Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 42, no. 3-4, 2006



Moving beyond the Presentation Layer:
Content and Context in the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System




Forty Years of Classification Online: Final Chapter or Future Unlimited?
Karen Markey

Abstract: This paper examines the forty-year history of online use of classification systems. Enhancing subject access was the rationale for obtaining support to conduct research in classification online and for incorporating classification into online systems. Catalogers have been the beneficiaries of most of the advances in classification online and operational online systems are now able to assist them in class number assignment and shelflisting. To this day, the only way in which most end users experience classification online is through their online catalog's shelflist browsing capability. The author speculates on the reasons why classification online never caught on as an end user's tool in online systems. Both the information industry and the library and information science community missed the opportunity to lead the charge in the organization of Internet resources; however, OCLC, the publisher of the Dewey Decimal Classification, has made substantial improvements to the scheme that have increased its versatility for organizing Internet resources. Because mass digitization projects such as Google Print will solve the problem of subject access, the author makes recommendations for classification online to solve these vexing problems of end users: staging of access, retrieving the best material in response to user queries, and automatic approaches to finding additional relevant information for an ongoing search.

KEYWORDS. Classification Online, DDC, DDC Online Project, Dewey Decimal Classification, LCC, Library of Congress Classification, machine-readable classification data

The DDC Relative Index
Francis Miksa

Abstract: The "Relative Index" of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is investigated over the span of its lifetime in 22 editions of the DDC as to its character as a concept indexing system, its provision of conceptual contexts for the terms it lists, and the way in which the index intersects with special tables of categories used in the system. Striking features of the index that are discussed include how the locater function of an index is expressed in it, its practice of including concepts that have not been given specific notational locations in the system, its two methods of providing conceptual contexts for indexed terms (by means of the notation of the system and by the insertion of enhancement terms that portray conceptual context), and how the index has intersected with three types of special tables of categories in the system. Critical issues raised include the indexing of constructed or synthesized complex concepts, inconsistencies in how enhancement terms are portrayed and the absence of them in some instances, the problem of equating conceptual context with disciplinary context, and problems associated with not indexing one type of special table. Summary and conclusions are extended to problems that arise in studying the index.

KEYWORDS. DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification, Relative Index

Teaching the Dewey Decimal Classification System
Arlene G. Taylor

Abstract: The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is a logical approach to a hierarchical categorization of recorded knowledge that makes sense to many people. It both illustrates classification theory and provides a practical way to organize information. It is taught in several different settings with content relying upon the purpose of the education or training. With reference to communications from colleagues, the author identifies some problems in teaching DDC, followed by some of the content covered and some methodologies used to overcome the problems. Several examples of teaching tools are included as appendices.

KEYWORDS. Teaching, education, classification theory, categorization, number-building, DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification


Classifying the Popular Music of Trinidad and Tobago
Lorraine M. Nero

Abstract: The classification of Caribbean popular music poses problems to cataloguers. The paper discusses the problems which have been encountered by cataloguers in Trinidad and Tobago using Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Some of the creative solutions adopted to circumvent these issues are discussed. Further, the paper offers recommendations on how the relevant sections of the classification schemes can be amended to provide for Trinidad and Tobago as well as Caribbean popular music.

KEYWORDS. DDC; Dewey Decimal Classification; Music, Trinidad and Tobago; calypso; chutney music; soca; parang; popular music; Library of Congress Classification

Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) at the Swiss National Library
Patrice Landry

Abstract: The Swiss National Library adopted the DDC as its classification scheme for its open access stacks collections and the structure of its national bibliography, Das Schweizer Buch, in 1999. The paper explains why the library decided to adopt the DDC and how the decision was made. The factors leading to the decision are explained, namely the use of the DDC in Europe and the decision taken by libraries in Germany to translate and adapt DDC22 in German. The article also describes the implementation process of the DDC and the results so far attained at the Swiss National Library.

KEYWORDS. DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification, Swiss National Library, classification schemes, DDC Deutsch 22

DDC German—the Project, the Aims, the Methods: New Ideas for a Well-established Traditional Classification System
Magda Heiner-Freiling

Abstract: The paper will give a short outline of the project DDC German. The project is not limited to a mere translation of DDC 22, but aims at the implementation of Dewey in the library networks of the German-language countries. Use of DDC mainly for retrieval purposes, not for shelving, leads to certain new approaches in classifying with Dewey which are described in detail and presented together with the German web service Melvil. Based on the German experience of cooperation and data exchange in the field of verbal indexing, the paper develops some ideas on future Dewey cooperation between European and American libraries.

KEYWORDS. DDC German translation project, Die Deutsche Bibliothek (DDB), DDC Deutsch 22, DDC German web service, Melvil, MelvilClass, MelvilSearch


Users Browsing Behaviour in a DDC-based Web Service: A Log Analysis
Traugott Koch
Koraljka Golub
Anders Ardö

Abstract: This study explores the navigation behaviour of all users of a large web service, Renardus, using web log analysis. Renardus provides integrated searching and browsing access to quality-controlled web resources from major individual subject gateway services. The main navigation feature is subject browsing through the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) based on mapping of classes of resources from the distributed gateways to the DDC structure.

KEYWORDS. Browsing behaviour, log analysis, user studies, DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification, subject gateways, user interfaces

HILT: A Pilot Terminology Mapping Service with a DDC Spine
Dennis M. Nicholson
Alan Dawson
Ali Shiri

Abstract: The role of DDC in the ongoing HILT (High-level Thesaurus) project is discussed. A phased initiative, funded by JISC in the UK, HILT addresses an issue of likely interest to anyone serving users wishing to cross-search or cross-browse groups of networked information services, whether at regional, national or international level - the problem of subject-based retrieval from multiple sources using different subject schemes for resource description. Although all three phases of HILT to date are covered, the primary concern is with the subject interoperability solution piloted in phase II, and with the use of DDC as a spine in that approach.

KEYWORDS. HILT Project, interoperability, subject searching, DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification, mapping terminologies

Resource Discovery in the Government of Canada Using the Dewey Decimal Classification Deane Zeeman
Glenyss Turner

Abstract: Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has capitalized on the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) potential for organizing Web resources in two projects. Since 1995, LAC has been providing a service that offers links to authoritative Web resources about Canada categorized according to the DDC via its Web site. More recently, LAC has partnered with the federal government Department of Canadian Heritage to manage Web content related to Canadian culture in a DDC-based subject tree. Although the DDC works well to organize a broadly-based collection, challenges have been encountered in adapting it for a specific subject domain.

KEYWORDS. World Wide Web, WWW, classification, Web resources, information organization, DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification

Diane Vizine-Goetz

Abstract: The DeweyBrowser allows users to search and browse collections of library resources organized by the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system. The visual interface provides access to several million records from the OCLC WorldCat database and to a collection of records derived from the abridged edition of DDC. The prototype was developed out of a desire to make the most of Dewey numbers assigned to library materials and to explore new ways of providing access to the DDC.

KEYWORDS. DDC, Dewey Decimal Classification, Abridged Edition 14, DeweyBrowser, Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR), OCLC WorldCat, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

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