Document (#36302)

Author
Dahlberg, I.
Title
How to improve ISKO's standing : ten desiderata for knowledge organization
Source
Knowledge organization. 38(2011) no.1, S.68-74
Year
2011
Abstract
In 2009 ISKO had its 20th anniversary, a time for review and reflection on what might be envisaged to further Knowledge Organization in the forthcoming years. In addition to some proposals set forth at the end of this contribution, ten desiderata appear urgent. A preliminary condition to any other consideration is the recognition of the fundamental difference in the organization of knowledge between the concept (i.e., the unit of knowledge)-the conceptual level-and the word, term or code-the verbal level-and the need for implementing this distinction in theory and practice (Desideratum 1). On this basis, some further proposals are enunciated. The 2nd proposition concerns the surveying of extant classification systems, thesauri, and other means of organizing, ordering, and indexing knowledge; the 3rd proposition envisages the improvement of expert training in Knowledge Organization (KO), also with regard to curricula and professional acknowledgment. Nr.4) refers to the professionalization of the hitherto rather neglected national ISKO secretariats, as well as the international ISKO secretariat. Nr.5) urges a systematic survey of KO-relevant concepts to serve as a model or standard for other subject fields, Nr.6) claims the establishment of KO Institutes, Nr.7) views consultancy to the effect that anybody interested in KO may approach ISKO for help, Nr 8) urges ISKO's promotion of membership and chapters in as many countries as possible, Nr.9) presses for intensification of ISKO's publication activities, and Nr.10) pleads for KO as a scientific discipline on its own.
Content
1. Recognize the units in an order system (classification system, thesaurus, ontology, etc.) as concepts/knowledge units, analyse their essential characteristics, and use these characteristics when creating a Knowledge Order System. 2. Recognize the units in an order system (classification system, thesaurus, ontology, etc.) as concepts/knowledge units, analyse their essential characteristics, and use these characteristics when creating a Knowledge Order System. 3. An ISKO group should elaborate a curriculum for the various KO activities to be published after approval by the ISKO Executive Board (EB). Together with this, the qualifying titles of different professionals (teacher, professor, system designer etc.) should also be discussed by the ISKO EB, adopted and proposed for acknowledgement by official institutions; and, 2) It may be possible for ISKO to establish its own Academy and also take care of teaching with the elaborated curricula. 4. Every national ISKO Chapter and the General Secretariat should make efforts to employ a paid expert for the necessary secretarial work, and seek financial support therefore from national or international organizations, in order to become more professionalised. 5. The ISKO Executive Board should decide to elaborate and publish an order system of all KO-relevant concepts to serve as a model and perhaps sometimes as a standard for similar work in other scientific disciplines and knowledge fields.
6. Establishment of national Knowledge Organization Institutes should be scheduled by national chapters, planned energetically and submitted to corresponding administrative authorities for support. They could be attached to research institutions, e.g., the Max-Planck or Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany or to universities. Their scope and research areas relate to the elaboration of knowledge systems of subject related concepts, according to Desideratum 1, and may be connected to training activities and KOsubject-related research work. 7. ISKO experts should not accept to be impressed by Internet and Computer Science, but should demonstrate their expertise more actively on the public plane. They should tend to take a leading part in the ISKO Secretariats and the KO Institutes, and act as consultants and informants, as well as editors of statistics and other publications. 8. All colleagues trained in the field of classification/indexing and thesauri construction and active in different countries should be identified and approached for membership in ISKO. This would have to be accomplished by the General Secretariat with the collaboration of the experts in the different secretariats of the countries, as soon as they start to work. The more members ISKO will have, the greater will be its reputation and influence. But it will also prove its professionalism by the quality of its products, especially its innovating conceptual order systems to come. 9. ISKO should-especially in view of global expansion-intensify the promotion of knowledge about its own subject area through the publications mentioned here and in further publications as deemed necessary. It should be made clear that, especially in ISKO's own publications, professional subject indexes are a sine qua non. 10. 1) Knowledge Organization, having arisen from librarianship and documentation, the contents of which has many points of contact with numerous application fields, should-although still linked up with its areas of descent-be recognized in the long run as an independent autonomous discipline to be located under the science of science, since only thereby can it fully play its role as an equal partner in all application fields; and, 2) An "at-a-first-glance knowledge order" could be implemented through the Information Coding Classification (ICC), as this system is based on an entirely new approach, namely based on general object areas, thus deviating from discipline-oriented main classes of the current main universal classification systems. It can therefore recoup by simple display on screen the hitherto lost overview of all knowledge areas and fields. On "one look", one perceives 9 object areas subdivided into 9 aspects which break down into 81 subject areas with their 729 subject fields, including further special fields. The synthesis and place of order of all knowledge becomes thus evident at a glance to everybody. Nobody would any longer be irritated by the abundance of singular apparently unrelated knowledge fields or become hesitant in his/her understanding of the world.
Footnote
Slightly revised translation into English of a contribution given at the 11th German ISKO Conference, Bonn, 19-21 Oct.2009. Vgl.: http://www.ergon-verlag.de/isko_ko/downloads/ko_38_2011_1g.pdf.

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