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Classification in the curriculum- “Dew(e)y” eyed or Semantically speaking? Christine Urquhart.

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Presentation on theme: "Classification in the curriculum- “Dew(e)y” eyed or Semantically speaking? Christine Urquhart."— Presentation transcript:

1 Classification in the curriculum- “Dew(e)y” eyed or Semantically speaking? Christine Urquhart

2 My perspective Categorisation debates – from Aristotle, Plato onwards Lakoff, George. Women, fire and dangerous things. Rosch, Eleanor: prototype theory Handbook of categorization in cognitive science (contributors include Stevan Harnad) Bowker and Star. Sorting things out: classification and its consequences Weller, Katrin. Knowledge representation in the social semantic web Teaching – basic business systems analysis – object oriented analysis – ontologies – and what is a concept?

3 Related work Several surveys including: – Pattuelli, M. Cristina (2010). Knowledge organization landscape: a content analysis of introductory courses. Journal of Information Science 36(6), (On ALA accredited courses, 34 LIS schools) – Hudon, Michelle (2010). Teaching classification CCQ, 48(1), (knowledge organisation, teaching with online tools, conceptual and technical, teaching content analysis is difficult)

4 Current overview - UK Approach – Used Pattuelli most popular categories as basis – but added semantic web – Convenience sample of available module descriptions on some UK programmes – computer science based as well as LIS based programmes – Limitations currency of module databases (if available)? variation in content organisation, difficult to ascertain emphasis on particular topics, implied content?? not possible to access module descriptions on some university websites

5 General observations I Cataloguing – Various approaches, generally an emphasis on standards in modules for librarianship programmes (but this is not universal) Subject access and vocabulary control – Different emphases, and approaches Metadata – Mentioned but difficult to ascertain treatment

6 General observations II Classification and categorisation – Different approaches here – some with emphasis on information retrieval, others with more emphasis on domain analysis, and the modules that were “cat and class” tend to stick to general classification schemes Semantic web – Not much evidence in “librarianship” modules (much as Pattuelli found)

7 General observations III Computer science based modules NB Small selection! – in place of cataloguing standards – other standards such as RDF, object oriented design – Ontologies much more prominent – Semantic web – more prominent

8 Does this matter? Is there an area of overlap in the middle? – Possibly? Thesaurus construction? BUT – Concept based thesaurus (evolved from object oriented ideas) versus – Term-based thesaurus Paradigm shift – are students prepared for this? SKOS – simple knowledge organisation system discussion – where is this? Philosophically – what do we mean by a concept? From cognitive psychology – what can we learn about categorisation?

9 Onward.... Range of speakers today to tackle the philosophical, psychological and pragmatic problems The different approaches evident from the module survey – suggest that some discussions are necessary From Hudon: “Conceptually, students must learn how to analyze the contents of an information resource, to identify topics, concepts and facets, to discriminate between core and peripheral elements of contents in relation to specific contexts, systems, and needs. Technically, students must learn how to navigate classification structures and to translate each topic, concept, and facet into an appropriate representation in the form of, for example, a class number.” Are we getting this right – whether in universities or in the workplace? Are we talking to the right people?


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