A classification scheme should be logical, comprehensive and contemporary. You will be examining an excerpt of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) in terms of how logical, comprehensive and contemporary a particular given topic is within the DDC Schedules. You will be provided with a range of DDC numbers to select a scope of classes for analysis (e.g., 020 – 050). Using the printed volume of the DDC, provide a 3-page discussion of the excerpt chosen from the given range and its representation in the DDC Schedules and Relative Index.
• Identify a hierarchy of the classes that has a unified scope (i.e., a topic) within the range you were provided with, for example, “Library & information sciences” (020 – 029) or “Reading and use of other information media” (028.1 – 028.9). Make sure that your scope is sizable enough to cover at least several coordinate classes.
• You may need to read about the topic you are analyzing. Consider introductory text books, specialized encyclopedia, or authoritative online resources as reference materials.
The goal of your analysis is to examine the treatment of the topic within the DDC scheme. Your report should provide an overview of the topic and discuss your findings in a rather factual manner, providing evidence for your claims and overall conclusions.
• Analyze and discuss in your report the general placement of your chosen scope within the DDC scheme. How well does the topic fit within the broader scheme?
• Specify which classes are coordinate within the scope and which ones are subordinate in relation to other classes. Please feel free to visualize the hierarchy and include it in the Appendix.
• Based on your exploration of the reference materials on the topic, does the class structure of the topic offered by the DDC appear logical to you? Can you identify the underling logic for the subdivisions? Do the classes appear to be comprehensively covered? Do you see any omissions or overlaps?
• How useful are the DDC Manual, Tables and notes in clarifying aspects of the subject?
• Identify key vocabulary terms within the scope and discuss their availability in the Relative Index. Does the Index lead to alternative scheme locations? If so, how might you explain it? What other areas of the Schedules contain the topic?
• Think of synonymous terms within the scope of your topic. Would the Relative Index accommodate easy access to the appropriate classes?
• Discuss the appropriateness of the use of the vocabulary for the topic. Are there any outdated or currently inappropriate terms in use? Does the scheme appear to reflect LIS 9002. Syllabus. Winter 2020 Prof. Rubin Page 8 of 11 current knowledge in the area, based on exploration of the reference materials on the topic?
• Look at any one Online Public Access Catalogues (an OPAC) that uses DDC and explore the shelflist of the OPAC within your topic scope.
• Discuss the call numbers of the materials that are labelled within your chosen scope. For instance, how did the cataloguers /metadata specialists apply the DDC guidelines? Are there any variations in the call number from one OPAC to another, and if so, what is the potential explanation?
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