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Facets of Street Art: Experiment from Portland*   no comments

Posted at 12:09 am in facets,metadata

1.0 Portland Oregon: Thriving, Sacred, Weird

Portland Oregon is thriving city in the US Pacific Northwest. Situated at the intersection of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Portland is a gateway to the Columbia Gorge to the east, to the Willamette Valley to the south, and to the Pacific Ocean and thus to Western North America, and Asia, to the west. Settled centuries ago by the Multnomah and Clackamas bands of the Chinook peoples and thus celebrated as a holy space at the foot of Mount Hood, the area was one of the most highly populated parts of the Pacific Northwest for centuries before the arrival of European settlers in the 1840s. Today’s Portland evolved from settlements at the end of the notorious Oregon Trail from about 1840 onward. Known as a “gritty” city from the beginning, in the late 20th century Portland began to be associated with liberal, progressive and countercultural points of view (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland,_Oregon ). The city’s unofficial motto, enthusiastically embraced across the region, is “Keep Portland Weird” (http://www.keepportlandweird.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Portland_Weird# ).

2.0 Some Portland Street Art

Portland is home to an incredibly vibrant street art scene.

Since 2020, Graf has discussed the mixing of elements of graffiti and street art in Portland, noting that “it is not that graffiti artworks are not documented, but rather that they are documented in organic, local ways and end up distributed across the internet without seeming rhyme or reason (5),” but that there is discoverable commonality in these ad hoc forms of documentation. Graf’s groundbreaking research (2018) used open-coding to extract  “ad-hoc” terms from 241 websites featuring street art and graffiti art documentation. A summary of facets extracted from that work appear in Graf (2020a). By viewing the facets as a set of arrays we can see the emergence of a faceted knowledge organization system (KOS) for street art and graffiti, extracted from the communities that create and curate them.

In an essay for IKOS about Portland street, Graf (2020b, 6-7) commented on a “mural” at Portland’s Produce Row, on some “throwies,” such as those on “CEAD and ROZE,” across the way from Produce Row and on a nearby set of “pieces.” In 2021 (“Documenting” 2021, 17-18) Graf was quoted as describing “Attitude of Gratitude,” a work of street art on the headquarters of the SolTerra corporation as “street art with some elements of green or environmental art” in which the figure’s hair is made of living plants. The origins of the mural are described in Gallivan (2018).

All of the art noted above is all found in the Southeast quadrant of Portland. In Northeast Portland, at the intersection of Broadway and Grand Avenues, is a mural “Hope is Vital” developed in 2007 as part of the sister city relationship between Portland and Mutare, Zimbabwe (Weinstein 2018). The artist is Heidi Schultz (Public Art Archive 2024):

This mural’s purpose is to create global solidarity and educate the Portland community about Portland’s sister city, Mutare, Zimbabwe, and humanitarian efforts there. Underneath the inspiring message, “Hope is Vital,” the sun shines on a yellow medical clinic Portland helped build for its sister city. In a show of support, persons from both Portland and Mutare hold hands, dance, and drum to celebrate life, above the text “it takes a planet to save a village.

The mural is “signed” by the Portland Oregon-Mutare Zimbabwe Sister City Association, which was created in 1991 (Portland Sister Cities Coalition 2024).

3.0 Testing the Facets

One good place to begin a research project is at a qualitative point of reference. Given the complexity of the issue of street art and graffiti knowledge organization, it makes some sense for us to begin by simply applying Graf’s facets to the street art we have here as a set of case studies. We used standard metadata practice, which is to say we assigned terms only as they appeared either in Graf’s descriptions or in online documentation. Here in tabular form as examples are metadate for Red Wall and Hope is Vital.

4.0 Toward a Typology

To be clear we must understand that Graf’s facets were created as part of descriptive research to identify observed aspects of street art and graffiti. That is, she did not present them as a form of knowledge organization system. In our test, then, we have discovered that the system is a kind of typology, in which “types” are identified and categories are not mutually exclusive. Thus we may have more than one term (or type) from any given facet in a specific string.

Here two of five cases are demonstrated. All are well documented using the facets derived from Graf’s research. We might consider that a set of indexable facet indicators might be employed to turn the descriptions into searchable strings. It is worth noting that the Graf typology is a phenomenon-based system, and thus amenable to its own “grammar” for combining terms in a faceted sequence (Gnoli, Smiraglia and Szostak 2024).

Graf (2018) points out the wide variety of hashtags and other ad hoc forms of indexing that already are employed in the street art community. By embracing a formal descriptive logic generated from the phenomena of study a street art typology can clearly be employed as one approach to a formal knowledge organization system.

References

“Documenting Street Art in Portland: ‘Attitude of Gratitude.’” 2021. IKOS Bulletin 3, no. 1: 17-28.

Gallivan, Joe. 2018. “Attitude of Gratitude.” Website. https://solterra.com/blog-attitude-9-22-17-2/

Gnoli, Claudio,  Richard P. Smiraglia and Rick Szostak. 2024. “Phenomenon-based classification: An Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) paper.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 75, no. 3: 324–343. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24865

Graf, Ann M. 2018. “Facets of Graffiti Art and Street Art Documentation Online: A DOMain and Content Analysis.” PhD diss. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Graf, Ann M. 2020a. “Domain Analysis Applied to Online Graffiti Art Image Galleries to Reveal Knowledge Organization Structures Used Within an Outsider Art Community.” Knowledge Organization 47, no. 7: 543-557.  DOI:10.5771/0943-7444-2020-7-543.

