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Suggested Chapter Outline (for discussion)

Page history last edited by c.j._petlick@whirlpool.com 10 years, 9 months ago

I mentioned yesterday that while I was researching our topic in various academic journals, a few themes seemed to emerge.


The first theme was the use of a hierarchical tree structure as the most traditional method for organizing and storing information -- in other words, browsing. Some sub-topics associated with this theme include why this method is effective, narrow-deep vs. wide-shallow structures, how to develop effective hierarchies (taxonomies), the use of multiple (multi-faceted) hierarchies, and how to evaluate an existing hierarchy. I found quite a bit of evidence indicating that most people prefer to browse, rather than to search (as long as the hierarchy is clear to them). That, coupled with the fact that our working chapter title is "Collaborative Information Taxonomies," suggests to me that this would probably be the core of our chapter.


A second, somewhat related, theme was the concept of each user creating and maintaining their own hierarchy, which may or may not feed a process or algorithm that creates a common taxonomy based on individual taxonomies. This is probably a special case of a multi-faceted hierarchy, with or without the addition of a system-generated hierarchy.


A third theme was the practice of finding information (documents) by looking for key words, tags, or properties -- in other words, searching.  Some sub-topics would include manual tagging by users, automatic indexing by search engines, and analyzing the previous search activity of users.


A fourth theme concerned group behavior -- the human factors that impact document organization (or disorganization), and the social dynamics between collaborators. This leads into data governance (some portions of the document that was initially provided to us), as well as "awareness" of the activities of other users and coordinating their efforts (checking documents in and out).


So, we can start with the overall chapter structure suggested by Dr. Mittleman in class last Monday:


1. What this chapter is about AND why we care about this material

2. Where this material fits within the big picture of the book

3. Chapter content

4. Summary

5. Glossary (Key Terms)

6. Thought Exercises

7. References (Bibliography, Citations)

8. Appendices (Resources, websites, products, etc.)


Then, the themes I mentioned above could start to form a structure within "3. Chapter Content" -- maybe something along these lines:

a. Theories (or History) of Information Organization

b. Hierarchical Browsing Structures

c. Repository Search Methods

d. Group Behavior and Information Governance


Again, if we adopt something like this, "b. Hierarchical Browsing Methods" would have numerous sub-topics and would comprise much of the chapter content.


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts tomorrow.

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