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Faceted classification as the basis of all information retrieval

Broughton, VD; (2017) Faceted classification as the basis of all information retrieval. In: Slavic, A and Gnoli, C, (eds.) Faceted classification today: theory, technology and end users: proceedings of the International UDC Seminar, 14-15 September 2017, London, United Kingdom. (pp. pp. 149-162). Ergon Verlag: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The Classification Research Group manifesto of 1955 proclaimed its members’ commitment to the techniques of facet analysis as a general methodology for organizational, indexing and retrieval systems. In the 1950s this was hardly the case, but sixty years later the influence of faceted classification can be seen in all kinds of representation and discovery tools, and goes far beyond the limits of the conventional bibliographic classification that many of the original CRG envisaged as their objective. However, the CRG’s purpose was not just to encourage the faceted approach to designing and constructing classifications, but to propose it as a fundamental theory of knowledge organization, at the core of the disciplines of library and information science. At the time faceted classification theory was in many respects poorly articulated; many of the elements of ‘classical’ facet analysis were yet to be properly identified and defined, and it would be the work of some years to arrive at a mature theory. Yet that rudimentary model would eventually provide a foundation for much modern information retrieval. What are the distinctive features of facet analysis that make it so compatible with current needs, particularly in a digital environment? Some of the truth resides in the integrated nature of the faceted model, its clear explication of categorization, order, and intra- and inter-facet relationships, which can be rolled out across different species of knowledge organization system. The logic of this structures is readily exploited in automated systems, and can in part be expressed by representation languages. The complexity of the fully faceted classification, while internally consistent, is, nevertheless, challenging to realise in the same way.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Faceted classification as the basis of all information retrieval
Event: International UDC Seminar 2017
Location: London, UK
Dates: 14 September 2017 - 15 September 2017
ISBN-13: 9783956502699
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://seminar.udcc.org/2017/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: faceted classification; information retrieval; classification theory
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038742
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