nesson, eds., Borders in Cyberspace, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 129-163.

Lesk, M. (1997) Practical Digital Libraries: Books, Bytes and Bucks. Morgan Kaufman. Esp. Chs. 1-5.

Lessig, Lawrence and Paul Resnick.(1998) The Architectures of Mandated Access Controls. Proceedings of the 1998 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference. (Revised and expanded version to appear in the Michigan Law Review).

Star, Susan Leigh and Karen Ruhleder. (1996): "Steps Towards an Ecology of Infrastructure: Design and Access for Large-Scale Collaborative Systems." Information Systems Research 7): 111-138.

Stefik, Mark, (1996), "Letting loose the light: Igniting Commerce in Electronic Publication," in Stefik, Mark, Internet Dreams, Cambridge: MIT Press, 218-253.

Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (1996), Computer Networks, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall. Chapter 1.

Information Organization, Discovery, and Retrieval

Baeza-Yates, Ricardo and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto. (1999) Modern Information Retrieval. ACM Press.

Bates, Marcia J. (1989) "The Design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface" Online Review 13(5): 409-422.

Belkin, Nicholas J. and Croft, W. Bruce (1992) "Information Filtering and Information Retrieval: Two Sides of the Same Coin" Communications of the ACM 35(12): 29-38.

Blair, David C. (1986). "Indeterminacy in the Subject Access to Documents" Information Processing & Management 22(2): 229-241.

Card, S.K., Mackinlay, J.D., & Shneiderman, B. (1999) (Eds.) Readings in information visualization: Using vision to think. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. Pp. 1-34.

Furnas, G.W., Landauer, T.K., Gomez, L.M., Dumais, S. T., (1987) "The vocabulary problem in human-system communication." Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, 30 (11), Nov 1987: 964-971.

Furnas, George W., (1997) "Effective View Navigation." In Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI '97 Conference Proceedings, ACM: 367-374.

Harris, Roma and Patricia Dewdney. (1994) "Theory and Research on Information Seeking." In Barriers to Information. Westport, Ct. Greenwood Press.

Hsieh-Yee, I. (1998) "Search Tactics of Web Users in Searching for Texts, Graphics, Known Items and Subjects" Reference Librarian 60: 61-85.

Hutchins, W.J. (1978) "The Concept of 'Aboutness' in Subject Indexing" Aslib Proceedings, 30: 172-181.

Ingwersen, Peter. (1982) "Search Procedures in the Library--Analysed from the Cognitive Point of View." Journal of Documentation 38 (3): 165-191.

Jurafsky, Daniel and James Martin (1999). Speech and Language Processing. Prentice-Hall, Chapter 17 Word-Sense Disambiguation and Information Retrieval

Kuhlthau, Carol Collier. (1988) "Developing a Model of the Library Search Process: Cognitive and Affective Aspects." RQ 28: 232-242.

Lawrence, Steve & C. Lee Giles, (1999) Web, "Accessibility of information on the web," Nature, 400 (8 July 1999): 107-09.

Pirolli, Peter and Stuart Card, (1999) Information Foraging, Psychological Review 106:4, pp. 643-75.

Resnick, Paul, Neophytos Iacovou, Mitesh Suchak, Peter Bergstrom, John Riedl, (1994), GroupLens: An Open Architecture for Collaborative Filtering of Netnews Sharing Information and Creating Meaning Proceedings of ACM CSCW'94 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, pp.175-186.

Russell, Daniel M., Stefik, Mark J., Pirolli, Peter, Card, Stuart K. (1993) "Cost structure of sensemaking" Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - INTERACT '93 and CHI '93. Amsterdam, Neth. publ by ACM, New York, NY, USA: 269-276.

Russell, Stuart J. and Norvig, Peter (1995) Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall: 55-122 (Ch. 3, 4,)

Information Use and Users

Dervin, Brenda and Michael Nilan (1986) "Information Needs and Uses." Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 21: 3-33.

Finholt, T.A., & Olson, G.M. (1997) From laboratories to collaboratories: A new organizational form for scientific collaboration. Psychological Science, 8, pp. 28-36.

Gould, J.D., et al (1987) The 1984 Olympic messaging system. CACM, 30(9), 758-769.

Kuhlthau, Carol Collier (1991) "Inside the Search Process: Information Seeking from the User's Perspective." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 10: 257-304.

Nardi, Bonnie and Vicki O'Day. (1996) "Intelligent Agents: What We Learned At The Library." Libri, pp. 39-88.

Olson, J., & Teasley, S. (1996) Groupware in the wild: Lessons learned from a year of virtual colocation. Proceedings of CSCW '96. ACM. pp. 419-427.

Palmer, Carole L. (1996). Information work at the boundaries of science: linking library services to research practices. Library Trends 45(2): 165-191.

Suchman, L. (1996). Constituting shared workspaces. In Engestrom, Y. & Middleton, D. (Eds.) Cognition and communication at work. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 35-60.

Taylor, Robert S. (1962). "The Process of Asking Questions." American Documentation 13: 391-396;.

Taylor, Robert S. (1968) "Question-Negotiation and Information Seeking in Libraries." College and Research Libraries 29: 178-194.

Wilson, Thomas D. (1981). "On User Studies and Information Needs." Journal of Documentation 37 (1): 3-15.

Wilson, Thomas D (1984). "The Cognitive Approach to Information-Seeking Behavior and Information Use." Social Science Information Studies 4 (2/3): 197-204.

Organizations and Organizational Change

Axelrod, Robert. (1984) The Evolution of Cooperation, New York: Basic Books:, Chs. 1 and 4, pp. 3-24; 73-87.

DiMaggio, Paul J. (1991) "Constructing an Organizational Field as a Professional Project: U.S. Art Museums, 1920-1940" in The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, Walter W. Powell and Powell and Paul J. DiMaggio, eds., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 267-92.

Kling, Rob and Walt Scacchi, (1982), "The Web of Computing: Computing Technology as Social Organization," Advances in Computers. 21: 3-85.

Nelson and Winter, (1982) An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Harvard University Press, , Chs. 4 and 5, pp. 72-136.

Robbins, (1993) Organizational Behavior: Concepts, Controversies & Applications. Prentice-Hall. pp. 599-631.

Sproull, L.S., & Kiesler, S. (1991). Connections: New ways of working in the networked organization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Chapters 4 ("Electronic group dynamics" pp. 57-77), 5 ("Increasing personal connections" pp. 79-101), & 8 ("New ways of organizing" pp. 143-157).

Weick, K. (1979). The social psychology of organizing (2d edition). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, Chapters 6 ("Enactment and organizing" pp. 147-170), 7 ("Selection and organizing" pp. 171 - 204), & 8 ("Retention and organizing" pp. 205 - 232)

Yates, JoAnne (1989) Control Through Communication, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, Chapters 1 and 2, pp. 1-64.

Zuboff, Shoshana. (1988) In the age of the smart machine: the future of work and power. New York: Basic Books, Chs. 4, 5, 7, 9-10, Conclusion.


Prelims at Cornell are a beast somewhere between a test and a final. We generally have two or three of them in each class during the course of the semester. Mostly, we take them at night, not during class time.

Prelims tend to come in bunches, so there are about 3 weeks of Hell scattered throughout the semester, 4 weeks if you count finals. The administration likes to schedule my prelims for the exact same time, forcing me to reschedule them and take two in a row.


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