Ethics in Knowledge Organization: Two Conferences Point to a New Core in the Domain
Author(s)Richard P. SMIRAGLIA
KeywordsCiencias de la Información
Ethics in Information Organization
Knowledge Organization - Systems-
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AbstractTwo conferences called "Ethics in Information Organization (EIO)," held in 2009 and 2013, brought together practitioners and scholars in knowledge organization (KO) to discuss ethical decision-making for the organization of knowledge. Traditionally the notion of ethics as a component of knowledge organization has occupied a sort of background position. Concepts of cultural warrant clash with concepts of literary warrant to produce harmful knowledge organization systems. Here tools of domain analytical visualization are applied to the two EIO conferences to demonstrate the potential intension of ethics for KO. Co-word analysis helps to visualize the thematic core in the most frequently used terms: user, ethical, knowledge, national, description, and access. There clearly is a meta-level trajectory incorporating ethics and the user, while the intension includes all applied approaches to KO as well as strong recognition of national, regional, and social cultural identities. Another approach to domain analysis is to examine the social semantics (by analyzing the public record of discourse through citation patterns). Author co-citation analysis shows work anchored in the basic theoretical premises of KO, but also bringing ideas from outside the domain to bear on the problems of objective violence. A network visualization shows how the work on ethics in KO is based on the core principles of KO, but relies also on evidence from librarianship and philosophical guidance to bring forward the issues surrounding objective violence in KOS. The authors contributing to this small pair of conferences have laid out a pathway for expanding understanding of the role of ethics in KO.