Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Classaurus

Courtesy of F. J. Devadason.

An article explaining the concept and construction of a 'classaurus' is now available online:
"Online construction of alphabetic classaurus: a vocabulary control and indexing tool" by F. J. Devadason (the online version of the article published in Processing and Management, Vol. 21(1985); No.1; p 11-26)

The term 'classaurus' in the meaning of an indexing language/tool that combines classification and thesaurus is first introduced by Bhattacharyya:

BHATTACHARYYA, G. (1982) "Classaurus : its fundamentals, design and use", Universal classification : subject analysis and ordering systems : proceeding of the 4th International Study Conference on Classification Research, 6th Annual Conference of Gesellshaft für Klassifikation, Augsburg, 28 June - 2 July 1982 : Vol. 1. Edited by I. Dahlberg. Frankfurt : Indeks Verlag, 1982, 139-148.

The idea is similar to the one of thesaurofacet introduced earlier by J. Aitchison ("The thesaurofacet : a multipurpose retrieval language tool", Journal of Documentation, 26 (3) 1970, 187-203).

Many thanks to F. J. Devadason for making the text of his article available in this way. It would be great if we would get wider access (subject to copyright permission) to excellent articles by his teacher and mentor G. Bhattacharyya such as the one mentioned above or at least one of the following:

BHATTACHARYYA, G. (1979) "Fundamentals of subject indexing languages", Ordering systems for global information networks : proceedings of the Third International Study Conference on Classification Research held at Bombay, India, during 6-11 January 1975. Edited by A. Neelameghan. Bangalore : DRTC : FID/CR and Sarada Ranganathan Endowment for Library Science, 1979. (FID 533), 83-99.

BHATTACHARYYA, G.; RANGANATHAN, S. R. (1978) "From knowledge classification to library classification", Conceptual basis of the classification of knowledge : proceedings of the Ottawa Conference, October 1st to 5th 1971. Edited by J. A. Wojciechowski. New York; München; Paris : K.G. Saur, 1978. 119-143.

3 comments:

Claudio Gnoli said...

I think I was first pointed (by Emanuela Casson) to the notion of classaurus in some paper (in "KO"?) by Robert Fugmann, one of the founders of ISKO. It did not mention Bhattacharyya, but later Aida gave me the original Bhattacharyya reference.

It is especially interesting in the current context of digital IR, as it can allow for both systematic and verbal (including synonyms) search in the same database.

Anonymous said...

Can you please upload the publication at a relyable eprint archive, for instance E-LIS at http://eprints.rclis.org/ ? At the moment Geocities say "The GeoCities web site you were trying to view has temporarily exceeded its data transfer limit. Please try again later".

Leonard Will said...

"Anonymous" - if you haven't yet found it, this paper is available as pdf page images (10.54 MB)at http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/1879/01/OnlineClassaurus.pdf

It is interesting to see how many of the ideas that underly faceted classification schemes, and the integration of a thesaurus and classification, were being promoted as early as 1985. Maybe this time round more people will read and apply them!

If you reverse the citation order in "class-aurus", you get "thesauro-facet", which is the other important piece of work in the same field, produced even earlier, in 1969 (see http://www.db.dk/bh/lifeboat_ko/CONCEPTS/thesaurofacet.htm).