Thursday 18 October 2007

Library and Information science in UDC - arguments for revision

It has been long felt that there is a need to revise classes related to library and information science. But because there were so many classes in urgent need of revision in the UDC, and resources were scarce, this task is still outstanding.

At the June 2007 UDC Seminar it was mentioned that we will be looking into revising the field of library and information science very soon and although plans have not be finalised as yet we hope that by 2009 we may have the proposal published.

Up until now, new terms have been constantly introduced under the existing classes. Also because of the fact that UDC is a synthetic classification many new concepts may be actually expressed through combination of the existing simple classes. This was considered to be of sufficient help while awaiting for an overhaul revision.

One of the reasons why the revision of library and information science is not so straightforward and why it cannot be done in a short period of time is the fact that concepts related to data, information, knowledge documents, metadata, indexing, information retrieval and information access are scattered in UDC in the following areas: (0...) Document forms, in 001 Knowledge, 002 Documentation, 004 Computer sciences, 006.9 Museums, 007 Activity an Organization. Communication and 02 Librarianships. So as we may see, some of the concepts in information science are subsumed to 'institutions/services' e.g. libraries, archives, museums, some under the phenomenon of information, some under technology and tools applied.

Recently, with the paper by B. Hjorland published in the proceedings of the 6th CoLIS Conference, as a special supplement of Information Research, 12(4) "Arguments for 'the bibliographical paradigm' are some thoughts inspired by the new English edition of the UDC" - our attention was again drawn to this problem.

B. Hjorland has looked into the alphabetical-subject index of the new English BSI edition and concluded that UDC does not contain the following concepts:

'Missing' concept: Digital library
In UDC expressed by adding the common auxiliary of form (0.034) Machine readable documents and (0.034.2) Digital documents respectively to any aspect of collection or document management or services dealing with digital documents

'Missing' concept: Knowledge organization
Resources dealing with knowledge organization systems for the purpose of mediation of knowledge are usually classified under 025.4.05 Indexing and retrieval languages for the whole of knowledge while content dealing with theoretical aspects are classed by combining 001 Knowledge and common auxiliary for processes -048.42 Arrangement. Organization, thus 001-048.42 in UDC would stand for Knowledge organization

'Missing' concept: Indexing
This concept may be missing in BSI alphabetical index but is certainly not missing in the UDC. There are several numbers for indexing 025.4 Classification and indexing, 025.4.04/.06 Indexing and retrieval, purely computer aspects of information retrieval are at 004.78

'Missing' concept: Automatic indexing
Expressed by combining 025.4.05 Indexing and retrieval languages with 007.5 Self acting systems or 007.54 Without human operators. Automata. Thus 025.4.05:007.54 stand for 'automatic indexing'

'Missing' concept: Information management
This is expressed by combination of 001.101 Information and 005.9 Fields of Management , thus 001.101:005.9 would be 'Information management'

'Missing' concept: Information retrieval
In UDC, there is a special auxiliary table to be used with 025.4, for various types of information retrieval

[B. Hjorland also mentioned terminology in class 1 Philosophy and 159.9 Psychology - but this really ought to be addressed separately]

Apart from the fact that the subject-alphabetical index of a particular edition may not be an entirely accurate way of assessing the indexing capability of a classification - the comments by B. Hjorland are very important as they draw attention to yet another problem and that is the lack of a proper subject-alphabetical index to the UDC MRF which leaves publishers with the need to create their own.

The reason why UDC does not have a standard subject-alphabetical index similar to the Dewey Decimal Classification's excellent 'relative index' is because it was felt in 1993 when the UDC MRF was built that it was best that each publisher (French, Russian, English, Czech etc.) create their own index that suits their products and their use. Because of the fact that UDC MRF database was maintained with text retrieval software and was distributed as a database file - the searching of captions and examples was easy. As a consequence some UDC editions have excellent indices due to the effort and high level expertise involved - one example is the Russian edition which is created by subject field experts in the Russian Academy of Science - but other publishers may not have such resources available.

