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WebCT login Instructions
This course introduces students to the basic principles of organizing information for facilitating access to information. It covers the nature, forms, and media of information and knowledge; the nature of user information needs and implications for information organization; terms and concepts related to information organization; principles of information representation, metadata, encoding, authority control, and subject analysis; methods of information organization; classification principles, structures, and applications; the use of controlled vocabulary, taxonomy, and natural language for subject analysis, standards, and filing systems; and the relationship of information organization to access mechanisms. Traditional and more recent computer techniques, tools, and theories will be studied.
At the end of the course students should be able to evaluate and apply an understanding of:
Please read the policy on “Academic Honesty" and the policy on "Academic/ Dishonesty” in the University's Online Student Handbook . to access these policies Click on " University Academic Policies & Procedures affecting Students.” and then on Academic dishonesty and Academic honesty.
Academic dishonesty is defined in the Handbook as “failure to observe rules of fairness in taking exams or writing papers, plagiarism, fabrication, and cheating”. Any incidence of plagiarism will result in a grade of F (0 points) on the project or exam in question, and will be reported to the Dean of the School of Library and Information Science for possible further action (including failure in the course). See the Handbook or discuss the problem with your instructor if you have questions about plagiarism. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Catholic University of America defines plagerism to include:
The course will lecture based but will have a WebCT site for course materials and online discussions. Students will need access to a computer with an Internet connection and a current version of a web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Safari etc.). Students will be given login names and passwords by the instructor. Directions to logon to WebCT are on the instructor's web site.
Students are required to contribute to course discussions on WebCT. Students should be clear and brief in discussions and considerate of other students and their opinions. While the instructor can and will monitor discussion participation, every student does not have to contribute to every discussion (every student is expected to read every discussion). However, some of the course grade will be based on participation in discussion. If any student is uncomfortable with the online discussion format, they should contact the instructor immediately.
The course will have a number of group and individual projects and case studies that will be graded pass/fail. The purpose of most of these projects will be to illustrate a concept or the practical use of organization concepts. The projects that will be graded are discussed later in this syllabus.
You should have the readings and lecture completed by the last day of the assignment.
Any student with a disability that will require accommodation under the terms of federal regulations should present a written accommodation request to the instructor by the second class meeting. The law includes accommodation for learning disabilities, Attention Deficient Disorder and anxiety disorders. It is also recommended that the student contact the Office of Disability Support Services. They are located in suite 207 in the Pryzbyla Center.Their email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Their phone number is 202-319-5618 or 202-319-5211 and their fax number is 202-319-5126. and their web site is
Some of the on campus resources and phone numbers can be found at
A Guide for services and accommodations for students with disabilities can be found at:
Some basic guidelines and links to other information may be found at:
Activities and Case Studies
This will be an article review of 2 articles (if you wish you can use more than 2 articles, but no less than 2). The articles should be from professional or peer reviewed journals. You can include web sites in your discussion, but you must have 2 journal articles. The articles reviewed should not be course readings, however, you can include course readings in your discussion. You can look for 2 articles that present an overview of an organization of information topic, such as Dublin Core or TEI or you can choose 2 articles that present an argument (is the MARC record dead?) or a specific problem (bias in the Library of Congress subject headings). You should summarize what each article discusses and relate the articles to each other and to class lecture, readings and discussions. Include a separate page that is a reference list/bibliography citing the 2 articles and any other sources. The article review should be a minimum of 3 pages long.
We will discuss the Turabian style manual in class, but you may use any standard style manual for your citations. For example: APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association) The following book is the "Turabian style manual" which is often used by high school and undergraduate students and is a abbreviated version of The Chicago Manual of Style.
- The emphasis of this assignment is on the planning, development, and intellectual preparation for organizing a collection. You may use a collection from your workplace or home or you can organize a collection as a volunteer or for a friend. The collection can be very traditional (books, magazines, printed documents) or non-traditional (a pottery collection, or a collection of digital photographs).
