Dr. Sherry Vellucci
Information Organization
“In the colossal labor, which
exhausts both body and soul, of
making into an alphabetical catalog
a multitude of books gathered from
every corner of the earth there are
many intricate and difficult
problems that torture the mind.”
Thomas Hyde. Catalogue for the Bodleian Library, 1674.
Why Organize Information?
User has
information need
Document exists that meets
the information need
What is Information Organization?
The process of creating, arranging, and
maintaining systems for bibliographic
information retrieval
Organization of the materials and
information that we collect or provide
access to in libraries, museums, archives,
and information centers
 Information Organization differs depending
on environment
Functions of Information
– Provide access to recorded information for the
purpose of retrieval
Bring together related documents
Distinguish between similar documents
– Keep inventory of what we have and where it
is located
– Keep recorded information usable for
Subsets of Information Organization
Cataloging & metadata
Indexing and abstracting
Database design
Information architecture
Content management
Knowledge management
Trends in Catalog Creation
Ancient times - Simple lists
Middle Ages - Inventories
Sixteenth & Seventeenth Century - Finding lists
Eighteenth Century - Codification begins
Nineteenth Century - Collocating Devices
Twentieth Century - Expanded codification &
Twenty-first Century - ?
What Is a Catalog?
“A retrieval tool that provides access to
individual items within collections of
information packages” Taylor, 1999
“An organized set of bibliographic records
that represent the holdings of a particular
collection.” -- Wynar
Bibliographic (Metadata)
Surrogates for information packages in
the collection
Include standardized descriptions
Form a catalog when arranged or
accessed systematically
(Also called bibliographic records,
catalog records, entries)
Access Points
Any term in a metadata record that may
be used to locate that record
A Controlled access point
– An authorized (preferred) form of access point
– Constructed with information in a certain
– Maintained under authority control
Types of Bibliographic Control
Control of a Body of Literature
– Indexes (& Abstracts)
– Bibliographies
Control of Collections
– Catalogs
– Finding Aids
– Museum Registers
Control of Knowledge
– Knowledge Management
Levels of Access
Macro level access
– Broad in scope
 entire book
 complete serial
 complete archival
– Macro level tools
 Catalogs
Micro level access
– Narrower in scope of
 Chapter in book
 Article in serial
 Individual items in
archive or museum
– Micro level tools
 Indexes
 Abstracting services
 Databases
Cutter’s Objects of the
1) To enable a person to find a book when one
of the following is known:
– The author
– The title
– The subject
2) To show what the library has:
– By a given author
– On a given subject
– in a given kind of literature
3) To assist in the choice of a book
– As to the edition (bibliographically)
– As to its character (literary or topical)
From Rules for a Dictionary Catalog, 1876, 4th ed., 1904
1. Find
2. Collocate
3. Evaluate
FRBR User Tasks
Find (locate)
 Relate/Navigate (Collocate [Svenonius])
 Identify
 Select
 Obtain
 Other possible tasks:
– Attribute Royalties to
– Preserve
Objective 1:User can express the information need &
translate into language of the system
Objective 2: Users need requires looking at related sets
of information (all documents by a given author, on a
given subject, in a certain genre)
Objective 3: User finds multiple manifestations of work
and need to evaluate the surrogate in order to select the
appropriate document
How do we operationalize open-ended
 Success of objective must be measurable
 To be measurable, must be specific
Intellectual Issues
Representation – concise depiction of
complex information
– Document surrogates
– Describe attributes of the document
Classification -- a scheme for organizing
information packages or concepts
Problem: What are We Organizing?
Recorded information -- meaningful
symbols (letters, numbers, etc.), sounds
or images created or collected to
convey a message
– Why do we use the term “recorded
information” instead of just information?
Document – An information package
– Often associated with text printed on paper
– Broader context includes videos, sound
recordings, graphics, computer files, etc.
