Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 37, no. 1-2, 2003


Knowledge Organization and Classification in International Information Retrieval
Nancy J. Williamson, Clare Beghtol

guest editors

Introduction by Nancy J. Williamson, Clare Beghtol




The Future of General Classification
by Jens-Erik Mai

Abstract: Discusses problems related to accessing multiple collections using a single retrieval language. Surveys the concepts of interoperability and switching language. Finds that mapping between more indexing languages always will be an approximation. Surveys the issues related to general classification and contrasts that to special classifications. Argues for the use of general classifications to provide access to collections nationally and internationally. Keywords: Interoperability, switching languages, general classification, special classification

Adapting Dominant Classifications to Particular Contexts
by Angela Kublik, Virginia Clevette, Dennis Ward, Hope A. Olson

Abstract: This paper addresses the process of adapting to a particular culture or context a classification that has grown out of western culture to become a global standard. We use a project that adapts DDC for use in a feminist/women's issues context to demonstrate an approach that works. The project is particularly useful as an interdisciplinary example. Our discussion consists of four parts: (1) definition of the problem indicating the need for adaptation and efforts to date; (2) description of the methodology we developed for creating an expansion; (3) description of the interface developed for actually doing the work with its potential for a distributed group to work on it together (could even be internationally distributed); and (4) generalization of how our methodology could be used for particular contexts by country, ethnicity, perspective or other defining factors. Keywords: Dewey Decimal Classification, feminism, women’s issues, adaptation of classification systems

Stretching Conceptual Structures in Classifications Across Languages and Cultures
Barbara H. Kwasnik, Victoria L. Rubin

Abstract: We describe the difficulties of translating classifications from a source language and culture to another language and culture. To demonstrate these problems we collected kinship terms and concepts from native speakers of fourteen languages and analyzed them to find differences between their terms and structures and those used in English. Using the representations of kinship terms in the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) as examples, we identified the source of possible lack of mapping between the domain of kinship in the fourteen languages we studied and the LCC and DDC. Finally, we offer some preliminary suggestions for how to make translated classifications more linguistically and culturally hospitable. Keywords: Classification, translation, cultural hospitality, Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), Library of Congress Classification (LCC)

The Impact of Specificity on the Retrieval Power of a UDC-Based Multilingual Thesaurus
by Victoria Frâncu

Abstract: The article describes the research done over a bibliographic database in order to show the impact the specificity of the knowledge organising tools may have on information retrieval (IR). For this purpose two multilingual Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) based thesauri having different degrees of specificity are considered. Issues of harmonising a classificatory structure with a thesaurus structure are introduced and significant aspects of information retrieval in a multilingual environment are examined in an extensive manner. Aspects of complementarity are discussed with particular emphasis on the real impact produced on IR by alternative search facilities. Finally a number of conclusions are formulated as they arise from the study. Keywords: Information languages, intermediate languages, Universal Decimal Classification, UDC, compatibility of information languages, multilingual thesauri, information retrieval


Knowledge Organization from Libraries to the Web: Strong Demands on the Weakest Side of International Librarianship
by Maria Inês Cordeiro

Abstract: This paper reflects on some major aspects related to library subject access systems in the era of networked information. The main argument builds on the fact that we nowadays witness the strongest demand and expectation on subject access tools, coming from far beyond the traditional library world, but the field remains the weakest side of international librarianship. While the emergence to cope with the practical challenges of a wider environment is emphasized, the need to reinforce the internationalization of knowledge organization as a professional library matter is stressed, not only at the pragmatic level but also, more importantly, in theoretical terms. Keywords: Knowledge organization, networked information retrieval, subject access, subject indexing,?subject heading languages

Expanding Audiences for Education-Related Information and Resources: Classificatory Structures on the World Wide Web
by Michèle Hudon

