Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 37, no. 1-2, 2003



Knowledge Organization and Classification in International Information Retrieval

Nancy J. Williamson, Clare Beghtol

guest editors



The field of knowledge organization and classification occupies a particular essential place in our efforts to deal with the increasing globalization of information and knowledge. The technical ability to connect the world to all kinds of information resources and services via the Internet, multinational intranets, and domain portals and gateways has outpaced our ability to address the problems of information retrieval for specific linguistic, cultural, and domain communities of discourse. Articles in this volume address these closely related issues from the vantage points of a number of areas of research and practice in knowledge organization and classification. Authors from Canada, France, India, Rumania, Spain and the United States address the issues from much broader perspectives than those of their own linguistic, cultural and domain preferences. In this way, we have attempted to provide issues that span the boundaries of nationality, of language, of kinds of knowledge organization and classification system, of information and knowledge domains, of information and knowledge resources, and of different approaches to the cultural semantics of the globalization of information and knowledge.

Specifically, this volume is divided into four sections that address major themes for internationalized information and knowledge. Papers in the first section, “General Bibliographic Systems,” concern the future of general bibliographic classification systems—how they can be adapted for the requirements of specific subject contexts, how their conceptual constructions can be compared and possibly modified, and how the problems that arise from the specificity of concepts expressed in different languages can be exposed and addressed. Papers in the second section, “Information Organization in Knowledge Resources,” look at knowledge organization and classification as one of the vital components within specific kinds of information and knowledge resources: the interrelationships of knowledge organization and classification in libraries and on the Web; classificatory structures in web resources for education; the creation of knowledge-based products using knowledge organization and classification techniques; and as knowledge discovery tools that can operate across domains. “Linguistics, Terminology, and Natural Language Processing” includes analyses of the state-of-the-art in natural human language processing, the potential of terminological theory and research for the design of information retrieval tools and resources, and the linguistic issues that arise in the creation of metadata crosswalks and tagging for large-scale knowledge repositories. Finally, the section “Knowledge in the World and the World of Knowledge” addresses the ontological foundations of knowledge organization and classification, views of knowledge management in organizations from different cultural perspectives, and the effect of differing purposes on knowledge organization and classification systems for the same domain.

We hope that you will find these papers as stimulating as we have and that engagement with these issues and perspectives will prove rewarding and challenging for both the theory and practice of knowledge organization and classification systems.

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