• Beyond Aboutness: Classifying Causal Links in the Service of Interdisciplinarity

      Gnoli, Claudio; Jenkins, Leslie Gail "Rick"; Breitenstein, Mikel; Loschko, Cheryl Lin (2009)
      Most scholarship, and almost all interdisciplinary scholarship, involves the investigation of causal relationships among phenomena. Yet existing classification systems in widespread use have not focused on classifying works in terms of causal relationships. In order to allow all users interested in a particular causal link to readily find (only) all relevant works, it is necessary to develop a classification of phenomena such that each phenomenon occurs in only one place, and a classification of the sort of relationships that exist among phenomena. Such a classification would be of huge benefit to interdisciplinary scholars, and would also be useful for disciplinary scholars. In particular it will enhance the rate of discovery of "undiscovered knowledge".
    • The Boundaries of Classification

      Mai, Jens-Erik; Breitenstein, Mikel; Loschko, Cheryl Lin (2009)
      This paper discusses and analyzes the conceptual basis for classification work in the 21st century; it provides an account of classification that lays out the boundaries within which classification operate. The methodological and practical effects of the boundaries are discussed. The main point of the paper is to demonstrate that classifications are bound by particular contexts and conceptual frameworks.
    • Developing a Cross-Disciplinary Typology of Topical Relevance Relationships as the Basis for a Topic-Oriented Information Architecture

      Huang, Xiaoli; Breitenstein, Mikel; Loschko, Cheryl Lin (2009)
      This submission reports on a cross-disciplinary inquiry into topicality and relevance, involving an in-depth literature analysis and an inductive development of a faceted typology (containing 227 fine-grained topical relevance relationships arrayed in three facets and 33 types of presentation relationships). This inquiry reveals a large variety of topical connections beyond topic matching (the common assumption of topical relevance in the field), renders a closer look into the structure of a topic, and induces a generic topic-oriented information architecture that is meaningful across topics and domain boundaries. The findings from the analysis contribute to the foundation work of information organization, metadata development, intellectual access / information retrieval, and knowledge discovery. The typology of topical relevance relationships is structured with three major facets: * Functional role of a piece of information plays in the overall structure of a topic or an argument; * Mode of reasoning: How information contributes to the userâ s reasoning about a topic; * Semantic relationship: How information connects to a topic semantically. This inquiry demonstrated that topical relevance with its close linkage to thinking and reasoning is central to many disciplines. The multidisciplinary approach allows synthesis and examination from new angles, leading to an integrated scheme of relevance relationships or a system of thinking that informs each individual discipline. The scheme resolving from the synthesis can be used to improve text and image understanding, knowledge organization and retrieval, reasoning, argumentation, and thinking in general, by people and machines.
    • Exploration of Interdisciplinarity in Nanotechnology Queries: The Use of Transaction Log analysis and Thesauri

      Shiri, Ali; Breitenstein, Mikel; Loschko, Cheryl Lin (2009)
      Nanoscience and technology is characterized by nano researchers as an increasingly interdisciplinary domain, drawing upon such disciplines as chemistry, physics, materials science, and computer, electrical, mechanical and biomedical engineering. A key challenge faced by information professionals involved in organizing and providing the related information services is to efficiently identify information resources and to carry out inclusive and effective searches in a diverse and heterogeneous range of digital libraries, web-based databases and search engines. This demand emphasizes the importance of thinking about and developing methodological models for investigating interdisciplinary knowledge organization practices. This 2008 study examined the extent of interdisciplinarity in user queries submitted to the NANOnetBASE digital library. Transaction logs of the digital library were analyzed to explore usersâ search behaviour patterns and to examine the extent to which user queries were interdisciplinary. The Inspect thesaurus and Classification codes were utilized the disciplinary or interdisciplinary focus of the queries. The results indicate that 62% of the unique top terms resulting from mapping usersâ query terms to the INSPEC Classification codes represented two or more disciplines, specifically terms associated with the Classification code â Aâ representing â physics.â The results contribute to the development of more critical information organization and classification practices in such an increasingly interdisciplinary domain as nanoscience and technology.
    • Visualizing Similarity in Subject Term Co-Assignment

      Gabel, Jeff; Smiraglia, Richard P.; Breitenstein, Mikel; Loschko, Cheryl Lin (2009)
      The purpose of this research is to improve retrieval performance in systems that use assigned subject descriptors, such as library subject headings. We are looking for wider semantic boundaries surrounding summary headings assigned to documents by providing a means of identifying clustered headings that fall within the indexerâ s collective common perceptions of relevance. We are here experimenting with two techniques that can help increase both precision and recall. In earlier research citationâ chasing was employed to yield a fuller retrieval set than might have been found using subject headings alone. In the present study we are employing multiâ dimensional scaling to determine the best fit among works to which subject descriptors have been coâ assigned. A term co-occurrence matrix compiled from 19 LCSH subject headings assigned to works in the field of â language originâ is used to generate an MDS map of the semantic space. Two clusters emerge: language and languages, and evolution biology, sometimes termed evolingo. Results allow us to visualize how differing perceptions of indexers affect the semantic space surrounding assigned terms. In both cases - citation-chasing and term co-occurrence - and especially when combining the two techniques acting as thresholds for each other, it is possible to overcome the inverse relation between precision and recall.