5 Responses to Understanding concept-oriented catalogs

  1. Conal Tuohy says:

    The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (where I used to work) has a “concept-oriented catalog” of the digitized works it offers. The IT infrastructure is a “Topic Map” (as defined by the ISO standard 13250). There are topics representing not only works and editions/manifestations, but also people (whether authors or not), places, organisations, ships, etc.

  2. freemoth says:

    Interesting post, I see what your getting at, and look forward to your follow up posts. I do have a little trouble with the term ‘knowledge resource’ though. To me knowledge is something you have, something you acquire through research and experience. It’s something you can share with others, but what you’re sharing is information. Knowledge is internal; information external. When the information you share is internalized by someone else it becomes part of their knowledge.

  3. John Mark Ockerbloom says:

    Conal: Thanks for the pointer to the NZETC catalog! (Click on Conal Tuohy’s name to go there.) I particularly like what it does with authors.

    Freemoth: I understand that in discussions like these, it can be hard to come up with entirely satisfactory terminology. (See my note on “concept”, and the difficulty of using that as well.) I do like the distinction you’ve made here, though for the moment at least I’m trying to focus on discussing the ideas rather than the exact terms to use for the ideas. (Though if there are already settled terms for them that I’m not using, I can consider shifting.)

    I’m working on the second post in the series now, and I hope you’ll continue to read, and comment as you see fit. Thanks!

  4. Hamilton says:

    To the #2 OP, I disagree a little bit, though I see your point. Knowledge is shared, which then is information. More information makes one more knowledgeable. Depending on the way you spin, they can be one in the same IMO. Thanks for sharing.

  5. In our library we started with the idea of “Subject portals” using the existing library resources from the catalog, databases and the web. We currently have one up and running as “Pasteur: Resources and search engine for health and medicine” under our Library site.

    This is a sample search from that portal:

    You can also read as to how we developed it here:

    Click to access ViewContentServlet

    and here:

    In short, some ideas as to how it would work:
    * self-organization using profiles; we would do some hard work defining our “broad portal subject” in terms of HILCC segments (call number ranges). The portal then ties those resources together as a browsable mechanism. (nothing new)
    * not just have the resources tied together (e.g. a “catalog” search would also show some related online articles and resources too) but that we could get down to writing quick subject guides we could force on top of search results (e.g. “best bets”) that could be quickly written by librarians with no tech knowledge needed.

    The goal is to have 5 such portals (Health, Engineering, Business, etc.) tailored to our end audience, with the appropriate librarian subject specialists (and some technology) behind them, so that they will bring relevant information, services, and perhaps a selection of news, local events and other external content relevant to the users to have a well-rounded discovery environment.

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