Graf, Ann M. 2020b. “Documenting Graffiti Art Works: IKOS Views Portland.” IKOS Bulletin 2, no. 1: 5-8.

Portland Sister Cities Coalition. 2024. Website. http://www.portlandsistercitiescoalition.org/

Public Art Archive. 2024. “Hope is Vital.” Website. https://publicartarchive.org/art/Hope-is-Vital/4bb1451b

Weinstein, Alexandra. 2018. “Hope is Vital” Website. Elliot neighborhood. https://eliotneighborhood.org/2018/09/23/hope-is-vital-mural/

*Extracted from: Smiraglia, Richard P. 2023. “Facets of Street Art: A Qualitative Experiment in Documenting Portland Street Art.” 2023. IKOS Bulletin 5, no.3 : 129-41.

Written by admin on March 7th, 2024

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DANS: A Catalyst for Knowledge Organization and Structure Research*   no comments

1.0 KO and KS Research: From the real world

Research is the formal, self-conscious process of inquiry for the discovery and production of knowledge and the subsequent explication of theory. Knowledge Organization (KO) is the “science of the conceptual order of knowledge” (Smiraglia 2014, 4) and Knowledge Structure (KS) is a research paradigm in which the structural tools of KO are applied to syntactic representations [of knowledge] that yield structural classes [for] multi-dimensional understanding” (Smiraglia 2020, 46). Thus, research—formal discovery for theory-building—in KO is devoted to unlocking the conceptual elements of that which is known, while, simultaneously, research in KS is devoted to revealing the underlying multi-dimensional fabric and anatomy of knowledge.

Discovery of concepts, their orders, and the subtrate implications of those orders must be rooted in real-world problems. This is why even so-called “theoretical” research (this is research that tests hypotheses in order to reject alternatives until a theory can emerge) must be rooted in milieus that present questions that need specific applications as answers.

Examples:

Instantiation: The multidecade evolution of the theory of instantiation began with the problem of disambiguating clusters of catalog entries for musical works (think: Beethoven Symphony…. (Smiraglia 1989)) but has been demonstrated to have relevance in evolutionary biology (Greenberg 2009). A real world “problem” presents a question that has larger implications and on analysis leads to structural conclusions such as that the substrate of RDF triples that constitute the Semantic Web are themselves (as are all information objects) to the process of instantiation (realization in time) and therefore constitute classes that require disambiguation (Smiraglia 2008).

Nanoscale patterns in the outer skin layers of humans (Adams et al. 2023): Biologists studying the exoskelotal structure of roundworm nematodes who have transparent structures have discovered “pillars” that form a kind of “scaffolding,” forming not only an “intricate architecture” but “complex structures and intricate patterning.” Patterns, of course, indicate clusters, which can be described as classes, which will need, in turn, disambiguating. A very real-world biological structure presents also a substrate biological knowledge structure. (See: https://phys.org/news/2023-12-matrix-nanoscale-patterns-revealed.html?fbclid=IwAR3SBJbi9qZOiCKDVcUSV5yFbwuHz9uT_b4x8tzmyPFrDTgg_r_RBOAQjA4 )

2.0 Catalysts for KO and KS Research

The science of knowledge organization owes its formalization to founder Ingetraut Dahlberg, who laid out a plan for independent institutes that would have as their sole objective the study of concepts and knowledge structures (Dahlberg 2007; 2008).

The Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure, Inc. (https://knoworg.org ) is the first institute developed with this sole task as its mission.

At least three major coordinated research environments have generated a fair amount of publication. These groups were all formed by prolific researchers in KO whose work was grounded in real-world applications and the construction of KO systems (KOSs). Ultimately, each of these groups has served as a catalyst for critical research in KO, and arguably in KS. The entire domain of KO, then, relies to some extent on the input of catalytical groups to constantly massage and ultimately deepen the granularity of the domain’s intension.

The oldest and most revered is the Sarada Ranganathan Endowment and the Department of Library & Information Science, University of Mysore, Mysore, India. The Ranganathan endowment produces annually a series of lectures on critical problems in knowledge organization and publishes the journal now titled Journal of Information and Knowledge.

The prolific Brazilian group GPFAPOI: Formação e atuação profissional em produção e organização da informação (Training and professional performance in production and organization of information) formed in 1995 by José Augusto Chaves Guimarães and Natália Bolfarini Tognoli at the Faculty of Philosophy and Sciences, Marília Campus of São Paulo State University Júlio de Mesquita Filho – UNESP (http://dgp.cnpq.br/dgp/espelhogrupo/2052 ). The group has been influential in domain analysis, the ethics of knowledge organization (Martínez-Ávila et al. 2015), and archival applications of KO (Guimarães and Tognoli 2015), among a host of other topics.

Also notably prolific was the Knowledge Organization Research Group (KOrg) at the School of Information Studies of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Originally formed in 2008, the group eventually hosted international conferences on ethics in KO, held annual retreats, invited guest fellows to join them on campus, and generated three anthologies: Cultural Frames of Knowledge (Smiraglia and Lee 2012), Ontology for Knowledge Organization (Smiraglia and Lee 2015), and Dimensions of Knowledge: Facets for Knowledge Organization (Smiraglia and Lee 2017)). Through interaction with the CIDOC-CRM Conceptual Reference Model for cultural heritage ontology (https://www.cidoc-crm.org/ ) and the Dutch Virtual Knowledge Studio (Daga, Scharnhorst and Smiraglia 2023, 137) project “Knowledge Lab,” the group served as a catalyst for nascent research in KS.

