Call for proposals SIG/CR Workshop

Conceptual Crowbars and Classification at the Crossroads: The Impact and Future of Classification Research

Workshop sponsored by ASIS&T SIG/Classification Research
ASIS&T 2015 Annual Meeting
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, USA

This year’s Classification Research workshop consciously and critically engages the general conference theme, “Information Science with Impact,” in order to frame conversations about the results and significance of classification research. With the increasing emphasis on impact in and around information science, the theme provides us with an opportunity to consider some of the ways in which we define ourselves as a Classification Research group and how we understand our research to affect and influence theory and practice. Classification matters not only in the functioning of information systems and technologies, but also in the lived experiences of individuals, and in society, organizations, and all information contexts.

The spate of violent events in the U.S., together with the resistance and response, quickens a crucial set of questions about the nature of our work. This workshop aims to cast such violence as a knowledge organization problem. We also aim to consider whether and how classificatory acts and systems can be reparative, or even transformative: What bearing does the structuring of knowledge have upon the seeking, reception, circulation, and use of knowledge and information? Do classifications tell us something about agendas, political contexts, or authority? What role do our classification systems play in constituting, and challenging categories of difference? In what ways have communities used and/or challenged classifications in civic action and protest?

We welcome papers that address positive or negative and intended or unintended consequences of classification, as well as papers and projects that explore potential and possibilities for classification systems and research. Doctoral students are encouraged to submit paper/presentation proposals, and two scholarships covering workshop fees will be awarded to student authors. We also invite presentations and posters of classification design projects in any stage of development, as well as nontraditional presentation formats.

We are interested in work that addresses questions and issues such as the following:

·      Encounters with classification in daily life, on- and off-line

·      Material effects of classifications, e.g., how do classifications bar or grant access to information, and in what ways does this matter?

·      Structures and hierarchies and their effects and consequences

·      Design and aesthetics in classifications

·      Consequences of specific systems or types of systems, e.g., thesauri, universal classifications, folksonomies

·      Reparative/transformative classifications

·      Classification research as it relates to diversity initiatives

·      Limitations and possibilities for assessing impact of classifications

·      The role of classifications in constituting and ordering value in information science, i.e., how measurements of impact rely upon the classification and ranking of what counts as research, users, and knowledge

·      Critical / theoretical discussions of classifications, e.g., critical race studies, queer theory, disability studies

·      Classificatory mechanisms as tools for building or dividing communities

·      Classifications as reflections of agencies, nations, individuals, or organizations

·      Classifications in particular contexts, e.g., health information, libraries, archives, the Semantic Web, Linked Open Data, social media, etc.

·      Knowledge organization in scientific and political debates, e.g. climate change

·      The construction of users (user types, user communities, user identities) through classification


August 20, 2015: Submit abstracts of no more than 500 words for a paper, poster, or alternative format presentation to Melissa Adler:
Include your name, title, and institutional affiliation with your submission.

September 10, 2015: Tentative author notification date, to be determined so that authors will be notified ahead of the early bird registration date.


$100, SIG/CR members
$110, non-SIG/CR members
(Fees increase after the early bird registration deadline)

Melissa Adler, University of Kentucky
Jonathan Furner, UCLA
Barbara H. Kwasnik, Syracuse
Joseph T. Tennis, University of Washington


Call for proposals

 Call for Proposals:

 “Universal Classification in the 21st Century”

 SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop

 Saturday, November 1, 2014

 ASIST Annual Meeting

 Seattle, WA

 ASIST’s Special Interest Group in Classification Research will hold its annual Classification Research Workshop as part of the ASIST Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, on November 1, 2014. The Workshop Program Committee is currently inviting proposals for papers to be presented at the workshop.


Proposals are due on Friday, August 15. Please submit your proposal in PDF or RTF format to Jonathan Furner at

Notice of acceptance will be sent before the Earlybird Deadline for the ASIST Conference Registration.


 As our global information environment moves further into the twenty-first century, historic tensions continue to challenge us: the tensions between universal standards and local variations; between empirical and critical-discursive approaches; between an infrastructure that pushes us towards homogeneity and communities that insist on their specificity and individuals who insist upon their rights to privacy.

 In particular, recent trends in the areas of both linked data and big data suggest that much of our information environment will be shaped by the need for an underlying infrastructure of classification that will enable us to combine data collected from different sources and for different purposes. Whatever the future holds for professional bibliographic control, crowdsourced indexing, big data algorithms or linked data ontologies, our future information environment will be shaped by harmonization: developing the means to reconcile diversity into a coherent structure than facilitates the development of information systems and information communities that do tangible good for their users.

