Structures for Organizing Knowledge: Exploring Taxonomies, Ontologies, and Other Schema

Both a history of the development of taxonomies and an analysis of current research, theories, and applications, this volume explores a wide array of topics, including the new digital, social aspect of taxonomy development.

LIS professionals use structures for organizing knowledge when they catalog and classify objects in the collection, when they develop databases, when they design customized taxonomies, or when they search online.

Organizing Knowledge: Exploring Taxonomies, Ontologies, and Other Schema explores and explains this basic function by looking at three questions:
1) How do we organize objects so that they make sense and are useful?
2) What role do categories, classifications, taxonomies, and other structures play in the process of organizing?
3) What do information professionals need to know about organizing behaviors in order to design useful structures for organizing knowledge?

Taking a broad, yet specialized approach that is a first in the field, this book answers those questions by examining three threads: traditional structures for organizing knowledge; personal structures for organizing knowledge; and socially-constructed structures for organizing knowledge. Through these threads, it offers avenues for expanding thinking on classification and classification schemes, taxonomy and ontology development, and structures.

Both a history of the development of taxonomies and an analysis of current research, theories, and applications, this volume explores a wide array of topics, including the new digital, social aspect of taxonomy development.

Examples of subjects covered include:

  • formal and informal structures
  • early taxonomists and their contributions
  • cataloging codes
  • classification schemes
  • standards and best practice
  • descriptive cataloging
  • metadata schema standards
  • applications of knowledge structures
  • classification schemes
  • social networking, bookmarking, and cataloging sites
  • tags, tagging, and folksonomies.

Thought exercises, references, and a list of helpful websites augment each section. A final chapter, 'Thinking Ahead: Are We at a Crossroads?' uses 'envisioning exercises' to help LIS professionals look into the future.

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