3.0 DANS

DANS (officially Data Archiving and Networked Services), is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW or Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen https://www.knaw.nl/ ) and of the Dutch Research Council (I or Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek https://www.nwo.nl/ ). DANS is described as the “Dutch national centre of expertise and repository for research data” (https://dans.knaw.nl/en/about/ ), supporting a wide bench of services for scholars to make their data available for research. At present there are data stations for social sciences and humanities, archaeology, life health and medical sciences, and physical and technical sciences. DANS also supports a Data Vault, a shared service called DataVerse, and a wide program of Data Expertise, which brings together researchers, data professionals and other archives to work for sustainable storage and sharing of research data.

DANS has for many years supported a group of honorary fellows, distinguished researchers from related sciences whose own work intersects with the goals of DANS. The present essay shows how DANS has been one of the most productive institutional catalysts for research in KO and KS.

3.1 The KOSo Observatory

The Knowledge Organization System Observatory, KOSo, was a project of DANS begun in 2017 to create a centralized directory to knowledge organization systems. The term “observatory” arose from conversations in the knowledge organization community over time. The goal was to create a repository from which researchers could interact with KOSs. The result of the project was a complex spreadsheet replete with live hyperlinks to extant systems in the social sciences, humanities, and life sciences. The results of the project are available in IKOS’ website: https://knoworg.org/the-dans-koso-observatory/ (Coen, Smiraglia, Doorn and Scharnhorst 2019).

3.2 The NARCIS Classification

NARCIS (National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System) was a DANS-maintained national research portal for Dutch scholars. An open access repository of publications and datasets was combined with texts of peer-reviewed publications. To facilitate research and retrieval a classification was created and named for NARCIS. The classification allowed symbolic representation of not only the contents of the portal but also of the Dutch national research milieu. As part of efforts to study the NARCIS Classification the methodology known as “comparative classification” was generated. In comparative classification, sets of ontical positions (essentially concept statements) are classified using two or more different KOSs to quantify aspects of each, such as granularity, expressivity, synthetic capability, etc.

In September 2018 DANS hosted a two-day colloquium ““Trajectories for Research: Fathoming the Promise of the NARCIS Classification,”” 27-28 September. The proceedings from this colloquium were published in a special issue of Knowledge Organization (v. 46, no. 5 2019). In addition to providing a forum for detailed discussion about the NARCIS classification, the colloquium also succeeded in bringing together diverse points of view about national research classifications.

3.3 Digging into the Knowledge Graph

Digging Into the Knowledge Graph (Di4kg http://di4kg.org/ ) was a project funded under the Trans-Atlantic Platform’s Round Four Digging Into Data Challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to explore sustainability of data-intensive projects. Di4kg was specifically designed to explore best practices for Linked Open Data (LOD) in KOSs in general, and in the social sciences and humanities in particular. Two use cases comprised the majority of work in the four-year project. The humanities project was the creation of LOD for the contents of the Renaissance polyphony CMME (Computerized Mensural Music Editing) project (https://cmme.org/), which was accomplished by IKOS using existing library LOD venues coordinated through the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF https://viaf.org/ ). The social sciences project involved the UNSPSC United Nations Standard Products and Services Code classification (https://www.unspsc.org/ ). The project concluded with the publication of an anthology Linking Knowledge: Linked Data for Knowledge Organization (Smiraglia and Scharnhorst 2021).

3.4 Visualization of topic clusters in bibliographic databases

Wang and Koopman (2019) also presented a conference paper and a more extensive journal article about their work with the Ariadne information retrieval tool developed experimentally to investigate topical clusters in the OCLC bibliographic database (Koopman, Wang and Scharnhorst 2015; 2017).

3.5 DANS Infrastructure as Knowledge Structure

Another collaboration featured the knowledge infrastructure represented by DANS, and in particular its role in mediating information exchange among stakeholders (Borgman, Scharnhorst and Golshan 2019).

3.6 KOSs for Digital Humanities

September 2023 saw a workshop at DANS: “Knowledge Organisation Systems: Digital humanities practices and archiving challenges. How much semantic interoperability is feasible?” Approximately simultaneously a poster was prepared for the first post-pandemic international conference of the Association for Information Science and Technology, London, October 2023 (Scharnhorst et al. 2023) https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.962 The poster, like the workshop, brought together many research streams in which DANS participates, most notable in this case DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities https://www.dariah.eu/ .

4.0 Conclusion: Research Interactions and Alliances for Catalyzing KO and KS

Given that research is the rigorous pursuit of solutions through discovery and that research in KO and KS must be rooted in real-world problems. The maturation of KO as a science has been assisted by a set of very prolific catalyst research groups. DANS clearly has become one of these engines of discovery in KO and KS. Although the mission of DANS is not primarily that of a research institute, it is clear from the evidence compiled here that through the very real-world querying of applications problems in KO and KS DANS has taken a place of honor in the emergence of theoretical research as substrate for very real-world KOS applications. From the KOSo Observatory to the role of semantic interoperability, DANS has catalyzed streams of thought that point to the evolution of new paradigms for research in KO and KS.

