Brno October 2008


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Prednaska Prof. Hjorlanda

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Brno October 2008

  1. 1. Knowledge Organization and Domain Analysis Invited lecture Tuesday, October 30., 10.00 - 11.35, room C 14. Masaryk University, The Faculty of Arts, Division of Information and Library Studies, Bron, Czech Republic Birger Hjørland
  2. 2. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>In LIS (or just IS) are many subfields. It is important, however to focus on what might be considered core fields, such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Information retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge organization / Information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly communication </li></ul><ul><li>. . . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>It is important to consider LIS as a specialized field of research and practice, not just as a mixture of computer skills, library practice, a bit of management, copyright law and many other elements from other fields. </li></ul><ul><li>LIS has a tendency to be fragmented and a-theoretical. This is mainly caused by its history as a profession before it became an academic field in its own right. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>LIS is concerned with knowledge about knowledge . </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is always specialized. It may be about animals, languages, history, music, cooking or hobbies. In all these fields are subject experts. </li></ul><ul><li>(Sometimes the real experts seems to be users rather than researchers, for example, in popular music or computer games). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>In all domains are knowledge produced, communicated and used by people with special competencies in that domain. </li></ul><ul><li>To some degree the domains establish their own information and communication systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Library and information science is about contributing to the optimal storage and retrieval of knowledge (resources, media, databases, languages..) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>Library and Information specialists have to know about knowledge (which is always specialized) and at the same time be specific in relation to other fields. </li></ul><ul><li>What are our particular expertise? </li></ul><ul><li>I have suggested the following 11 areas: </li></ul>
  7. 7. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>Producing and evaluating literature guides and subject gateways, </li></ul><ul><li>Producing and evaluating special classifications and thesauri, </li></ul><ul><li>Research on and competencies in indexing and retrieving information in specialties, </li></ul>
  8. 8. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>Knowledge about empirical user studies in subject areas, </li></ul><ul><li>Producing and interpreting bibliometric studies, </li></ul><ul><li>Historical studies of information structures and services in domains, </li></ul><ul><li>Studies of documents and genres in knowledge domains, (see UNISIST) </li></ul><ul><li>Epistemological and critical studies of different paradigms, assumptions and interests in domains. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>Knowledge about terminological studies, LSP (languages for special purposes) and discourse analysis in knowledge fields, </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge about and studies of structures and institutions in scientific and professional communication in a domain. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge about methods and results from domain analytic studies about professional cognition, knowledge representation in computer science and artificial intelligence. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>These approaches represent a mixture of application areas and theoretical approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>The core application areas are information retrieval and knowledge organization, while the basic theoretical approaches are epistemological and sociological. </li></ul><ul><li>Together they represent my view of our field. ( I believe much too few people think about this – or about alternative views ) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>LIS is thus about different domains, but its perspective on a given domain is different from the normal subject specialist and it is also different from other fields studying knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of questions do you think LIS should try to answer? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>Testing information technology products such as GPS? </li></ul><ul><li>Know what books are considered “canon”? </li></ul><ul><li>Designing web-pages? </li></ul><ul><li>Be able to find any book on any subject? </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>Advice users interested in exploring computer-games? </li></ul><ul><li>Be better than Google? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Library and Information Science (LIS) <ul><li>Should everybody in LIS know the same? Or should they be specialized in, for example, children, young people, music, literature (fiction)? </li></ul><ul><li>If specialized: What is the core that unites us? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>KO is traditionally considered a core subfield within LIS. </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians used to classify and index documents in libraries and databases and thus providing systematic access to all publications. </li></ul><ul><li>But what was - and is - the scholarly basis for this field? