Program Overview

The Research and Information Studies Minor explores information studies as a discipline. Students develop professional level research skills and strategies using research libraries, online databases, regular collections and special collections, and archives. In addition to the joy of intellectual curiosity, courses cover many current issues including privacy, censorship, international sources, the evaluation of arguments, and the publishing industry. This is a useful minor for students interested in continuing their post-BA studies in the fields of library science, law, writing, and professional communication.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core, and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 18-20 total credits)

Research and Information Studies Required Courses (12 credits)

  • INFS 315 Searching for Information
    4 credits

    A student completing this course understands the process of finding, synthesizing, evaluating, and documenting sufficient and reliable information appropriate to a variety of purposes including upper division coursework, senior capstone papers or professional writing and communication tasks. Students also explore a number of the contemporary issues surrounding information in society, have opportunities to use and/or visit primary resource collections and learn a variety of research techniques. Specific sections of the course will structure assignments around a course theme identified in the class schedule. Prior themes have included Civil Rights, Holocaust and Genocide, Crime and Punishment, Food, Immigration and Health Care. Both themed and non-themed sections are offered every semester as are online and in-class sections.

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  • INFS 338 The Craft and Commerce of Book Publishing
    4 credits

    This course considers books, like universities and libraries, part of "the knowledge industry," and emphasizes the gatekeepers who decide matters of a book's authorship, publishing, and readership. By tracking the evolution of the book pre-Gutenberg to the current e-book environment, we will explore the evolving publishing industry in society. In our exploration of the field of publishing, we will combine readings and discussion with field experiences. You will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of guest speakers who work in various aspects of the publishing industry.

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  • INFS 340 Research in Special Collections and Archives
    4 credits

    Students will explore the history of libraries and special research collections around the world and be introduced to field research in local special library/archive collections at the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis Central Library (Hennepin County) and the St. Paul Public Library. Online research with digital special collections from around the United States will also be a part of the course, including virtual discussions with curators. Students will have an opportunity to develop individual research projects, work as interns or explore other special projects using these unique special collections. All students welcome and supplemental instructional units will be provided for students who have not had library database instruction.

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Research and Information Studies Electives (6-8 credits)

Note: INFS 350I is variable credit (2-4).

  • ARTS 300 Museums and Galleries
    4 credits

    As students visit local museums and galleries, they become familiar with many of the Twin Cities' exhibition facilities and reflect on the experience of viewing art. This course offers an approach to understanding and appreciating the visual arts as one develops critical thinking skills. Emphasis is placed on the articulation of ideas through written and spoken words. Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation.

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  • ARTS 302 Exhibition Practices
    2 credits

    This internship is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the basic functions and day to day operations of an educational art gallery. Students will assist in the installation and dismantling of various exhibitions, featuring numerous forms of art. In doing so, students will gather practical knowledge about handling and lighting artwork, creating didactics, generating and distributing publicity, working with artists and creating corresponding programming. This knowledge should qualify a student to apply for entry level positions at other exhibition facilities, create groundwork for additional coursework in Museum Studies, and/or prepare students to mount exhibitions of their own in a professional manner. Variable meeting times. Contact instructor for details prior to registering. S/N grading only.

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  • INFS 518 Information Issues:
    4 credits

    This course addresses issues of information access and cybrethics. These issues can include access vs. privacy or secrecy; security; the fair and unfair uses of intellectual property; free speech vs. civil rights; censorship; public policy; and the corporate bottom line, the question of who pays for what in the transmission of information and entertainment. Note: This course is about information issues and is not a technology skills building course. This is a 4 credit course and it is assumed that students are familiar with utilizing online databases for research.

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  • HIST 301 Historical Interpretation
    4 credits

    What is history? It is often said that history should be objective, that it should provide just the facts, that it should bring people a sense of the past "as it really was." Those who study and write history professionally tend to view these demands as extremely naive. It is a fact that historians have produced radically different interpretations of particular events or developments in the past. The dominant interpretations of important events have changed greatly over time. The study of these changes is called historiography. Through the readings in this course, students confront such interpretive discrepancies and changes with respect to several important historical developments, which occurred in different parts of the world and in different eras.

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  • INFS 350I Information Studies Individual Internship
    0 credits

    Students obtain internships in selected areas of study to gain deeper understand of knowledge, skills and the context of a given field. Faculty members serve as liaisons and evaluator between the internship sites and the university, providing information to students and potential supervisors and supervising the learning experience. Internships normally earn between one and four credits, required 40 work hours per credit, and may be served through a standard hours/work schedule or with flexible work hours scheduling, depending on the nature of the internship and site preferences.

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  • LIT 332 Adolescent Literatures
    4 credits

    This course is intended to familiarize students with fictional and non-fictional texts written for young adults by authors of diverse cultures. Students examine the criteria that characterize these diverse literatures and learn to recognize contemporary trends.

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  • MDST 520 Digital Storytelling
    4 credits

    Digital storytelling is a growing area of multimodal communication that is part of a larger movement to empower communities and voices through the use of digital tools and platforms. Digital stories are short videos that combine narration, images (still and moving), sound effects, and music to tell a compelling story. Students will create two digital stories: a personal story and a story that promotes a cause or organization (e.g., a Kickstarter-style video). The process will include multiple rough cuts and a final version of each video, as well as extensive instructor and peer feedback.

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  • MDST 580 Issues in Communication Technology
    4 credits

    This course is concerned with the impact communication technologies have had and continue to have on human societies. The course begins with a brief examination of two technologies that have had a profound impact on how people think about communication. It looks at the background and impact of current technologies. And it also looks at new and emerging technologies - such as hypermedia, neural nets, virtual reality - speculating about how these technologies will change people in the near future and later in the twenty-first century.

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