References

Adams, Jennifer R. G., Murugesan Pooranachithra, Erin M. Jyo, Sherry Li Zheng, Alexandr Goncharov, Jennifer R. Crew, James M. Kramer, Yishi Jin, Andreas M. Ernst and Andrew D. Chisholm. 2023. “Nanoscale patterning of collagens in C. elegans apical extracellular matrix.” Nature Communications 14, article no. 7506. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-43058-9

Borgman, Christine L., Andrea Scharnhorst and Milena S. Golshan. 2019. “Digital Data Archives as Knowledge Infrastructures: Mediating Data Sharing and Reuse.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 70, no. 8: 888-904. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24172

Coen, Gerard, Richard P. Smiraglia, Peter Doorn and Andrea Scharnhorst. 2019. “Observing trajectories of KOSs Across Space and Time: The DANS KOS Observatory (KOSo).” In Proceedings from North American Symposium on Knowledge Organization, Vol. 7. Drexel University. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7152/nasko.v7i1.15619.

Daga, Enrico, Andrea Scharnhorst and Richard Smiraglia. 2023. “Ordering the World, Ordering our Thinking, Ordering Interdisciplinary Collaboration—On Knowledge Organization and Ontology Engineering.” In Transferability: Reflections on Planning and Knowledge Organization, ed. H. A. Mieg and A. Scharnhorst. Wissenschaftsforschung Jarhbuch 2021. Berlin: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, pp. 133-153.

Dahlberg, Ingetraut. 2007. “Interview with Ingetraut Dahlberg.” Knowledge Organization 35, no.2/3: 82-85.

Dahlberg, Ingetraut. 2008. “Concepts and Terms – ISKO’s Major Challenge.” Knowledge Organization 36, nos. 2/3: 169-177.

Greenberg, Jane. 2009. “Theoretical Considerations of Lifecycle Modeling: An Analysis of the Dryad Repository Demonstrating Automatic Metadata Propagation, Inheritance, and Value System Adoption.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 47, no. 3: 380-402. DOI: 10.1080/01639370902737547

Guimarães, José Augusto Chaves and Natália Bolfarini Tognoli. 2015. “Provenance as a Domain Analysis Approach in Archival Knowledge Organization.” Knowledge Organization 42, no. 8: 562-569. DOI:10.5771/0943-7444-2015-8-562

Koopman, Rob, Shenghui Wang and Andrea Scharnhorst. 2015. “Contextualization of Topics – Browsing through Terms, Authors, Journals and Cluster Allocations.” In Proceedings of ISSI 2015 Istanbul, 15th International Society of Scientometrics and Informetrics Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 29 June to 3 July, 2015, ed. A. A. Salah, Y. Tonta, A. A. Akdag Salah, C.  Sugimoto and U. Al. Leuven: ISSI Society, pp. 1042-1053.

Koopman, Rob, Shenghui Wang and Andrea Scharnhorst. 2017. “Contextualization of Topics: Browsing Through the Universe of Bibliographic Information.” Scientometrics 111, no. 2: 1119-1139.

Martínez-Ávila, Daniel, José Augusto Chaves Guimarães, Fabio Assis Pinho, and Melodie J. Fox. 2015. “The Representation of Ethics and Knowledge Organization in the WoS and LISTA Databases.” Knowledge Organization 42, no. 5: 269-275. DOI:10.5771/0943-7444-2015-5-269

Scharnhorst, Andrea, Pascal Flohr, Vyacheslav Tykhonov, Jerry De Vries, Hella Hollander, Jetze Touber, Wim Hugo, Richard Smiraglia, Yann Le France, Ronald Siebes and Enno Meijers. 2023. “Knowledge Organisation Systems in the Humanities: Semantic Interoperability in Practice.” Poster. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.962

Smiraglia, Richard P. 1989. “Music Uniform Titles: An Exercise in Collocating Works.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 9, no. 3 (1989): 97-114.

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2008. “A Meta‐analysis of Instantiation as a Phenomenon of Information Objects.” Culture del testo e del documento 9 n° 25: 5-25.

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2014. The Elements of Knowledge Organization. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2020. “The Relationship between Knowledge Organization and Knowledge Structure.” IKOS Bulletin 2, no. 2: 46-49.

Smiraglia, Richard P. and Andrea Scharnhorst, eds. 2021. Linking Knowledge: Linked Open Data for Knowledge Organization and Visualization. Baden-Baden: Ergon Verlag. doi.org/10.5771/9783956506611

Smiraglia, Richard P. and Hur-li Lee, eds. 2012. Cultural Frames of Knowledge. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag.

Smiraglia, Richard P. and Hur-li Lee, eds. 2015. Ontology for Knowledge Organization. Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag.

Smiraglia, Richard P. and Hur-li Lee, eds. 2017. Dimensions of Knowledge: Facets for Knowledge Organization. Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag.

*Excerpted from: Smiraglia, Richard P. 2023. “DANS: A Catalyst for Knowledge Organization and Structure Research.” IKOS Bulletin 5, no.2: 109-126. [57 references].

Written by admin on January 18th, 2024

Tagged with , , , ,

ISKO 17’s Bookshelf: Basic Informetrics*   276 comments

Posted at 10:58 pm in Uncategorized

ISKO 17 (2022) was held in Aalborg, Denmark from 6-8 July 2022. It was the second conference planned for Aalborg, and indeed, ISKO 16 was centered there but became a virtual conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference was titled Knowledge Organization across Disciplines, Domains, Services & Technologies and the proceedings were published by Ergon Verlag (ISKO 2022). Like earlier analyses in the “ISKO’s Bookshelf” series, the proceedings have not been indexed by either Clarivate of Scopus so the work reported here is the result of manual data-gathering. Also, like earlier volumes of ISKO proceedings, the editing is not uniform, particularly with regard to the references, which makes sorting difficult.

