The documentation science or documentation motion deals with the documentation as "collection, organization and utilization of documents of all kinds". Like the term “documentation”, this definition comes from Paul Otlet . Documentation science is closely related to library science , from which it emerged, and information science , which is seen as its successor by the information scientist Rainer Kuhlen , among others . There is no recognized definition of documentation science that goes beyond Otlet's general definition.
The creation of the documentation has to do with the sudden increase in the need for information in natural sciences and technology at the end of the 19th century, which conventional libraries were less and less able to meet. Therefore, special libraries and other institutions such as the Concilium Bibliographicum in Zurich or the central office for technical-literary information in Prussia were set up, the aim of which was primarily the targeted acquisition of information. The theoretical superstructure of documentation science emerged at the beginning of the 20th century with Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet - but their far-reaching ideas of a universal library soon met with rejection. Tensions soon arose between the library system and the documentation movement, which persisted, especially in Germany, until the end of the 20th century. With the advent of commercial databases and information management methods , documentation science is becoming less important and is being largely absorbed into other subjects.
One consequence of the so-called Sputnik shock , which was triggered in the USA by the launch of the first Sputnik 1 satellite on October 4, 1957, was that the need for documentation was brought to the general public for the first time. The experience that the decoding of the satellite signal, which was carried out with great effort, could have been avoided, since this had already been published, led to an expansion of the information system and the development of modern documentation. The 1963 Weinberg Report (by Alvin M. Weinberg , Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and others) presented an analysis of the documentation and information in the USA and recommendations for better knowledge exchange. These were implemented, among other things, in the development of digital information systems ( databases ). In the Federal Republic of Germany there was the IuD program (1974–1977) to promote information and documentation a little later .
The development of the Internet has also opened up new possibilities for documentation. While conventional databases were only accessible "on-line" via remote access, information can now be called up directly and processed automatically.
- Hansjoachim Samulowitz / Marlies Ockenfeld: Library and documentation - a never-ending story . In: Information - Wissenschaft und Praxis 54, 2003, abstract and text (PDF; 124 kB) . , pp. 453-462,