Alexander Ivanovich Mikhailov

Alexander Ivanovich Mikhailov. Most influential thinker related to the field of Information Science in the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc . Theoretical and scientific engineer and documentalist .


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
    • 1 Studies
    • 2 Career path
    • 3 Death
  • 2 Contributions
  • 3 Publications
  • 4 Awards
  • 5 Sources

Biographical synthesis

He was born on December 6 , 1905 , in Russia .


He graduated in Industrial Engineering in 1921 from the Mendeleev Institute in Moscow .

Career path

He worked on the design of airplanes during the decades of 1930 and 1940 , but early in the decade of the 1950s , changed careers to participate in the creation and development of the center of Soviet documents VINITI (VINITI Databases RAS), organ Russian Academy of Sciences , for the treatment, storage and dissemination of scientific and technological information and documentation.

He was director of the center from 1966 until his death. It is introduced in the academic field of information from the years 1960 , coming to have a role highlighted in the International Federation for Information and Documentation , being deputy head twice, from 1969 to 1976 and from 1981 to 1988 . He was also editor of the international magazine “Forum for Information and Documentation” from 1975 to 1988 .

He developed the Information System of the lifeless Soviet Union , and shifted the theoretical conception of documentary institutions, such as libraries or documentation centers. These institutions were based on the so-called Marxist library science led by Nadezhda Krúpskaya , Lenin’s wife .


He died on February 6 of the 1988 in Moscow , Russia .


Together with Arkadii Chernyi and Rudhzero Gilyarevskyi , they deployed the concept of Informatics , without having had contact with their American counterpart in Information Science . For these authors, Informatics is the discipline that studies the structure and properties (not its specific content) of Scientific Information , as well as the laws that govern scientific activity -information, theory, history , methodology and optimal means of representation (and registration), as well as the rest of the links in the documentary chain. However, IT specialists cannot qualitatively evaluate thisinformation , but specialists in specific fields of knowledge .

This new discipline, enunciated in 1966 , coincides with 3 concepts such as Information, Scientific Information and Scientific-informative Activity:

  • Information: Original material that consists of the collection of data, while knowledge involves certain reasonings and judgments that organize the data by comparing and classifying it.
  • Scientific Information: Result of the scientific process carried out by the researcher; that is, the information obtained during the knowledge process, reflecting the laws of theobjective world and which is used in social- historical practice . Mikhailov emphasizes that to know if a knowledge belongs to the category of Scientific Information, it can only be resolved by attending to the specific historical conditions in which that knowledge becomes the focus of attention. In addition, it is verified that scientific information is not only a product resulting from science , but also from other productive and economic activities.
  • Scientific-informative activity: Activity in charge of collecting, processing through analysis and synthesis, storing, searching and disseminating the scientific information obtained in the process of knowing the objective world. For Mikhailov, this part is independent of scientific work .

Later it postulates to the Computer science like a discipline whose object is the correct creation of information systems that solve effectively the social needs. Therefore , information technologies are essential, as are other disciplines such as logic or linguistics . The embrace of computerization triggered the creation of a new nomenclature in the Soviet sphere.


He published, together with Arkadii Chernyi and Rudhzero Gilyarevskyidos key works in the Soviet field and the block of the East on Information Science :

  • The first in 1968called “Osnovy Informatiki” ( Foundations of Computing )
  • In 1976“Naucnhye Kommunikacii e Informátika” (Scientific Communication and Informatics).


  • He received the Medalof Gold of Professor Kaula in 1981 , a prestigious international award in science


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