• Freely faceted classification for a Web-based bibliographic archive : the BioAcoustic Reference Database

      Gnoli, Claudio; Merli, Gabriele; Pavan, Gianni; Bernuzzi, Elisabetta; Priano, Marco (Ergon, 2008)
      The Integrative Level Classification (ILC) research project is experimenting with a knowledge organization system based on phenomena rather than disciplines. Each phenomenon has a constant notation, which can be combined with that of any other phenomenon in a freely faceted structure. Citation order can express differential focality of the facets. Very specific subjects can have long classmarks, although their complexity is reduced by various devices. Freely faceted classification is being tested by indexing a corpus of about 3300 papers in the interdisciplinary domain of bioacoustics. The subjects of these papers often include phenomena from a wide variety of integrative levels (mechanical waves, animals, behaviour, vessels, fishing, law, ...) as well as information about the methods of study, as predicted in the León Manifesto. The archive is recorded in a MySQL database, and can be fed and searched through PHP Web interfaces. Indexer's work is made easier by mechanisms that suggest possible classes on the basis of matching title words with terms in the ILC schedules, and synthesize automatically the verbal caption corresponding to the classmark being edited. Users can search the archive by selecting and combining values in each facet. Search refinement should be improved, especially for the cases where no record, or too many records, match the faceted query. However, experience is being gained progressively, showing that freely faceted classification by phenomena, theories, and methods is feasible and working.