Topic Maps and library and information science : an exploratory study of Topic Maps principles from a Knowledge and Information Organization perspective
Purpose: This master thesis attempts to present a ‘state of the art’ of the placement of Topic Maps (ISO13250) in Library and Information Science, through an extensive literature review and a synthesis based on their principles. It was sited from a Knowledge and Information Organization perspective, represented by the work by Elain Svenonius The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization and some of the concepts of Knowledge Organization. This thesis also intends to present a conceptual and theoretical framework for future research. Design/methodology/approach: The study under review presents a qualitative approach based on Grounded Theory principles to analyse the literature and build the conceptual framework for its analysis. The literature reviewed consisted of more than sixty documents, which included, among others, journal articles, conference presentations and papers, student reports and thesis, as well as a book chapter. Moreover, this was complemented with information obtained from mailing lists, blog postings and websites, and some unstructured interviews. Findings: Topic Maps appears to be a development aligned within the tradition of Knowledge and Information Organization but is completely adapted to the context of the Web and the digital environments. In a LIS perspective, it is bibliographic meta-language able to represent, extend and mostly integrate all the existing Knowledge Organization Systems in a standards-based generic model applicable to digital content and online presentation. Conceptually, Topic Maps is in the borders of the LIS discipline with Knowledge Representation and Computer Science, where LIS conceptual models play the role of intermediaries by providing the ontologies to the ‘bibliographic universe’. Topic Maps questions traditional LIS views and principles. Even though some of them still remain the same, as the meaning-based identification of entities, the notions of ‘document’ and ‘subject’ require further studies. Some important applications give account of the capabilities and potentials for further developments and research on Topic Maps in LIS. The main field of application is the Digital Humanities and TEIcodified texts presentation.
Estrada, Liliana Maria Melgar