With such a pressing need for harmonization, the time is ripe to revisit the great general classification schemes: the Dewey Decimal Classification, the Library of Congress Classification, and the Universal Decimal Classification. As instances of universal classificatory synthesis, these systems, in their rich history and active maintenance stand on the threshold of an intriguing, but as yet undefined future role in the twenty-first century. They could serve as exemplars and prototypes of future systems; they could be adapted into universal ontologies in their own right; they could exist in a dialogic and contrapuntal relationship with systems designed on different principles.

Topics appropriate to the workshop include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • actions, decisions, goals, interests, needs, tasks of GCS users
  • activist, critical, discourse-analytic, postcolonial, queer approaches to the study of GCSs
  • analytical, epistemological, formal, historical, ontological, rationalist, semantic, semiotic approaches to GCS design
  • automatic GCS-construction, classification, clustering
  • benefits and risks of globalization, localization, standardization, universalization
  • bibliometric, computational, graph/networktheoretic, probabilistic, statistical approaches to GCS design
  • big data and GCSs
  • cognitive, empirical, naturalistic, pragmatic, social, taxonomic approaches to GCS design
  • conceptual and formal models for GCSs
  • design and evaluation of GCSs, of interfaces to GCSs, of methods of research into GCSs
  • ethical and political issues for GCS developers and users
  • evaluation of the use and/or utility of GCSs
  • folk/natural classifications and GCSs
  • folksonomies and GCSs
  • graphical displays and visualizations of GCS class hierarchies, networks, queries, results
  • hybrid designs for the integration of crowdsourced and institutional content
  • information retrieval and GCSs
  • interoperability among GCSs, and between GCSs and special classification schemes
  • knowledge discovery and GCSs
  • knowledge production and GCSs
  • Linked Open Data and GCSs
  • Semantic Web and GCSs
  • use of GCSs by specific groups, and/or for specific purposes
  • use of GCSs in discipline-, domain-, field-, industry-, institution-, organization-specific contexts
  • web search and GCSs
  • web services and GCSs


Authors wishing to present a paper may submit a 500-word extended abstract. Extended abstracts should contain citations (not included in the word count). Presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

Call For Proposals, SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop


Call for Proposals:

“Big Data, Linked Data: Classification Research at the Junction”

SIG/CR Classification Research Workshop

Saturday, November 2, 2013

ASIST Annual Meeting

Montreal, Canada

ASIST’s Special Interest Group in Classification Research will hold its annual Classification Research Workshop as part of the ASIST Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada, on November 2, 2013.  The Workshop Program Committee is currently inviting proposals for papers to be presented at the workshop.


The growing ubiquity of cloud computing, mobile technology and large data collections has given fresh currency to two important information phenomena: big data and linked data. “Big data” refers to the rise of ambitious projects which cultivate both large datasets and massive quantities of unstructured data existing in the long tail of the Web. These projects, in their very reach and size, can yield suggestive patterns and significant predictive value.  “Linked data” refers to the emergence of data which has been deliberately structured according to Semantic Web standards of resource description and linked through a complex network of relationships defined through formal ontologies.

While big data and linked data are often considered separately, classification research stands at the juncture between these two approaches, and can therefore provide a context in which researchers in each domain can benefit from the insights of the other. Classification forms the bedrock of the analysis of big data sets. Natural language processing, detection of linguistic behaviour, and the design of translation systems all rely on the painstaking definition of synonymies, genus-species relationships, whole-part relationships, and facet structures to extract meaning from data from vastly different sources with different degrees of definition and structure. Linked data projects employ the same classification principles in their formal definitions of domains and namespaces, their use of ontologies to reconcile and combine data from different namespaces, and the use of inferential logic to form reasonable inferences from data that has been linked together.

Classification research, therefore, has a key role to play in the emergence of new tools and functionalities that will determine how human communities adopt both big data and linked data into their information systems and behaviour. This workshop will bring classification researchers together with those exploring linked data and big data, thereby providing researchers and practitioners with the theoretical vocabulary to forge meaningful connections between these two phenomena.


Authors wishing to present a paper may submit a 500-word extended abstract.  Extended abstracts should contain citations (not included in the word count).  Presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of discussion.  Authors must present a draft of the paper to their session chair by October 25, 2013.


The workshop will also feature a poster session (details to follow in a separate Call for Proposals), as well as a final session of discussion devoted to making connections between issues raised during the day, and suggesting ideas for the 2014 workshop.


Please submit your extended abstract to the following address by August 5, 2013:

D. Grant Campbell

Faculty of Information and Media Studies

University of Western Ontario

The abstracts will be submitted to a double-blind review process, and authors will receive notification by August 30, 3013.

After the workshop, full papers will be published online in

Advances in Classification Research Online,