Information Body of Knowledge

Disciplines of the Information Profession

Disciplines of the Information Profession

We believe that there are many disciplines that belong within the now loosely defined Information Profession. These should not be confused with stakeholders, of which we would also add to this list business lines, or core business representation. We categorize the disciplines of the Information Professioninto 9 main categories.

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Archiving roles include job titles such as Archivist, Archiving Fellow, Archivist Intern, Archival Transcriptionist, Library Program Manager (Special Collections), Archivist & Librarian, University Archivist, Government Archivist, Museum Archivist, Chief Librarian, Library Archives Officer, etc.

As mentioned in the description of Records Management, Archiving often overlaps with Records Management roles and associations, as well as with libraries roles. Associations serving the archiving disciplines are the SAA (Society of American Archivists), ACA (Academy of Certified Archivists), IASSIST (Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology), ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators), ICA (International Council on Archives), and others.


Compliance as a discipline includes job titles such as Director of Compliance, Chief Compliance Officer, Global Head of Compliance, Compliance Manager, Compliance Associate, Fraud Investigator, Compliance Administrator, etc.. These roles support the organization’s compliance efforts, or ensuring that their organizations comply with applicable regulations and/or internal guidelines. Roles within compliance range from C-Suite positions through to entry-level jobs.

Compliance roles are governed by multiple associations such as ICA (International Compliance Association), RCA (Regulatory Compliance Association), SCCE (Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics), IARCP (International Association of Risk and Compliance Professionals), NSCP (National Society of Compliance Professionals), CCB (Compliance Certification Board), and ECI (Ethics & Compliance Initiative), as well as an array of groups that serve on particular sector such as AICP (Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals) and HCCA (Health Care Compliance Association).

Compliance roles often overlap with the Information Profession with some roles most firmly considered to be within the profession than others, all dependent upon the specific job tasks of the role. For some compliance positions, a complete understanding of information systems is a requirements for success, while others do not leverage information systems beyond that of the typical employee of the organization.

Information Leadership / Strategy

Information Leadership and Information Strategy roles include positions such as CIO (Chief Information Officer), CSO (Chief Security Officer), CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), CIGO (Chief Information Governance Officer), CDO (Chief Data Officer), CDIO (Chief Digital Information Officer), CKO (Chief Knowledge Officer), Director of Information Management, Information Governance Director, Information Director, Director of Information Security, Director of Knowledge, etc.

Information Leadership roles are governed by a variety of associations and quasi-association organizations, often with publications or events specifically catering to one of the aforementioned roles. The groups are too numerous to list and are often segmented by industry.

The Information Coalition is one of the organizations that caters specifically to Information Leadership and Information Strategy roles - focusing heavily on establishing overall organizational strategy for information.

Information Management

Information Management roles span positions from Chief Information Officer, to Document Clerk, including Director of Information Management, Information Manager, Document Controller, Document Manager, Scanner Operator, File Clerk, etc.. Roles also may be technology specific such as SharePoint Manager or Documentum Specialist.

Information Management roles are governed by a variety of associations, most prominently AIIM (now the Association for Intelligent Information Management, previously the Association for Imaging and Information Management). Other resources for Information Management roles include the vendors of the many products which service the market - providing technology specific guidance to perform many of the typical tasks for managing information, as well as industry specific associations such as AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association).

Information Technology (IT)

Information Technology roles include Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Director of IT, IT Manager, IT Service Professional, IT Helpdesk, Database Manager, Development Director, Software Engineer, Systems Analyst, Technical Support, Network Engineer, Technical Consultant, Software Tester, Web Developer, etc.. Roles also often include technology specific roles including titles such as PeopleSoft Administrator, SharePoint Manager, etc.

Information Technology (IT) roles are governed by wide array of associations such as Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), Association of Software Professionals (ASP), Association for Women in Computing (AWC), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Network Professional Association (NPA), Software Development Forum (SDF), Women in Technology (WIT), CompTIA, and National Association of Programmers. There are also many software specific groups that may be funded by software vendors or that are grassroots in various local markets that help guide IT professionals.

IT roles often overlap with the Information Profession since they often handle the technical execution of policy and strategy within organizational technologies. Some roles, however, may have less overlap than others with the Information Profession - for example, a database administrator may be tasked with ensuring uptime of various database applications with little interaction with the actual data within the database. In this example, the individual is clearly a part of the Information Technology operation but likely not a part of the Information Profession.


Legal roles that are often a part of the Information Profession include General Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Information Officer, Contract Specialist, Legal Specialist, Of Counsel, Law Librarian, Legal Counsel, and Paralegal, among others.

Associations service the legal profession related to the Information Profession include NLA (National Lawyers Association), ACEDS (Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists, OLP (the Organization of Legal Professionals), NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants), NALS (formerly the National Association of Legal Secretaries, now simply “NALS”), NFPA (National Federation of Paralegal Associations), and an array of associations that are specific to an area of practice or state/region.

Not all legal roles are a part of the Information Profession, but many more than currently consider themselves a part of it likely are. Legal professionals, both in law firms and corporate lawyers are required to have specific information handling practices that place them within the Information Profession whether they acknowledge it as such or not.


Privacy roles are growing within organizations today as data breaches continue to harm many corporate brands. Privacy roles include CPO (Chief Privacy Officer), Privacy Manager, Director of Privacy, Privacy Analyst, Privacy Program Manager, Vice President of Privacy, etc., as well as roles specific to particular regulations or particular industries such as HIPAA Privacy Officer, Health Privacy Director, or Bank Secrecy Act Officer.

Privacy roles are served by IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) and EPA (European Privacy Association), in addition to associations specific to particular industries.

Privacy roles are often excluded from the Information Profession as it is a growing disciplinary field but all privacy roles should be included within the Information Profession.

Records Management

Records Management roles are a part of the Information Profession and include Records Manager, Director of Records, Chief Records Officer, Records Clerk, Records Associate, and other related roles.

Associations serving the Records Management profession are ARMA (Association of Records Management and Administrators), IRMS (Information and Records Management Society), ICRM (Institute of Certified Records Managers), ARA (Archives and Records Association), NARA (National Archives & Records Administration), and NAGARA (National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators). Records Management associations often overlap with Archiving roles given the closeness of the two professions and professional bodies of knowledge.


Security roles are, like privacy, growing within organizations today - in direct response to ongoing concerns of data breaches. Security roles include CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), Information Assurance Analyst, IT Security Engineer, Security Administrator, IT Security Officer, Risk Analyst, Incident Response Specialist, Ethical Hacker, Penetration Tester, Business Continuity Manager, Malware Analyst, Security Auditor, Security Analyst, etc.

Security roles are served by a variety of associations depending upon the type of security role including CompTIA, EC-Council, GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification), ISACA (formerly Information Systems Audit & Control Association), ISC2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium), and ISSA (Information Systems Security Association), among others.

Security roles most often lean towards the technical and IT-driven functions, but increasingly are aligning with the Information Profession - security previously only focusing on technologies now looking towards the information assets that are being protected. This means that some roles within the Security discipline should be considered a part of the Information Profession while others, not so.

The Information Governance Conference 2018