Abstract: Education is a culturally and politically branded domain of knowledge and practice, and education specialists have traditionally remained somewhat isolated, communicating mainly on the general level of “basic educational principles”. The expansion of the World Wide Web could change this situation; there exists on the Web a substantial number of education-related resources which have become accessible to international audiences. In this paper, we look at how these resources are organized with a view to answering two questions: In a context of global exchanges, are education-related resources available on the Web organized in such a way as to maximize efficiency of identification and retrieval? In virtual libraries with specialized collections on education, do categorization schemes and terminology reflect anything else than local perspectives and systems? Keywords: Virtual libraries, education-related resources, Web directories, subject trees

Text Mining and Data Mining in Knowledge Organization and Discovery: The Making of Knowledge-Based Products
by L.J. Haravu, A. Neelameghan

Abstract: Discusses the importance of knowledge organization in the context of the information overload caused by the vast quantities of data and information accessible on internal and external networks of an organization. Defines the characteristics of a knowledge-based product. Elaborates on the techniques and applications of text mining in developing knowledge products. Presents two approaches, as case studies, to the making of knowledge products: (1) steps and processes in the planning, designing and development of a composite multilingual multimedia CD product, with the potential international, inter-cultural end users in view, and (2) application of natural language processing software in text mining. Using a text mining software, it is possible to link concept terms from a processed text to a related thesaurus, glossary, schedules of a classification scheme, and facet structured subject representations. Concludes that the products of text mining and data mining could be made more useful if the features of a faceted scheme for subject classification are incorporated into text mining techniques and products. Keywords: Text mining, data mining, knowledge discovery, natural language processing software, multilingual, multimedia

Information Organization To Assist Knowledge Discovery: Case Studies With Non-Bibliographic Databases
by A. Neelameghan, Hemalata Iyer

Abstract: Enumerates various paths that may lead to knowledge discovery (KD). Most of these paths begin from knowing what exists. To know what exists about an entity requires comprehensively assembling relevant data and information, in-depth analysis of the information; and identifying relations among the concepts in the related and even apparently unrelated subjects. Provision has to be made to reorganize and synthesize the information retrieved and/or that obtained through observation, experiment, survey etc. Information and communication technologies (ICT) have considerably augmented the capabilities of information systems. Such ICT applications may range from the simple to sophisticated computerized systems, with data gathered using aerial photography, remote sensing, satellite imagery, large radar and planetary telescopes and many other instrument records of phenomena as well as downloading via the Internet. While classification helps in data prospecting and data mining, for it to assist the KD process effectively it has to be supplemented with good indexes, hypertext links, access to statistical and modeling techniques, etc. Computer software assists text analysis, complex data manipulation, computation, statistical analysis, concept mapping etc. But manual information systems can also assist KD. Enumerates several prerequisites to KD and relevant tools and techniques to be incorporated into information support systems. Presents case studies of information systems and services that assisted KD. Keywords: Knowledge discovery, non-bibliographic databases, information technology, communication technology, knowledge organization tools


Human Language Technology and Its Role in Information Access and Management

by Widad Mustafa El Hadi

Abstract: The role of linguistics in information access, extraction and dissemination is essential. Radical changes in the techniques of information and communication at the end of the twentieth century have had a significant effect on the function of the linguistic paradigm and its applications in all forms of communication. The introduction of new technical means have deeply changed the possibilities for the distribution of information. In this situation, what is the role of the linguistic paradigm and its practical applications, i.e. natural language processing (NLP) techniques when applied to information access? What solutions can linguistics offer in human computer interaction, extraction and management? Many fields show the relevance of the linguistic paradigm through the various technologies that require NLP, such as document and message understanding, information detection, extraction, and retrieval, question & answer, cross-language information retrieval (CLIR), text summarization, filtering, and spoken document retrieval. This paper focuses on the central role of human language technologies in the information society, surveys the current situation, describes the benefits of the above mentioned applications, outlines successes and challenges, and discusses solutions. It reviews the resources and means needed to advance information access and dissemination across language boundaries in the twenty-first century. Multilingualism, which is a natural result of globalization, requires more effort in the direction of language technology. The scope of human language technology (HLT) is large, so we limit our review to applications that involve multilinguality. Keywords: Human language technology; natural language processing; multilinguality