Functional Requirements for
Bibliographic Records
What FRBR is:
– a logical framework
– a conceptual model
– a "generalized" view of the
bibliographic universe
– Available at
What FRBR is not:
– a data model
– an implementation model
– a conceptual model for authority
– A conceptual model for subjects
FRBR Functions
Specifically identify what is being
Improve catalog displays
Provide common conceptual model &
Entity-Relationship Model
• Title
• Creator
• Title
Entity 1
Entity 2
• Creator
Group 1 Entities: Products of intellectual or
artistic endeavour
Group 2 Entities: Those responsible for the
intellectual & artistic content, physical
production, or custodianship
 Group 3 Entities: Entities that serve as subjects
of intellectual or artistic endeavour
Group 1 Entities & Their Relationships
An Expression
A Work
A Manifestation
An Expression
A Work
“Is realized through”
An Expression
An Expression
“Is embodied in”
A Manifestation
An Item
A Manifestation
A Manifestation
“Is exemplified by”
An Item
LS vs. IS Terminology Comparison
FRBR Terms
I. S. Terms
The Lord of
the Rings
E1 English Text
E2 German Text
Der Herr der Ringe
The Lord of the Rings
M1 English
M2 English
The Lord
of the Rings
The Lord
of the Rings
Translated by
Margaret Carroux
M3 English
M1 German
The Lord
of the Rings
Der Herr der
Translated by
Margaret Carroux
Ernst Klett
1968, 3 v.
New York
Allen & Unwin Facsimile Reprints Harper Collins
1998, 3 v.
1954-55, 3 v.
I1 VUW Library
Copy 1,
signed by the
E3 Spoken Word
The Lord of the Rings
Read by Ian Holms
M1 Sound Recording
The Lord of
the Rings
Read by Ian Holm
BBC Audiobooks
13 compact
Bibliographic Relationships
Shared characteristics
Barbara Tillett
 Richard Smiraglia
 Sherry Vellucci
 Allyson Carlyle
Barbara B. Tillett, “Bibliographic Relationships.” In Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge,
edited by Carol A. Bean and Rebecca Green, 19-35. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001
Family of Works
Expression New Expression
New Work
B. Tillett
Dec. 2001
Equivalent Relationships
Multiple manifestations with identical content
W1 The Lord of the Rings
E1 English language text
M1 Allen & Unwin, 1954-55.
M2 Facsimile Reprints, Inc., 1965.
M3 Harper Collins, 1998.
Tolkien, J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973. The Lord
of the Rings
– Books—English
+ London: Allen & Unwin, 1954-55.
+ New York: Facsimile Reprints, Inc., 1965.
+ London: Harper Collins, 1998.
Derivative Relationships:
Same work
Tolkien, J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel), 1892-1973. The Lord
of the Rings
– E1 Books—German
+ M1 Trans. by Margaret Carroux. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett, 1968.
– E2 Spoken word recording—English
+ M1 London: BBC Audio Books, 2003.
Derivative Relationships:
New works
 Adaptations
Beard, Henry N. Bored of the Rings: a Parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s
the Lord of the Rings. New York: New American Library, 1969
Strachey, Barbara. Journeys with Frodo: an Atlas of J.R.R.
Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. London: Grafton, 1992.
The Lord of the Rings. Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens
and Peter Jackson based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien;
produced by Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh,
Tim Sanders; Directed by Peter Jackson. [London?]: New Line
Cnema, 2002.
Knizia, Reiner. The Lord of the Rings Board Game. Illustrations
by John Howe. Cambridge: Sophisticated Games, 2001.
Whole-Part Relationships
 Aggregates
The Lord of the Rings = aggregate work = work of works
 The Fellowship of the Ring = component part = work
 The Two Towers = component part = work
 The Return of the King = component part = work
The Lord of the Rings Game
contains 2 books, 2 map sheets, 9 character sheets,
rules, contents sheets, 4 red dice, cardboard counters,
map errata
Sequential Relationships
Part to part (or chronological)
Part 1: The Fellowship of the Ring
Part 2: The Two Towers
Part 3: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings Official Fan Club
Vol. 1, no. 1; vol. 1, no. 2 …
Accompanying Relationships
Manifestation is accompanied by additional
Shore, Howard. The Lord of the Rings: the Motion Picture Trilogy:
Instrumental Solos. Music arranged for trombone by Tod
Edmonsen. Miami: Warner Bros, 2004. 1 part (25 p.) + 1 sound
disc (4 ¾ in.)
The Lord of the Rings. Extended edition includes 4 DVDs: 1: Part
One; 2: Part Two; 3: Appendices Part One: From Book to Vision;
4: Appendices Part Two: From Vision to Reality. + 1 booklet with
explanation of the extended edition; documentary appendices on
the making of the movie; complete listing of scenes, with new
scenes and extended scenes identified; and diagrams detailing
how the book was transformed into visual form.
