Running An Institutional Web Service:

2 Information Flow

This exercise is intended for workshop participants who are particularly interested in web design issues. The exercise will form the basis of a discussion group on Information Flow.

The object of this exercise is to ensure that participants have a clear picture of how information flows through their institution - for some it may be quite revealing! It is not anticipated that each participant will be asked to present their model, but it is hoped that they will be willing to use the results of the exercise to illustrate points or highlight problems during the course of the discussion.

(Note: for the purpose of this exercise, in so far as is possible, consider all physical WWW servers in your institutionís domain with public visibility as part of "the institutional server").

Describe the flow of information (possibly by diagram) in your organisation from point of origin to end users.

Indicate, as appropriate:

  1. Points at which obstacles occur (these may include capabilities of the info provider, technical problems, administrative issues)
  2. Areas in which lack of control may cause problems (e.g. publishing of personal pages)

Now try and improve the situation:

  1. Identify unnecessary impediments to publication and suggest ways in which these could be removed/alleviated
  2. Identify areas where lack of control reduces the quality of the institutional service. Suggest ways of addressing this.

IF your institution has an Information Policy, describe how this has assisted/hindered the development of your service.

OTHERWISE suggest how an Information Policy could be used to improve the flow of information at your institution.



Who runs your institutional WWW service?

Who is responsible for the content?


Do you have an institutional Information Policy? If so how is it implemented / enforced?

Do you have a WWW editorial board/committee? Is it pro-active or re-active?

What impedes/facilitates WWW publication in your institution? (consider both resources and policy)?



Make a note of any comments on this exercise or of any issues you may wish to raise at the discussions group.