05facetclassDL15-16 - Cataloguing and Classification The...

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Cataloguing and Classification The faceted approach to Classification © The Robert Gordon University 2016 1 The faceted approach to classification Topic Preview The aim of this topic is to remind us of the theory of faceted classification and to examine the practical procedures of constructing a faceted classification scheme within a library setting. Although you may feel that, by now, you have covered sufficient material to complete the assessment, I still encourage you to study this topic as it will prepare you for the work to come in Knowledge Organisation. Introduction If you remember, in Topic 1 we have covered are two fundamentally different approaches to the construction of a classification scheme. The first of these is termed the enumerative approach; the second is termed the faceted approach. 1. The enumerative approach takes a given field of knowledge (usually a well-established academic discipline) and divides it into smaller and smaller parcels, so that eventually each discrete subject will have its own unique position in the hierarchy created by this process of division. 2. In the faceted approach the emphasis is not on parcelling up knowledge through a process of successive division, but on analysing the subject content of individual documents in order to identify component concepts. These concepts are then organised in categories (facets) according to well-defined principles of division and are assigned notation. These concepts are subsequently combined to create classmarks for composite subjects (complex and compound). We have dealt with the enumerative approach at some length in previous topics, both in theory and in its application in DDC. We have also examined UDC, a good example of where the enumerative and faceted approaches are mixed to allow for analytico-synthetic classification. Now we will concentrate fully on the faceted approach to classification. It is timely now to define some terminology which is commonly used in the process of facet analysis. A facet is a grouping of concepts formed by dividing a subject using one characteristic of division. Concepts subsumed under that facet are termed isolates (or foci ). For example: Subject Facet Example of isolates (or foci) Literature Language French, German, Spanish etc. Genre drama, fiction, poetry
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Cataloguing and Classification The faceted approach to Classification © The Robert Gordon University 2016 2 It has been said that facet analysis provides the only known scientific methodology for the creation of classification schemes. The plural is used here deliberately since facet analysis is a methodology and not a structure in itself, and it can produce a variety of classificatory structures dependent on the categories appropriate to the vocabulary of the subject domain in question, and the citation order imposed.
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