Towards a diversified knowledge organization system. An open network of inter-linked subsystems with multiple validity scopes

Publication Date09 September 2019
Date09 September 2019
AuthorMaayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet
SubjectLibrary & information science
Towards a diversified knowledge
organization system
An open network of inter-linked subsystems
with multiple validity scopes
Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet
Department of Information Science, Faculty of Humanities,
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Purpose The need for inclusive and logically consistent representation of diverse and even confronting
viewpoints on the domain knowledge has been widely discussed in the literature in the past decade.
The purpose of this paper is to propose a generic model for building an open coherent diversified knowledge
organization system (KOS).
Design/methodology/approach The proposed model incorporates a generic epistemological component,
the validity scope type, assigned to each statement in the constructed KOS. Statements are clustered by their
association with various validity scope types into internally coherent subsystems. These subsystems form a
knowledge organization network connected through the universal (consensual) subsystems with more than
one validity scope type. The model extends the Galilis Cultural Content Representation paradigm, which
divides the knowledge content of a scientific theory into two confronting parts: body and periphery.
Findings The knowledge organization networkmodel makes itpossible to comparatively examinesimilarities
and differences among various viewpoints and theories on the domain knowledge. The presented approach
conforms withthe principle of Open Knowledge Networkinitiative for creation ofopen accessible knowledge.
Practical implications The proposed model can be used for ontological reasoning by a variety of
information services, such as ontology-based decision-support and learning systems, diversified search and
customer management applications.
Social implications The model enables explicit representation of social and cultural minority voices and
historical knowledge in the KOS.
Originality/value The main contribution of the proposed model is that it generalizes and enhances
various previously proposed representations of epistemological aspects of KOS and allows for multiple
inter-linked subsystems to coherently co-exist as part of the extensible network.
Keywords Ontology, Diversity, Ontologies, Diversified classification systems,
Knowledge organization systems, Multi-theory classification systems, Multi-viewpoint ontology,
Multi-vocal classification systems, Open classification systems
Paper type Conceptual paper
Traditionally, knowledge organization systems (KOS) have been constructed by limited
groups of experts/librarians representing the commonview of the domain knowledge.
This approach has known flaws (Hajibayova, 2018), as it does not consider users
preferences, and does not reflect the diversity of opinions and theories, but rather tends to
prefer a chosen single viewpoint over the others. In the last couple of decades there has been
a shift toward personalized information retrieval and search systems which require
individualized or community-oriented approach to knowledge organization (Ghorab et al.,
2013; Pitokow et al., 2002). Multi-vocal representation systems of cultural heritage are
required to better capture the information needs of marginal communities and individuals
(Zolyomi and Tennis, 2017; Hajibayova, 2018), such as indigenous cultures, neural diversity
and sexual minorities.
However, voice and community are only one of the reasons for the need of diversified
representationof the domain knowledge. Additional factors includeliterary context, trust and
physical conditions. For instance, one of the most important factors that affect KOS is time.
Journal of Documentation
Vol. 75 No. 5, 2019
pp. 1124-1138
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/JD-10-2018-0163
Received 15 October 2018
Revised 1 March 2019
Accepted 5 March 2019
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