• The Classification of Psychology: A Case Study in the Classification of a Knowledge Field.

      Hjørland, Birger (1998)
      Different approaches to the classification of a knowledge field include empiristic, rationalistic, historicist, and pragmatic methods. The article demonstrates how these different methods have been applied to the classification of psychology. It shows how basic epistemological assumptions have formed the different approaches to psychology during the 20th century. The progress in the understanding of basic philosophical questions is decisive both for the development of a knowledge field and as the point of departure of classification. Applies the theoretical principles developed in a brief analysis of some concrete classification systems, including the one used by PsycINFO/Psychological Abstracts. Also briefly discusses the role of classification in modern information retrieval.
    • What is Knowledge Organization (KO)?

      Hjørland, Birger; Smiraglia, Richard P. (ERGON-Verlag GmbH,, 2008-07)
      Knowledge Organization (KO) is about activities such as document description, indexing and classification performed in libraries, databases, archives etc. These activities are done by librarians, archivists, subject specialists as well as by computer algorithms. KO as a field of study is concerned with the nature and quality of such knowledge organizing processes (KOP) as well as the knowledge organizing systems (KOS) used to organize documents, document representations and concepts. There exist different historical and theoretical approaches to and theories about KO, which are related to different views of knowledge, cognition, language, and social organization. Each of these approaches tends to answer the question: â What is knowledge organization?â differently. LIS professionals have often concentrated on applying new technology and standards, and may not have seen their work as involving interpretation and analysis of meaning. That is why library classification has been criticized for a lack of substantive intellectual content. Traditional human-based activities are increasingly challenged by computer-based retrieval techniques. It is appropriate to investigate the relative contributions of different approaches; the current challenges make it imperative to reconsider this understanding. This paper offers an understanding of KO based on an explicit theory of knowledge.