- The collection should have items that have several different characteristics and organizing it should require some type of classification and categorization, subject analysis and a record that represents the item.
- The purpose of organizing the collection should be clear and the organization method should aid users in retrieving items and discerning characteristics of items.
- For most organization projects 20 to 30 items will be adequate. If your collection contains more items select a group of items that is representative of the characteristics of the collection.
- Please let me know what you plan to organize by the due date on the course calendar.
- If you have a problem or project where you work that would lend itself to this assignment you are encouraged to use it.
- You will be responsible for completing a paper that outlines a plan for organizing the items and that answers the questions presented below. Most papers will be about 5 pages long.
- You will also be responsible for a 5 minute presentation on your project.
- Read through all questions before beginning the project.
- In your paper you should discuss each question as much as you feel is necessary. Concise answers to these questions are encouraged.
- Any effective system for organizing information requires careful planning. Your project will be evaluated on how well you have planned your system.
- If you have problems you do not have to correct them, just explain what the problem was and how you would correct it in the future.
- These questions are to help guide you to creat a system that will enable your user population to access information items or a description of these items.
- You are to adapt these questions to your project, for example if your project does not require a classification system, you do not have to include that element. However, you need to discuss the reasons for excluding the element.
- The following questions should be covered in your paper:
- Users. The characteristics of your users will guide you in how you structure your system and the method or methods you use to organize it. Who are/will be users of this collection? What is their discipline? Does the end user population consist of scholars? professionals? students? the general public? Briefly describe the characteristics of the end user population. Will end users retrieve items or information about items? Will intermediaries help these end users? Will end users be free to browse the collection? Are your end users comfortable using computers?
- Characteristics of the collection. The formats that are included in the collection have been described. You will need to address the following questions: How old are the items? What is the subject of the collection? Is it broad or specialized? Will you need to acquire additional items? Will items be removed from the collection? Who will select items for the collection? What are the criteria for selecting these items? Will the collection grow and how fast will it grow?
- Organization method. Review the various methods of organizing information and determine which ones are most appropriate for your collection and your users. Discuss the method or methods you will use to organize the items. Since your collection may include many different formats you may select several different methods to organize the items, depending on their format. Answer the following questions for each organization method:
- Method. Give a short summary of your overall method. Will your organization method be paper based or computer based? If it is computer based what database will you use?
- Physical organization. What is/will be the approach to the physical organization of this collection? Are there any special considerations in the physical organization of this collection (items that need special housing or handling etc.)? You may use standard library tools (AACRII, LCSH, Sears, Dewey, existing thesauri, etc.) in creating your system, if you think they would provide the best rules or guidelines for the description, subject headings and classification for your items. You may choose to use MARC as a record format. If you choose MARC discuss some of the advantages of using MARC in your system.
- Description. Your decisions about the description of the items will determine the structure of the record or surrogate for each item. How will you describe the materials? What elements will be included in the description of these items? Which elements in the description will be access points? If you have selected more than one method to organize the materials will each method have different descriptions and records? How will relationships between items be indicated?
- Name authority control. Determine which elements need name authority control. Why do these elements require name authority control? What will be the source of name authority records?
- Classification scheme. Will you use a classification scheme? Research the standard library resources: LCC, DDC. Which of these resources would be best for a classification scheme for your collection? Does your collection require a specialized or different classification scheme? Explain your reasons for these choices.
- Subject control. Will you have a controlled vocabulary for your collection? If not, why and how will end users locate materials on a particular topic? What will you use for your subject authority: LCSH, Sears, a specialized thesaurus, or will you develop your own thesaurus? Will you develop a taxonomy for the collection?
- Evaluation, updating, and maintenance. What aspects of your system will need to be evaluated? What method(s) will you use in this evaluation? How will information from evaluations be used to make changes? How will your collection and organization method evolve? What will be some guidelines for maintaining and updating your records?
- Summary. Summarize and analyze the main problems with the organization of this collection. Describe what you might have done differently or might do differently in the future. What were the most difficult tasks in completing this project?
