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Über dieses Buch

This book proposes a novel approach to classification, discusses its myriad advantages, and outlines how such an approach to classification can best be pursued. It encourages a collaborative effort toward the detailed development of such a classification. This book is motivated by the increased importance of interdisciplinary scholarship in the academy, and the widely perceived shortcomings of existing knowledge organization schemes in serving interdisciplinary scholarship. It is designed for scholars of classification research, knowledge organization, the digital environment, and interdisciplinarity itself. The approach recommended blends a general classification with domain-specific classification practices. The book reaches a set of very strong conclusions:

-Existing classification systems serve interdisciplinary research and teaching poorly.

-A novel approach to classification, grounded in the phenomena studied rather than disciplines, would serve interdisciplinary scholarship much better. It would also have advantages for disciplinary scholarship. The productivity of scholarship would thus be increased.

-This novel approach is entirely feasible. Various concerns that might be raised can each be addressed. The broad outlines of what a new classification would look like are developed.

-This new approach might serve as a complement to or a substitute for existing classification systems.

-Domain analysis can and should be employed in the pursuit of a general classification. This will be particularly important with respect to interdisciplinary domains.

-Though the impetus for this novel approach comes from interdisciplinarity, it is also better suited to the needs of the Semantic Web, and a digital environment more generally.

Though the primary focus of the book is on classification systems, most chapters also address how the analysis could be extended to thesauri and ontologies. The possibility of a universal thesaurus is explored. The classification proposed has many of the advantages sought in ontologies for the Semantic Web. The book is therefore of interest to scholars working in these areas as well.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. The Importance of Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching

Abstract
This book will investigate the possibility that a new approach to knowledge organization is better suited to a contemporary academy characterized by an increased emphasis on interdisciplinarity. The knowledge organization systems (KOSs) that are most widely used in the world were developed when a discipline-based view of the universe of knowledge was common within both information science and the wider academy (see Miksa 1992). To set the stage for our analysis, it is first necessary that we define interdisciplinarity (and disciplines) and discuss the increased importance of interdisciplinarity within both the academy and the world at large. The first several sections of this chapter address definitional matters. The next several sections detail the increased importance of interdisciplinary scholarship, its value for scholarly discovery, and the place of interdisciplinarity within the academy and society. The chapter closes by outlining how we can explore in the rest of the book the ways in which knowledge organization should best facilitate interdisciplinarity.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 2. The Needs of Interdisciplinary Research

Abstract
We begin this chapter by outlining a set of interdisciplinary information needs derived from our discussion in Chap. 1. We then discuss each of these in turn. We close the chapter by discussing how disciplinary scholars would be affected by the adoption of KOSs that met interdisciplinary needs.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 3. The Nature of Knowledge Organization Systems to Serve Interdisciplinarity

Abstract
Chapter 2 closed with a list of the desired attributes of knowledge organization systems (KOSs) for interdisciplinarity. This chapter opens with a brief survey of KOSs, and then asks what sort of KOS could provide these desired attributes. In particular, it provides arguments for the theses that:
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 4. Phenomenon Versus Discipline-Based Classification

Abstract
Previous chapters have developed an argument that interdisciplinary scholarship (in particular) would benefit from an approach to classification grounded in phenomena rather than disciplines. It might seem that such a recommendation represents a strong break with traditions in the field of classification research. Yet this is not the case. This chapter begins with a discussion of the historical emergence of discipline-based classifications. It then proceeds to examine a tradition within the field of knowledge organization of urging a phenomenon-based approach, and illustrates contemporary projects that are advancing in this direction. It discusses why such KOSs have not previously been widely adopted.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 5. The Feasibility of Developing Such Knowledge Organization Systems

Abstract
Existing classification systems such as the Library of Congress (LCC) or Dewey Decimal (DDC) benefit from over a century of refinement. It is thus no simple task to develop a novel classification that might supersede (or simply complement) these. Knapp (2012) is one scholar who applauds the sort of classification being urged in this book, but worries about the feasibility of developing an entirely new classification. Yet the argument of this chapter is that it is indeed possible to do so. We will first make some general remarks regarding feasibility, and then proceed to a discussion of each of the elements of a new system that were proposed in the preceding chapters.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 6. Domain Oriented Interdisciplinarity

Abstract
We have often in preceding chapters stressed the complementarity of domain analysis with the sort of comprehensive classification advocated in this book. A classification such as we have proposed will work for scholars from different domains only if the terminology of those domains has been accurately translated into the terminology employed within the comprehensive classification.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 7. How to Develop a KOS to Serve Interdisciplinarity

Abstract
This chapter begins with several strategies for developing the sort of general classification urged in preceding chapters. It first discusses strategies for reducing ambiguity. It then addresses how to structure a phenomenon-based KOS. Integrative levels, dependence relationships, and general systems theory are explored. The chapter then looks in some detail at the practical classification of phenomena and relationships.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 8. Benefits of a Comprehensive Phenomenon-Based Classification

Abstract
With the broad outlines of a novel classification sketched in previous chapters, it is useful to note in this chapter that—while this approach to classification has its challenges—such a classification would have many advantages for classificationist, classifier, and user. We review first the advantages for scholarly users, and then for general users. We close the chapter with a brief discussion of the practical challenges of achieving adoption of the recommended approach to classification. It is argued that certain of the myriad advantages of the new approach should facilitate adoption.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 9. Responding to Potential Theoretical Critiques

Abstract
We have already in preceding chapters addressed some of the critiques that might be lodged against the project of a comprehensive classification grounded in phenomena rather than disciplines. The purpose of this chapter is to bring together in one place our responses to these critiques.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Chapter 10. Concluding Remarks and the Next Steps

Abstract
We open this chapter by summarizing the conclusions reached in the preceding nine chapters. We then discuss avenues for further research, and also for public policy. We close with some reflections on the place of knowledge organization in the world.
Rick Szostak, Claudio Gnoli, María López-Huertas

Backmatter

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