Descriptive Relationships:
New works
• Simpson, Dale. Modernized Myth: Beowulf, J.R.R. Tolkien
and the Lord of the Rings.
• Miesel, Sandra. Myth, Symbol and Religion in the Lord of
the Rings.
• Smith, Jim E. The Lord of the Rings: The Films, the Books,
the Radio Series.
• Fisher, Jude. The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook.
• Astin, Sean. There and Back Again: Behind-the-Scenes on
the Lord of the Rings.
FRBR Group 2 Entities
“The Group 2 entities represent those
responsible for the intellectual or artistic
content, the physical production and
dissemination, or the custodianship of the
entities in the first group” (FRBR, p.13)
Group 2 entities include:
– Persons
– Corporate bodies
Group 1 Entities
Group 2 Entities
of FRBR Group
1 Entities to
FRBR Group 2
Entities (FRBR p. 14)
Group 1 : Group 2 Relationships
w1 The Lord of the Rings
“created by”
p1 J.R.R. Tolkien
e1 The Lord of the Rings [spoken word recording]
“performed by”
p2 Ian Holm
m1 The Lord of the Rings. [motion picture, 2002]
“distributed by”
cb1 New Line Cinema Home Entertainment
i1 The Lord of the Rings [published English text 1965]
“owned by”
cb1 Victoria University Library
FRBR Group 3 Entities
The Group 3 entities serve as the subjects
of works
 The group includes
– concept (an abstract notion or idea)
– object (a material thing)
– event (an action or occurrence)
– place (a location)
In addition, all entities in Groups 1 and 2
can serve as subjects for a work
Relationships of a
Work to entities
that can serve as
the subject of a
work (FRBR, p. 15)
Group 1 : Group 3 Relationships
c1 Mythology
w1 J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings
“is the subject of”
w2 The Lord of the Rings: An Examination
of Mythical Elements by M.C. Stone
FRBR, p. 63
Information Representation
Organized by a special purpose language
(ontologies & taxonomies)
– Many such languages exist
 Linnaeus’ Taxonomy of living things
 Educational resources thesaurus
– Bibliographic language
 Subject language
 Document language
Information Organization in Libraries
Traditional processes:
– Organize items on shelf by classification
– Create & maintain catalog that provides access to
information resources (surrogate records)
– Create indexes & databases
– Create bibliographies
New processes:
– Create library portals
– Provide access to variety of resources through unified
 Catalog, databases, resource links, archives, digital libraries, etc.
– Customize for personal information (my library)
– Create and organize digital libraries
Information Organization in Archives
Organize & arrange in groups by
provenance (originator) and original order
(closed stacks)
 Create accession record (information
about collection source and physical
content) & finding aid (contents of
Information Organization in Museums
Organize & describe objects in collection
 Create accession/field records (info. @
source of object) and register (similar to
– Description of visual objects is more complex
than text
May also have libraries (include textual
material) and archives in museums
Information Organization on the Internet
– Web bibliographies (Subject, Classification)
– Metadata (MARC, Dublin Core)
Search engines
Subject directories
Automatic indexing & classification
Visual Organization
 Concept maps
 Ontologies
 Taxonomies
Information Organization for Digital
Provides digitized resources with
architecture and retrieval service
 Design of retrieval & description system
part of creating the digital library
 Increasing demand with distance
Information Organization with
Library Portals
Provide access to variety of resources
through unified interface
– Catalog, databases, resource links
Customizable for personal information
Information Architecture
“Process of designing, implementing and
evaluating information spaces that are humanly
and socially acceptable to the intended
stakeholders” (Andrew Dillon)
– Determine information needs of users
– Create structural patterns for finding information
– Develop user interface for information retrieval and
– Evaluate success of architecture for retrieval and
Records Management
Originally involved keeping, filing, maintaining
paper records
 Computer files on individual PCs created
organizational problems
 Various systems used across organization
(payroll, general ledger, accounts payable,
 Data modeling used to create conceptual model
of records management activities (directories,
files, programs, database field values)
Knowledge Management
Who knows what in an organization and
capturing that knowledge using technology
 Expanded into managing the information
explosion in organizations
 Tacit knowledge vs. explicit knowledge
 Software used to create knowledge repositories,
improve knowledge access, enhance the
knowledge environment, manage knowledge as
an asset
Data about data
Structured data that describes the
attributes of a resource, characterizes it
relationships, supports its discovery,
management, and effective use, and
exists in an electronic environment
The Structure of Information
Structured Data
Q7 Timetable: Manhattan to
Queens. Weekends only.
