The Centre for Information Quality Management


Centre for Information Quality Management


A service of IAL, run on behalf of the UK eInformation Group (UKeiG) and CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals since 1993.



The Centre for Information Quality Management (CIQM) was set up in 1993 under the auspices of the (then) UK Library Association and Institute of Information Scientists – the organisations that have now become CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. CIQM’s remit was specifically to:

  • act as a clearing house for data quality issues
  • monitor database quality.

The latter role provided the Centre with scope to undertake a number of research projects and to take a more pro-active role in establishing methodologies for database quality. It should be noted that at the time the Centre was set up, the concerns were with the quality of records in ‘traditional’ databases made available through vendors such as DIALOG and DIMDI. The rise in importance of Internet resources has meant that the Centre’s remit has been extended to include informational Internet resources.

CIQM was set up following evidence of not inconsiderable user activity in the UK regarding database quality (conference papers, journal articles, debates and private conversations). Similar concerns were being voiced in the USA (e.g. articles and books by Péter Jacsó and Reva Basch). While there is no suggestion that CIQM has brought an end to such concerns, it is true to say that far fewer are voiced, although it may be the case that CIQM has simply been instrumental in improving the information literacy of some resource users. However, we have seen a gradual improvement in the quality of databases and information resources.

The CIQM work clearly indicates the importance of information integrity and data quality. Successes with data producers (e.g. National Library of Medicine, Elsevier, IEE, CABI) during the UK clearing-house and monitoring initiative have resulted in a greater awareness of the issues and a gradual improvement of their, and other, products. Work on data validation and accreditation has progressed as far as the development of methodologies, although these are largely untested. Resource labelling for quality through metadata remains the preferred route.

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Last updated: Aug 2007