Knowledge organization: Evaluating foundation and function in the information ecosystem




The complexity of our digital information ecosystem continues to increase, as the information transfer process becomes increasingly, and in some domains fully digital. Indicative of this change are entirely new ways in which individuals and information systems generate, provide access to, and link information. In line with this change, is a growing need to better integrate and leverage knowledge organization systems (NKOS). Moreover, effective means are needed to measure the application of NKOS as both an integral foundation in the information ecosystem, and a core function.

This panel brings together NKOS researchers, implementers, and developers to examine and share NKOS approaches and evaluation strategies. The panel will address evaluation by defining approaches and sharing outcomes. Attention will be given to issues of interoperability and usability as key components of study. Greenberg and White will give an account of the evaluation approach developed for Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering (HIVE) team. Their presentation will give particular attention to the applicability of their approach to NKOS in general. Bedford will present a current initiative aimed at creating a “whole world view” of development information. Her presentation will describe the concept and architecture of a collaboratively developed International Development Thesaurus and some of the basic challenges to be met, including international and multilingual aspects. Hodge will present on the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development project to identify terms and definitions relevant to the research aspects of the enterprise. The EPA work seeks to support the work of an enterprise by improving understanding across enterprise functions (research, public affairs, web content access, publications and project description, etc.).

Plan-of-action: The moderator will ask each of the presenters to comment on the most pressing evaluation needs with regards to NKOS, and speak to current priorities for the field of information science. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the dialog and share knowledge of and raise questions about of approaches presented on during the session. Audience members will also be asked to join in the final evaluation discussion.

Outcomes: Outcomes for participant attendees and presenters include: 1.) a deeper understanding of evaluation methods, 2.) a picture of evolving framework for assessing NKOS, and approaches using these systems effectively, 3.) insight into research needs and priorities for NKOS.