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>The traditional approach to KOS expressed by classification systems used in libraries and databases, including DDC, LCC and UDC </li></ul><ul><li>The facet-analytical approach founded by Ranganathan </li></ul><ul><li>The information retrieval tradition (IR) </li></ul><ul><li>User oriented / cognitive views </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliometric approaches </li></ul><ul><li>The domain analytic approach </li></ul><ul><li>Other approaches. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>The traditional approach to classification introduced the principle of literary warrant and thus based the semantic relations in the scientific and scholarly literature. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>Classification was (and is) often done on positivist premises: </li></ul><ul><li>The scientific literature is seen as representing facts about knowledge and structures in knowledge and that subject specialists are able to make true and objective representations of in KO (thus tending to neglect conflicting evidence and theories).   </li></ul>
  18. 18. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>The facet analytic approach tends to base KO more on a priory semantic relations. Its methodology is more based on the application of (logical) principles than on the study of evidence in literatures (although this is also to some degrees visible in the tradition). </li></ul>
  19. 19. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>The IR tradition sees the semantic relations as statistical relations between signs and documents. It is atomist in the sense that it does not consider how traditions, theories and discourse communities have formed the statistical patterns it observes. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>User-oriented and cognitive views tend to replace literary warrant with empirical user studies and thus to base semantic relations on users rather than on the scientific literature. </li></ul>
  21. 21. *argued in Mishler (2000) to be the only true revolutions in the conceptual bases of systematics   [ * 7) Systematics based on DNA-analysis ] *6) Phylogenetic systematics (Cladistics). [A late Darwian approach]   5) Numerical Phenetics. Computers added . (Only a superficial effect)   4) Darwin. Evolutionary language added (Only a superficial effect for a long time, cf. 6) *3) Natural system. [de Jusseu]. Overall resemblance; &quot;importance&quot;. *2) Ancient Greeks through Linneaeus : Essentialism   1) Pre-history. Folk classifications (see also: folk taxonomy ) Historical periods in biological systematics (after Mishler, 2000)
  22. 22. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>The bibliometric approach considers documents to be semantically related if they cite each other, are being co-cited or bibliographic coupled. Again are the semantic relations based on some kind of literary warrant, but in a quite different way compared to the traditional approach. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>The relation between citations and subject relatedness is indirect and somewhat unclear (related to the difference between social organization of knowledge and intellectual organization of knowledge) </li></ul><ul><li>Does not provide clear logical structure with mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive classes </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit semantic relations are not provided </li></ul><ul><li>Namedropping and other forms of imprecise citations may cause noise [i ] . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Citations are provided by highly qualified subject specialists </li></ul><ul><li>The number of references reflect the indexing depth and specificity (average in scientific papers is about 10 references per article) </li></ul><ul><li>Citation indexing is a highly dynamic form of subject representation </li></ul><ul><li>References are distributed in papers which allows the utilization of paper structure in the contextual interpretation of citations </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific papers form a kind of self-organizing system </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Disadvantages Advantages Figure 1. Bibliographic references as index entries / subject access points
  24. 24. Approaches to Knowledge Organization (KO) <ul><li>The domain-analytic approach is rather traditional in its identification of semantic relations based on literary warrant. It is not positivist, however. It regards semantic relations as determined by theories and epistemologies, which more or less influence all fields of knowledge. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Epistemological lifeboat
  26. 26. Some epistemologies/ “paradigms” <ul><li> [Social] Constructivism </li></ul><ul><li>Critical rationalism  Hermeneutics </li></ul><ul><li> Empiricism and positivism </li></ul><ul><li>Feminist epistemology  Historicism </li></ul><ul><li> Marxist philosophy of science </li></ul><ul><li> Paradigm-theory  Postmodernism </li></ul><ul><li> Pragmatism  Rationalism </li></ul>
  27. 27. Some epistemologies/ “paradigms” <ul><li>Four epistemologies may be considered “core” views: </li></ul><ul><li> Empiricism and positivism </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalism </li></ul><ul><li> Historicism (with Hermeneutics) </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism </li></ul><ul><li>These are the major views at play in all kinds of thinking and discourse! </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention! </li></ul>