Document (#30058)

Author
Svenonius, E.
Title
¬The intellectual foundation of information organization
Imprint
Cambridge, MA : MIT Press
Year
2000
Pages
XIV, 255 S
Isbn
0-262-19433-3
Series
Digital libraries and electronic publishing series
Footnote
Rez. in: Knowledge organization 27(2000) no.3, S.173-175 (G. Campbell): "Bibliographic control rests on a rich and intriguing theoretical foundation. All too often, however, students and scholars of information studies pass this foundation over, perhaps because of its fragmentation. Information organization theory has evolved in tandem with practice, and particularly through innumerable policy decisions: its central tenets, therefore, appear in prefaces to manuals and catalogues, in library bulletins, in standards and rule interpretations, and in professional and scholarly conference proceedings. Gathering this theory together is a formidable task, and Svenonius has already made a significant contribution through the two sourcebooks she has coedited: Foundations of Cataloging (1985), and Theory of Subject Analysis (1985). With The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization, 'Svenonius goes a huge step further: she pulls the fragments of bibliographic control theory together and sets them within a holistic theoretical framework. The result is a significant contribution to LIS scholarship, one which evokes the best of all possible responses: dissatisfied cries for more. Svenonius divides her treatise into two parts containing five chapters each. The first part provides a theoretically-grounded articulation of the objectives, entities, languages and principles of information organization. The field, she argues, rests on three distinct philsophical traditions. Systems philosophy, as developed in library circles by Charles Cutter, gives a holistic and visionary dimension to bibliographic control: a tendency to see individual processes as part of a larger, coherent structure. The philosophy of science, typified in the field by Cyril Cleverdon in the 1950s, emphasizes the need to quantify and generalize, and to subject the tenets of information retrieval to empirical verification. Language philosophy introduces the concept of language rules, and argues that information organization is a "particular kind of language use" (p. 6): an approach which enables us to employ linguistic concepts of semantics, vocabulary and syntax to explain the processes of information organization. Having established this framework, Svenonius goes on to discuss the objectives of bibliographic retrieval systems. Deftly combining the seminal contributions of Cutter, Seymour Lubetzky, the Paris Principles of 1961, and the IFLA objectives of 1997, she produces five central objectives of bibliographic control: locating entitles (finding), identifying entitles (collocating), selecting them (choice), acquiring or gaining access to them (acquisition), and navigating a bibliographic database (navigation) (p. 20)". -
Weitere Rez. in: Information processing and management 37(2001) no.5, S.763-764 (G.C. Bowker); College and research libraries 62(2001) no.2, S.203-206 (M. Winston)
LCSH
Information organization
Bibliography / methodology
Cataloging
DDC
025.3 / dc21
LCC
Z693.S92 2000

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