The proceedings contain 24 full papers, six short papers and three posters—33 contributions and therefore much less than has been typical of ISKO international conferences. We can assume this is another artifact of the pandemic, which was just beginning to ease in the summer of 2022. Only nine presentations are by a single author; all the rest are collaborative, which is a new sign of the hardening of the science of knowledge organization. Table 6 shows the countries of affiliation of the authors.

Brazil8UK2
United States5Cuba/ Cuba1
Canada4Denmark1
Italy4Germany1
Portugal3Iran1
Uruguay3Mexico1
Australia2Spain1
France2  

Table 6. ISKO 17 countries of affiliation of authors.

Brazil, USA and Canada predominate, and this is consistent with the series of proceedings analyzed above.

The number of references per presentation ranges from 1 to 47 with a mean of 23.75, a median of 22 and a mode of 21. This is quite different from all earlier ISKO conferences, suggesting perhaps a more humanistic bent to the conference, in opposition to the co-authorship data. Date of work cited ranged from 1548 to 2022. The mean age of work cited is 19.5 years (median 10, mode 5). This is the highest mean age of cited work (a humanistic trait) and the lowest mode (a hard science trait) (see Table 1 above).

As it pertains to “citation image,” there were 88 authors cited more than once; the top of the tier is shown in Table 7.

Hjørland, Birger31
Serrai, Alfredo15
Beghtol, Clare13
Smiraglia, Richard P.12
Barité, Mario11
Lee, Deborah11
Szostak, Rick10

Table 7. ISKO 17 authors most cited.

As usual, Hjørland is cited the most. Beghtol and Smiraglia are among the usual suspects from before, and we can see that Szostak (see Table 5 above) has been moving up the list for several conferences. The other names are new to the list of most cited. So this tells us two things: first, that no matter how many scholars advance the science KO authors cannot make themselves stop citing the now very outdated work of Hjørland, and second, that the citation “image” of ISKO has changed significantly in 2022 to include a very many new scholars.

ISKO 17 is the smallest ISKO international conference with only 33 contributions. Brazil, the USA and Canada predominate among countries of author affiliation. The majority are collaborative, which points to empirical science. But, the number of references is quite large and they are quite older than typical, pointing to humanistic epistemologies. The citation image continues to be dominated by Hjørland, but there are several new names as well, indicating a shift in citation image in ISKO 17.

*Excerpted from: Smiraglia. Richard P. 2022. “ISKO’s Bookshelf 2022: Mysteries of a Pandemic, Part 1.” IKOS Bulletin 4, no.2: 54-64.

Written by admin on February 3rd, 2023

ISKO 17’s Bookshelf: Part 1, A Pandemic Conference*   no comments

Posted at 12:54 am in Uncategorized

ISKO 17 (2022) was held in Aalborg, Denmark from 6-8 July 2022. It was the second conference planned for Aalborg, and indeed, ISKO 16 was centered there but became a virtual conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference was titled Knowledge Organization across Disciplines, Domains, Services & Technologies and the proceedings were published by Ergon Verlag (ISKO 2022). Like earlier analyses in the “ISKO’s Bookshelf” series, the proceedings have not been indexed by either Clarivate of Scopus so the work reported here is the result of manual data-gathering. Also, like earlier volumes of ISKO proceedings, the editing is not uniform, particularly with regard to the references, which makes sorting difficult. An excel file with the basic citation data is attached to this report.

The proceedings contain 24 full papers, six short papers and three posters—33 contributions and therefore much less than has been typical of ISKO international conferences. We can assume this is another artifact of the pandemic, which was just beginning to ease in the summer of 2022. Only nine presentations are by a single author; all the rest are collaborative, which is a new sign of the hardening of the science of knowledge organization. Table 6 shows the countries of affiliation of the authors.

Brazil8UK2
United States5Cuba/ Cuba1
Canada4Denmark1
Italy4Germany1
Portugal3Iran1
Uruguay3Mexico1
Australia2Spain1
France2  

Table 6. ISKO 17 countries of affiliation of authors.

Brazil, USA and Canada predominate, and this is consistent with the series of proceedings analyzed above.

The number of references per presentation ranges from 1 to 47 with a mean of 23.75, a median of 22 and a mode of 21. This is quite different from all earlier ISKO conferences, suggesting perhaps a more humanistic bent to the conference, in opposition to the co-authorship data. Date of work cited ranged from 1548 to 2022. The mean age of work cited is 19.5 years (median 10, mode 5). This is the highest mean age of cited work (a humanistic trait) and the lowest mode (a hard science trait) (see Table 1 above).

As it pertains to “citation image,” there were 88 authors cited more than once; the top of the tier is shown in Table 7.

Hjørland, Birger31
Serrai, Alfredo15
Beghtol, Clare13
Smiraglia, Richard P.12
Barité, Mario11
Lee, Deborah11
Szostak, Rick10

Table 7. ISKO 17 authors most cited.

As usual, Hjørland is cited the most. Beghtol and Smiraglia are among the usual suspects from before, and we can see that Szostak (see Table 5 above) has been moving up the list for several conferences. The other names are new to the list of most cited. So this tells us two things: first, that no matter how many scholars advance the science KO authors cannot make themselves stop citing the now very outdated work of Hjørland, and second, that the citation “image” of ISKO has changed significantly in 2022 to include a very many new scholars.

