The rapidly evolving Worldwide Information Infrastructure (WII) (Neumann, 1994), of which the Internet is arguably the most visible component, marks the emergence of the information superhighway. The WII is very broad in scope and may be seen as a worldwide super-set of the National Information Infrastructure (NII). The NII consists of: (1) thousands of interconnected, interoperable telecommunication networks; (2) computer systems, televisions, fax machines, and other "information appliances"; (3) software, information services, and information databases (e.g., "digital libraries"); and (4) trained people who can build, maintain, and operate these systems. In the future, the NII will enable all Americans to get the information they need, when they need it, where they need it, for an affordable price (https://WWW.NTIA.DOC.GOV/). In this paper, we use the term "Distributed Information Systems Infrastructure" (DISI) for a restricted subsystem of the WII consisting of all networked computers and the distributed information systemsthey represent. This paper proposes a framework to organize and view the major components of the DISI and suggests a classification scheme for information tasks. The paper identifies and examines some key issues relating to the content and process of ISresearch and ISteaching. Why can't existing ISframeworks be used directly to study the DISI? Classical ISframeworks have been invaluable in guiding ISwork in the last two decades, but they were developed with traditional ISin mind and fall short in capturing the unique aspects of the emerging DISI. It is clear that the DISI significantly differs from conventional ISin characteristics as well as in the types of opportunities it offers and the consequent risks.