ISKO UK - the UK Chapter of ISKO

International Society of Knowledge Organization

Promoting the theory and practice of organizing knowledge and information

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Knowledge organization systems as enablers to the conduct of science

Patrick Lambe (Straits Knowledge, Singapore)

The sophistication of knowledge organization systems (KOS) has evolved rapidly over the past thirty years, largely driven by information technology innovations. Two key assumptions have been a) that KOS-work is the preserve of information professionals acting as skilled intermediaries, and b) that it is largely focused on enabling the finding and discovery of information. This paper challenges both assumptions with reference to the conduct of science in the 21st century, by describing the ways in which access to KOS skills and tools is already broadening beyond information professionals to scientists, and by describing how knowledge organization systems enable sense-making of trends within science and new knowledge creation, beyond simple access and discovery roles. It closes with remarks on the implications for information professionals engaged in KOS-related work.

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