Queens Plaza
Data has Context &
Model of an
Information Retrieval
Major function of an IR System is to
“act as an interface between a
particular population of users and the
universe of information resources in
printed or other form.”
Activities of IR Systems:
1. Acquire & store documents (or
2. Organize & control documents
(or surrogates)
3. Distribute documents (or
Subject Analysis Is . . .
The part of indexing or cataloging that
deals with, first, the conceptual analysis of
an information package …
 [and] with translating the conceptual
analysis into the conceptual framework of
the classification or subject heading
system (Taylor, p. 132)
Step 1: Conceptual Analysis
determining what the information package
is “about”
 and/or determining what an item “is”
 An indexer experienced with a controlled
vocabulary may think of aboutness in the
terms available
Problems in Determining
Deciding aboutness is subjective
– Predominance?
– Frequency?
Deciding aboutness may depend on culture,
background and knowledge of cataloger
– Behaviorially – private
– Socially – common ideas
– Gramatically – different terms; concepts
Deciding interpretive, thematic, or
iconographic significance for non-textual
material requires specialist
Determining Form
Form data are terms and phrases that
designate specific kinds of genres or
materials (Taylor, p. 255)
 Types of form
– Physical character:
 Videocassettes, photographs, maps
– Type of data contained:
 Text, visual, audio, numeric
– Arrangement of information contained:
 Excyclopedias, dictionaries, indexes, diaries, outlines
– Style, technique, purpose or intended
 Drama, romance, cartoons, algebra text
The number of terms that will be assigned
by the cataloger/indexer
 Determined by local policy & desired level
of bibliographic control
Dimensions of Exhaustivity
Summarization Level:
Describes the overall
subject content of the
work as a whole, i.e., the
dominant subject
– Cataloging is at
summarization level
– Assign fewer & more general
Document Retrieval
Depth Level:
Describes all main
concepts of subject,
including smaller units of
information, i.e., chapters,
articles, etc.
– Indexing is at depth level
– Assign more & specific terms
The level of subject analysis provided for
by a particular controlled vocabulary
 The closeness of fit between the meaning
of an index term and the document’s
themes and/or subthemes
“The Care & Feeding of Siamese Cats”
 Low specificity: Felines
 High specificity: Siamese cats
Oldest form of information organization
– Based on thought process
– Mental models
bring like things together
Differentiate among things
Primary types: hierarchical, faceted
 Often associated with coding of some type
– Symbols (numbers, letters, punctuation…)
Theories of Categories
Classical theory of categories based on
20th Century theories
– Family resemblance (Wittgenstein; Austin)
– Fuzzy Set Theory (Zadeh)
– Distinct categories/cultural and linguistic differences
(Lounsbury; Berlin & Kay)
– Basic-level Categories (Brown)
– Universal level of human naming (Berlin)
– Prototype Theory (Rosch)
 Musical instruments
Bibliographic Classifications Differ
from Taxonomic Groupings
Documents are complex
– Have combinations of topics, not just mutually
exclusive, generic relationships
Documents classified based on literary
 Document arrangement can only be onedimensional-linear order, i.e., show one
kind of relationship
– Need catalogue to supplement shelf-order
For Whom are We Organizing
Users--people who have an information need
 Users vary:
 Experts
– librarians, information professionals, researchers
– people who know a domain and have some idea of
vocabulary and the kind of information that’s likely to be
 Novices
– people who never learned to use retrieval tools
– people who only have a vague idea of what they’re
looking for, e.g., a student assigned a research topic or a
person who just found out that their relative has an
obscure disease
Problems with Information
Catalogers focus on bibliographic and
authority control and languages
 Accurate description does not always lead
to successful query results
 Does not link cataloging process with
knowledge base of information retrieval
Understanding Users’
Move from system-centered to usercentered views of information systems
 Designed for the user based on user input
… bottom up rather than top down
 Needs research into user needs, user
modelling, and catalog informationseeking behavior
Broadened Perspective
Metadata has brought information organization
onto center stage
– Provides information that goes beyond description
(administrative, structural, etc)
– Focuses primarily on digital information
– Adopts/integrates use of search engines
– Objectives can be operationalized, connected and
Interface usability
Metadata has become important to
– Part of knowledge management
– Often used in proprietary systems

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