Document (#33204)

Author
Beagle, D.
Title
Visualizing keyword distribution across multidisciplinary c-space
Source
D-Lib magazine. 9(2003) no.6, x S
Year
2003
Abstract
The concept of c-space is proposed as a visualization schema relating containers of content to cataloging surrogates and classification structures. Possible applications of keyword vector clusters within c-space could include improved retrieval rates through the use of captioning within visual hierarchies, tracings of semantic bleeding among subclasses, and access to buried knowledge within subject-neutral publication containers. The Scholastica Project is described as one example, following a tradition of research dating back to the 1980's. Preliminary focus group assessment indicates that this type of classification rendering may offer digital library searchers enriched entry strategies and an expanded range of re-entry vocabularies. Those of us who work in traditional libraries typically assume that our systems of classification: Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), are descriptive rather than prescriptive. In other words, LCC classes and subclasses approximate natural groupings of texts that reflect an underlying order of knowledge, rather than arbitrary categories prescribed by librarians to facilitate efficient shelving. Philosophical support for this assumption has traditionally been found in a number of places, from the archetypal tree of knowledge, to Aristotelian categories, to the concept of discursive formations proposed by Michel Foucault. Gary P. Radford has elegantly described an encounter with Foucault's discursive formations in the traditional library setting: "Just by looking at the titles on the spines, you can see how the books cluster together...You can identify those books that seem to form the heart of the discursive formation and those books that reside on the margins. Moving along the shelves, you see those books that tend to bleed over into other classifications and that straddle multiple discursive formations. You can physically and sensually experience...those points that feel like state borders or national boundaries, those points where one subject ends and another begins, or those magical places where one subject has morphed into another..."
But what happens to this awareness in a digital library? Can discursive formations be represented in cyberspace, perhaps through diagrams in a visualization interface? And would such a schema be helpful to a digital library user? To approach this question, it is worth taking a moment to reconsider what Radford is looking at. First, he looks at titles to see how the books cluster. To illustrate, I scanned one hundred books on the shelves of a college library under subclass HT 101-395, defined by the LCC subclass caption as Urban groups. The City. Urban sociology. Of the first 100 titles in this sequence, fifty included the word "urban" or variants (e.g. "urbanization"). Another thirty-five used the word "city" or variants. These keywords appear to mark their titles as the heart of this discursive formation. The scattering of titles not using "urban" or "city" used related terms such as "town," "community," or in one case "skyscrapers." So we immediately see some empirical correlation between keywords and classification. But we also see a problem with the commonly used search technique of title-keyword. A student interested in urban studies will want to know about this entire subclass, and may wish to browse every title available therein. A title-keyword search on "urban" will retrieve only half of the titles, while a search on "city" will retrieve just over a third. There will be no overlap, since no titles in this sample contain both words. The only place where both words appear in a common string is in the LCC subclass caption, but captions are not typically indexed in library Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs). In a traditional library, this problem is mitigated when the student goes to the shelf looking for any one of the books and suddenly discovers a much wider selection than the keyword search had led him to expect. But in a digital library, the issue of non-retrieval can be more problematic, as studies have indicated. Micco and Popp reported that, in a study funded partly by the U.S. Department of Education, 65 of 73 unskilled users searching for material on U.S./Soviet foreign relations found some material but never realized they had missed a large percentage of what was in the database.
Content
Für Scholastica, vgl.: http://beta.belmont.antarcti.ca:8080/start
Footnote
Vgl.: http://dlib.ukoln.ac.uk/dlib/june03/beagle/06beagle.html.
Theme
Visualisierung
Klassifikationssysteme im Online-Retrieval
Object
Scholastica

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