Lexical Knowledge Patterns, Semantic Relations, and Language Varieties: Exploring the Possibilities for Refining Information Retrieval in an International Context
by Lynne Bowker

Abstract: As part of their work, terminologists need to find “knowledge-rich contexts”, which are contexts that provide information about semantic relations between concepts in specialized domains. One way of finding these contexts is to search for lexical patterns that have the potential to reveal underlying semantic relations. Consequently, terminology researchers are in the process of compiling inventories of useful lexical patterns so that these can be programmed into specialized information retrieval tools. However, one factor that has not yet been addressed is the impact that
different language varieties can have on these lexical patterns. This paper provides an
overview of the research done to date on lexical patterns, presents a pilot study
investigating the impact of language varieties, and considers applications of this work
outside the discipline of terminology. Keywords: Lexical knowledge patterns, semantic relations, terminology, knowledge-rich contexts, knowledge extraction, language varieties, communicative settings, information retrieval.

Designing a Common Namespace for Searching Metadata-Enabled Knowledge Repositories: An International Perspective
by Lynne C. Howarth

Abstract: With the proliferation of digitized resources accessible internationally via Internet and Intranet knowledge bases and a pressing need to develop more sophisticated tools for the identification and retrieval of electronic resources, both general purpose and domain-specific metadata schemes have assumed a particular prominence. This has resulted in a growing number of online repositories that must be accessed using terminology that would be considered unfamiliar to most searchers. Assuming that a natural language “gateway” requiring no prior knowledge of specific metadata tagging could facilitate cross-repository searching, end-users were engaged in focus group testing of a “namespace” of common categories derived from nine metadata schemes. Findings and their implications within an international context are presented. Keywords: Metadata schemas, metadata crosswalks, metadata mapping, knowledge repositories, terminology gateways


The IFF Foundation for Ontological Knowledge Organization
by Robert E. Kent

Abstract: This paper discusses an axiomatic approach for the semantic integration of ontologies, an approach that extends to first order logic a previous approach based on information flow. This axiomatic approach is represented in the Information Flow Framework (IFF), a metalevel framework for organizing the information that appears in digital libraries, distributed databases and ontologies. The paper argues that the semantic integration of ontologies is the two-step process of alignment and unification. Ontological alignment consists of the sharing of common terminology and semantics through a mediating ontology. Ontological unification, concentrated in a virtual ontology of community connections, is fusion of the alignment diagram of participant community ontologies – the quotient of the sum of the participant portals modulo the ontological alignment structure. Keywords: Organization, information flow, ontology, semantic integration, alignment, unification, semantics, classification, model, theory and logic.

Perspectives on Managing Knowledge in Organizations
by Chun Wei Choo

Abstract: This paper compares two influential attempts at presenting a comprehensive framework of knowledge management. For each perspective we examine theoretical foundations, highlight conceptual elements and themes, and discuss the role of information and information management. Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi analyze the dynamics of knowledge creation, particularly the importance of tacit knowledge and its conversion into explicit knowledge. Thomas H. Davenport and Lawrence Prusak focus on the design of organizational processes that enable knowledge generation, codification, and transfer. It is suggested that, to a degree, the concepts and practices of each model reflect the national cultures of their authors – Japan and the United States. Keywords: Knowledge management frameworks, national cultures, knowledge creation, knowledge codification

Global Abstractions: The Classification of International Economic Data for Bibliographic and Statistical Purposes
by D. Grant Campbell

Abstract: This paper compares the representation of national and international agricultural economic information in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). While LCC presents geographically-specific information within a larger context of agriculture as a field of study, NAICS presents agriculture as part of the overall depiction of economic activity in and between countries. To facilitate statistical aggregation and cross-comparison, NAICS has normalized economic activity by presenting it as a series of abstract activities that can be uniformly measured across different countries and regions. This rigorous standardization of economic data, while effective for statistical analysis, threatens to diminish the specific national, cultural and social contexts in which such data must be interpreted. Keywords: North American Industry Classification, NAICS, statistical classification, international classification, Library of Congress Classification, LCC

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