*Excerpted from: Smiraglia. Richard P. 2022. “ISKO’s Bookshelf 2022: Mysteries of a Pandemic, Part 1.” IKOS Bulletin 4, no.2: 54-64.

Written by admin on January 19th, 2023

The Demand for Empirical Knowledge Organization*   1 comment

Posted at 9:35 pm in ontology,theory

People ask me all the time what our institute “does.” When I say simply “research” I usually get a blank stare for a response. After all, what kind of “research” could there be in the organization of knowledge? And for that matter, what “is” the structure of knowledge—how could there be research into that?

Fortunately, the world press reports research about the order and structure of knowledge all the time. For example, in the October 25th (2019) Economist there was a report about how a meta-analysis of museum research demonstrated there were more male specimens than female in museum collections used for research, and therefore, that the results of the reported research were not (as we might have it) ontologically sound. Meanwhile, on television 60 Minutes reported on November 24th 2019 that specific concepts are recognizable by electrical patterns in the brains of humans who embrace them. In other words, a biometric sign that specific meanings actually do, despite the influence of phenomenological philosophies and epistemological stances, cause commonality of understanding across the human species. Both of these studies are meta-analyses of prior empirical studies—from simple descriptive research to experimentation—thus both contribute to the growth of the theory of the order of knowledge, and in the latter case its structure as well.

In Elements of Knowledge Organization (2014, 7) I wrote: “At the most basic level, theory is a frequently‐tested (and thereby affirmed) statement of the interacting requirements of a phenomenon. In empirical research, theory is both the accumulated wisdom of the paradigm from which hypotheses are cast and the constant reaccumulation that occurs as each hypothesis is tested” and “theory exists in domains where a large quantity of research has been very productive at generating workable explanations and also at identifying inadequate or erroneous statements.” The growth of theory requires both large numbers of replicable research studies, and meta-analyses of those studies that demonstrate both results and gaps. In knowledge organization, it is critical that studies of ontological spaces be conducted, replicated and analyzed across studies and across time. In post-modern knowledge organization, which is domain-centric, this means analysis of specific concepts within specific domain ontologies. But we also have in meta-analysis the opportunity to compare ontological structures, which can themselves be classified, compared and tested, to understand how domains are or are not comparable. These are the goals of our institute. We work with the theoretical underpinnings of working knowledge organization applications. But we do so at a meta-level, seeking to understand both the ontological priorities of a domain and the ontical structures of its conceptual knowledge base.

My last two editorials in Knowledge Organizationwere pleas for empirical research. In (2017) I pleaded with the community to take up replication and theory building. On ISKO conference program committees (both regional and international) referees frequently criticize research with the phrase “we have seen this before.” But, of course, replication is critical to create reliability across results of different studies. Until we have replications of the same data from the same methodologies and even the same data from diverse methodologies, until then we cannot have faith in the reliability of our theoretical constructs. Empirical science relies on theoretical statements that indicate the probability of occurrence more than 99% of the time. Although systems for the organization of knowledge are as old as civilization itself, the empirical study of KO stems only from the past half century. In 2015 (31-33) I analyzed the existing domain analytical studies; at that time only a few very broad domains (archives, image searching, LGBT, physics and social media) had been studied 3 times, and only music (an immense domain) had been studied 4 times, and KO itself had been studied 22 times. It is critical to deepen the understanding of domain ontologies if we are to grow theory of both knowledge organization and knowledge structure.

In my most recent editorial (2020) I tried to point to increasingly problematic behavior of scholars in KO with little or only casual regard to referencing. References often are crafted rather than extracted from source publications. Authors often cite works that have not been read. I consider this is a form of intellectual dishonesty that pushes ethical boundaries. The importance of replication extends to the evidentiary component of every published study—if the sources cannot be consulted in replication how can we have confidence in published results?

The role of IKOS then is to meet the demand for empirical KO by pursuing in real time the work of empirical research in domain ontologies and ontical structures. To that end we first took up a meta-analysis of studies of KO. The results of that study are now compiled in our first technical report (IKOS 2020). Two products of that study are visible on our website in the form of the corpus bibliography (https://knoworg.org/meta-analysis-of-the-knowledge-organization-domain-corpus-bibliography/) and a dynamic Formal Taxonomy of Knowledge Organization (https://knoworg.org/a-formal-taxonomy-of-knowledge-organization-version-1-0/).

In late 2019 we tackled the phenomena of music for a phenomenon-based classification. The result of that work, which is still underway, will include new facets for medium of performance, and form and genre. An exciting development will be a facet for audiography, derived from meta-analysis of empirical studies of music information retrieval (Szostak and Smiraglia 2020). This facet will include details of capture, production and dissemination, and user purpose and emotion.

In 2020 it is our intention to tackle homosexual nomenclatures. We also have begun to work on the domain of nursing information behavior, basing our initial analysis on the 2005 dissertation by Edmund Pajarillo. A teaser visualization of simple phrases appears in Figure 1.

Figure 1. 3-dimensional Visualization of Core Phrases in Nursing Information Behavior.

We can see here the potential outline of facets for a taxonomy—geographic health, information leads, nursing process, information behavior, information resources. We will work to grow that taxonomy as we are able.

In all of this research we are doing what we can to contribute—to give back—through research by meeting the demand for empirical knowledge organization.

References

IKOS (Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure, Inc.). 2020. Technical Report: Meta-Analysis of Knowledge Organization as a Domain. IKOS Technical Reports Series no. 1. Lake Oswego, OR: IKOS.