Participation includes attending class, being on time for class and turning in assignments on time. If you know that you will have to miss class or if you are going to be late for class due to work conflicts let the instructor know in advance. If you are ill or unable to attend class please let me know as soon as possible.
Organization project 30% Article review 25% Exercises and activities (includes thesaurus project) 25% Final 10% Online and class discussions and participation 10%
The URLs for all readings on the web have been checked. You are responsible for going to the web site and reading or printing readings available on the Internet. Some readings will be available in webCT. Some you will need to use Library Literature or the Haworth databases available from CUA libraries. Most of these are full text articles so you can download and print them.
Buckland, Michael K. 1997. What is a "document"? Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 48, no. 9:804-809. http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~buckland/whatdoc.html
Chopey, M. 2005. Planning and Implementing a Metadata-Driven Digital Repository.
Cataloging & Classification Quarterly . 40: 3/4, 255 - 287. Available from Haworth.
Cleveland, Donald and Ana Cleveland. 2000. Introduction to Indexing and Abstracting, 3rd. edition. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. [Chapters 6 and 7] Available on WebCT
Coleman, A. 2002. Scientific Models as Works. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 33 : 3/4, 129-59. Available from Haworth.
Crowston, K., et. al., 2003. Can Document-genre Metadata Improve Information Access to Large Digital Collections?. Library Trends 52: 2, 345-61. Available from LIbrary Literature.
Furrie, Betty. 2003. Understanding MARC-Bibliographic, 7th edition. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service. http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/umb/
Gholamreza.F. 2005. Users' Satisfaction Through Better Indexing. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 40 : 2, 5 - 17. Available from Haworth.
Gorman, M. 2004. Authority Control in the Context of Bibliographic Control in the Electronic Environment. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 38 : 3/4, 11 - 22. Available from Haworth.
Gorman, Michael and Paul W. Winkler, eds. 1998. Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition, 1998 revision. Chicago: American Library Association. [Preface, xxv-xxxi; General introduction, 1-4; 305-311; General Rules for Description (table of contents), 11-12; Headings for Persons (table of contents, 379-380.] Available on WebCT (models section)
Greenberg, J. 2005 Understanding Metadata and Metadata Schemes. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 40:3/4. 17-36. Avaiable though Haworth.
Interview with the Search Engine. SatireWire, 2000. http://www.SatireWire.com/features/satire-jeevesinterview.html
Kuhlthau, Carol Collier. 1993. Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. [Chapter 3, The information search process]. Available on webCT
Levy, David M. 1995. Cataloging in the digital order. In Digital Libraries '95, The Second Annual Conference on the Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, June 11-13, 1995, Austin, Texas. http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/DL95/papers/levy/levy.html
O'Neill, E. T. 2002. FRBR: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Application of the Entity-Relationship Model to "Humphry Clinker". Library Resources & Technical Services. 46:4, 150-9. Available from Library Literature.
Palais, E. S. 1988. Abstracting for reference librarians. Reference Librarian, 22:297-308. Available on webCT.
Paling, S. 2004. Classification, Rhetoric, and the Classificatory Horizon. Library Trends. 52:3, 588-603. Available from Library Literature.
Palmer, Nathaniel. 2004. The value of categorization. AIIM E-Doc Magazine, 18:4, 16-18. Available from Library LIterature.
Pack, T. 2002. Taxonomy's role in content management. EContent. 25:3, 26-31. Available from Library Literature.
Regli, T. 2005. Build It So They Can Find It: The practical uses of building a business taxonomy. AIIM E-Doc Magazine 19:2, 24-5. Available from Library Literature.
Shearer, J. 2004. A Practical Exercise in Building a Thesaurus. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 37: 3/4, 35 - 56. Available from Haworth.
Smiraglia, R. 2003. History of "The Work" in the modern catalog. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 35:3/4, 553-567. Available from Haworth.
Yott, P. 2005. Introduction to XML Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. 40:3/4, 213-35. Available from Haworth.
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