Document (#31938)

Author
Smiraglia, R.P.
Title
¬The progress of theory in knowledge organization
Source
Library trends. 50(2002) no.3, S.330-349
Year
2002
Abstract
We understand "theory" to be a system of testable explanatory statements derived from research. In knowledge organization, the generation of theory has moved from an epistemic stance of pragmatism (based on observation of the construction of retrieval tools), to empiricism (based on the results of empirical research). In the nineteenth century, Panizzi (1841), Cutter (1876), and Dewey (1876), developed very pragmatic tools (i.e., catalogs and classifications), explaining as they did so the principles by which their tools were constructed. By 1950, key papers at a University of Chicago Graduate Library School conference on "Bibliographic Organization" recorded the role of bibliographic organization in civilization (Clapp, 1950) and deemed classification the basis of bibliographic organization (Shera, 1950). In 1961, the International Conference on Cataloguing Principles in Paris brought together key thinkers on the design of catalogs. Wilson (1968) expounded a system for bibliographic apparatus, and provided the framework for empirical theoretical development. In 2000, Svenonius asserted that knowledge organization is accomplished through a bibliographic language (or, more properly through a complex set of bibliographic languages), with semantics, syntax, pragmatics, and rules to govern their implementation. Logical positivism notwithstanding, rationalist and historicist stances have begun to come to the fore of late through the promulgation of qualitative methods, most notably those employed in classification, user-interface design, and bibliometric research.
Footnote
Artikel in einem Themenheft "Current theory in library and information science"

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