Pajarillo, Edmund J.Y. 2005. “Contextual Perspectives of Information for Home Care Nurses: Towards a Framework of Nursing Information Behavior (NIB).” PhD diss., Long Island University.

 “Scientists are using MRI scans to reveal the physical makeup of our thoughts and feelings.” 60 Minutes November 24, 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/functional-magnetic-resonance-imaging-computer-analysis-read-thoughts-60-minutes-2019-11-24/

“Sexual Selection: Collections of Animals Favour Male over Female Specimens.” Economist October 25th (2019): 74. https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2019/10/26/why-museums-animal-collections-favour-males

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2014. The Elements of Knowledge Organization. Cham: Springer.

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2015. Domain Analysis for Knowledge Organization: Tools for Ontology Extraction. Chandos InformationProfessional Series. Oxford: Elsevier/Chandos.

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2017. “Replication and Accumulation in Knowledge Organization—An Editorial.” Knowledge Organization 44: 315-17. 

Smiraglia, Richard P. 2020. “Referencing as Evidentiary: An Editorial.” Knowledge Organization 47: 4-12. doi:10.5771/0943-7444-2020-1-4

Szostak, Rick and Richard P. Smiraglia. 2020. “Identifying and Classifying the Phenomena of Music.” In Linking Knowledge: Linked Open Data for Knowledge Organization and Visualization, ed. Richard P. Smiraglia and Andrea Scharnhorst. Baden-Baden: Ergon Verlag, 2021, 143-48. Also in Knowledge Organization at the Interface: Proceedings of the Sixteenth International ISKO Conference, 2020, Aalborg, Denmark, ed. Marianne Lykke, Taja Svarre, Mette Skov and Daniel MartÍnez-Ávila. Advances in Knowledge Organization 17. Baden-Baden: Ergon Verlag, 421-27.

*Published in print as: Smiraglia, Richard P. 2020. “The Demand for Empirical Knowledge Organization.” IKOS Bulletin 2, no.1 : 8-10.

Written by admin on October 17th, 2022

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Iconic Knowledge, Iconic KO*   no comments

“Iconic .…” According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online the word means “Of or pertaining to an icon, image, figure, or representation; of the nature of a portrait.” The first usage reported there was in 1656. OED also has variant definitions for “use in worship” and Semiotics. Ah, there we are: … “pertaining to or resembling an icon” (first usage reported in 1939. And finally: “designating a person or thing regarded as representative of a culture or movement; important or influential in a particular (cultural) context.” WordNet has: “relating to or having the characteristics of an icon.”

We all know, I hope, what an icon is. I have many that I have collected on my travels to Crete. In Orthodox spirituality, these icons are pathways to prayer. It is a bit difficult to explain, but the idea is that in praying with an icon (by focusing on the figures in meditative prayer) the saint in the icon is able to enter your consciousness and become a vector for your prayer.

The word has become ubiquitous in the news these days, to mean “emblematic.” I have to laugh, because once not so long ago when I used the word “iconic” in a manuscript I was told it would not be understood by LIS readers (people, mostly, with PhDs). At the same time I was writing regularly for the Philadelphia Gay News with instructions to write at a fourth grade reading level, and of course, the word “iconic” was part of that vocabulary. Well, we hear the word constantly these days. Unfortunately, that means it has lost a lot of its meaning as it has become colloquially “iconic.” It should mean “stands for a gate to spirituality.” Too often instead it just means “looks familiar.”

In KO what does the word mean? In KO it preserves aspects of its original connotation: something precious that is a gateway to better understanding, particularly with regard to visualization of culturally representative entities.

How do we at IKOS turn our own work into iconic work? We are rooted in empirical methods. Our work is eminently replicable. We report our references impeccably. For us, references are the evidence that what we describe is truly representative of a concept. Dahlberg implied and other since have written that the concept was the “atomic” element of knowledge organization (Dahlberg 2006; Smiraglia and Van den Heuvel 2013). This means that concepts paint pictures in people’s brains, those pictures are shared culturally, and from the very tiniest impression (what Peirce (1991, 181) might have called a “representamen”), the shared conception grows. There is “cultural synergy” (Smiraglia 2014)—the concept enters a knowledge organization system (KOS) that is itself a cultural disseminator and thus the concept becomes part of the cultural consciousness. This is then the iconic status of a concept.

At IKOS we are dedicated to sorting out the particularities of concepts, including the concept of “iconic.” We invite you to help us reclaim this critical term from public incoherence.

References

Dahlberg, Ingetraut. 2006. “Knowledge Organization: A New Science?” Knowledge Organization 33: 11-19.

Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. “Iconic,” accessed 12 October 2019. https://www-oed-com.ezproxy.lib.uwm.edu/view/Entry/90882?rskey=ZPEl2n&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid

Peirce, Charles Sanders. 1991. Peirce on Signs: Writings on Semiotic, ed. by James Hoopes. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Pr.

Smiraglia, Richard P. and Charles van den Heuvel. 2013. “Classifications and Concepts: Towards an Elementary Theory of Knowledge Interaction.” Journal of Documentation 69: 360-83.

WordNet. Search 3.1, s.v. “Iconic.”accessed 12 October 2019. https://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/

*Published in print as: Smiraglia, Richard P. 2019. “Iconic Knowledge, Iconic KO.” IKOS Bulletin 1, no.1 : 6-7.

Written by admin on October 10th, 2022

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The Value of Knowledge Organization Systems*   no comments

We are scientists of knowledge and of its order, we have identified the atomic elements of our science (“concepts”) and we have empirically described their behavior, which eerily (or perhaps excitingly) mimics that of elements of quantum theory. That is, we have defined the domain of knowledge, identified its entities (concepts, works, etc.) and the forces that compel them (syntax, semantics, etc.). Ideation is the matter of knowledge and expression compels the conceptual particles that are made up of signs and can be grouped into taxons. Spacetime is represented by the notion of instantiation in which knowledge as concepts move from ideation to expression along a continuum. Spin is the representation of what we know as semiosis, the motion of signification. Strings are spatial objects analogous to instantiation networks or canons. I admit I have presented here a tiny bit of a partial explanation to make my point; for details see please van den Heuvel and Smiraglia 2010, 2013, 2021; Smiraglia and van den Heuvel 2013).

But what is the value of knowledge organization? What value is ascribed to the massive systems for the ordering of knowledge that are the applied products of our science? The question is not new. We can look to classificationists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries for notions of the “economies” of a KOS, usually expressed as the simple elegance with which a complex concept can be expressed (Smiraglia and Szostak 2018).

We can look to the appropriate social outcry at the demise of card catalogs (Baker 1994). What brilliant feats of engineering were the catalogs of major libraries built over a century by armies of catalogers, typists, card printers, card filers, filing revisers, etc., etc. What was the cost of that infrastructure?

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library catalog S-Z along Wright Street dividing Champaign from Urbana.)

What is the value of a knowledge organization system (KOS)? Is it cost divided by benefit? How do we measure benefit? How do we know the true costs? What is the cost of the UDC? What is the cost of the DDC? What about systems like NANDA-I nursing vocabulary (2018) or the NAICS: North American Industrial Classification (https://www.census.gov/naics/ )

(Elichirigoity and Malone 2005) or the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPC) classification (https://www.ungm.org/Public/UNSPSC ). What was the total cost of conversion of card catalogs to digital form? What is the cost of conversion of KOSs to linked data (see for example Szostak et al. 2020).

There is, of course, no direct answer to these questions.

A few years ago Greenberg (see for example 2015; 2017) began a series of musings about metadata capital, consulting with economists about the idea that capital was invested in the construction of metadata systems and therefore, metadata should be considered as an economic asset.

It seems that there must be an equation of sorts to the extent that the cost of a KOS can be determined such that the cost should be in ratio to the benefit of the system. IKOS exists for the purpose of identifying gaps in the structure of the science of KO. Each clinic must, from now on, pursue questions of value.

References

Baker, Nichols. 1994. “Discards.” The New Yorker :70, no. 764-86.

Elichirigoity, Fernando and Cheryl Knott Malone. 2005. “Measuring the New Economy: Industrial Classification and Open Source Software Production.” Knowledge Organization 32: 117-27.

Greenberg, Jane. 2015. “Metadata Capital: Raising Awareness, Exploring a New Concept.” Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology 40, no. 4: 30-33.

GreenbergJane. 2017. “Big Metadata, Smart Metadata, and Metadata Capital: Toward Greater Synergy Between Data Science and Metadata” Journal of Data and Information Science 2, no.3: 19-36. https://doi.org/10.1515/jdis-2017-0012

NANDA International. 2018. Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions and Classification 2018-2020, ed. T. Heather Herdman and Shigemi Kamitsuru. 11th ed. New York: Thieme.

Smiraglia, Richard P. and Rick Szostak. 2018. “Converting UDC to BCC: Comparative Approaches to Interdisciplinarity.” In Challenges and Opportunities for Knowledge Organization in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International ISKO Conference, 9-11 July 2018, Porto, Portugal, ed. Fernanda Ribeira and Maria Elisa Cerveira. Advances in Knowledge Organization 16. Baden-Baden: Ergon, 530-38.

Szostak, Rick, Richard P. Smiraglia, Andrea Scharnhorst, Aida Slavic, Daniel MartÍnez-Ávila and Tobias Renwick. 2021. “Classifications as Linked Open Data: Challenges and Opportunities,”. In Linking Knowledge: Linked Open Data for Knowledge Organization and Visualization, ed. Richard P. Smiraglia and Andrea Scharnhorst. Baden-Baden: Ergon Verlag, 2021, 24-34

van den Heuvel, Charles and Richard P. Smiraglia. 2010. “Concepts as Particles: Metaphors for the Universe of Knowledge.” In Paradigms and Conceptual Systems in Knowledge Organization: Proceedings of the Eleventh International ISKO Conference, 23-26 February 2010 Rome Italy, ed. Claudio Gnoli and Fulvio Mazzocchi. Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 50-56.

van den Heuvel, Charles and Richard P. Smiraglia. 2013. “Visualizing Knowledge Interaction in the Multiverse of Knowledge.” In Classification and Visualization: Interfaces to Knowledge, Proceedings of the International UDC Seminar, 24-25 October 2013, The Hague, The Netherlands, ed. Aida Slavic, Almila Akdag Slah and Sylvie Davies. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 59‐72.

van den Heuvel, Charles and Richard P. Smiraglia. 2021. “Knowledge Spaces: Visualizing and Interacting with Dimensionality.” In Linking Knowledge: Linked Open Data for Knowledge Organization and Visualization, ed. Richard P. Smiraglia and Andrea Scharnhorst. Baden-Baden: Ergon Verlag, 200-18.

*Published in print as: Smiraglia, Richard P. 2022. “The Value of Knowledge Organization Systems.” IKOS Bulletin 4, no.1 : 23-26.

Written by admin on October 3rd, 2022

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