It is now felt, and B. Hjorland's comments illustrate the reasons very well, that this may have not been the best approach for all publishers. Therefore, in the process of creating the new UDC MRF tool in 2007 we made provisions for a subject alphabetical index to be created. We plan for the first version of this alphabetical index to be available in 2009 but improving this to become a relative or even thesaurus-like index may take several years.

In the meantime, it is always useful when users draw our attention to the missing terminology as this enables us to act immediately upon this either by adding new classes or by examples of combinations or illustrating how a new subject can be classified using synthesis.

Saturday 29 September 2007

New UDC tool from MagnaView

At the UDC seminar 2007 in The Hague, MagnaView presented an innovative visual application which gives you the possibility to view the UDC Master Reference File in novel ways, and to interact with it visually.

From MagnaView UDC Viewer brochure:
"UDC Viewer offers you an instant and visual access to the complete content of the Master Reference File (MRF), i.e. to all records and all tags. UDC-viewer makes use of a pre-processed and extended version of MRF and gives you more than 20 different views, each including the complete MRF or part of the MRF like the Main Table.
MagnaView visulizes the data of the MRF in various views and allows users to use the MRF interactively. The user can, for example:

- Zoom in/out to a specific part of the data by double-clicking
- Filter: user can exclude part of the data
- Hide or show details
- Make a selection of the data by dragging the mouse
- Select by search for values of specific tags and by simple string search
- Link Google, allowing Internet search of all terms in MRF"

You can read more information about features, price and purchase in the product brochure.

Sunday 9 September 2007

UDC at IFLA 2007

A UDC Update meeting at the 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council in Durban - South Africa, took place on Monday 20 August 2007 for an informal exchange of information about UDCC and the current work on UDC. See the UDC Update 2007 report.

The UDC editor in chief Maria Ines Cordeiro also participated in the 5th Annual Dewey Translators Meeting, on 21 August 2007, giving a brief update on the Universal Decimal Classification. Dewey and UDC editors met later for an informal meeting to discuss shared interests in classification data management and representation of knowledge organization systems. See more at The Dewey's Blog "How can we all work together?".

Friday 27 July 2007

E-mail change for UDC Consortium

New contact e-mail for UDC Consortium is now mail (at) udcc (dot) org.

If you need to contact some of the members of the UDCC or UDC Editorial Team directly you will find contact details at UDCC members web page.

Conference Announcement: STI-2007, Moscow, 24-26 October 2007

7th International Conference on Information Society, Intelligent Information Processing, Information Technologies (STI-2007) will be held on 24-26 October in Moscow.

The conference is dedicated to the 55th anniversary of VINITI (All-Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information).

The main objective of the conference are trends and challenges in the information infrastructure of Russia and ways of its integration into world information community. Problems of intelligent information processing and new information technologies, innovation and investment in information activity. STI-2007 offers opportunity to meet outstanding Russian and foreign experts in the field of intelligent information processing and information technologies, to renew old links and to establish new ones.

Abstracts or full papers should be submitted no later than 1 August 2007 to

Sunday 15 July 2007

UDC Update meeting at IFLA 2007,

The editor in chief of the UDC - Maria Ines Cordeiro invites you to the:

UDC UPDATE at the 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council "Libraries for the future: Progress, Development and Partnerships" - Durban, South Africa. The meeting will be held on

Monday 20 August, 13.00-14.00h, Room 12ab

The UDC UPDATE is an informal meeting to share general information and latest news about the Universal Decimal Classification. Representatives and collaborators of the UDC Consortium will be there to exchange information and views with users and publishers of the UDC. If you are attending IFLA and are interested in UDC matters, please make a note in your conference diary!

Tuesday 3 July 2007

Improved version of Visual UDC by MagnaView - in September 2007

At the UDC Seminar in June 2007, MagnaView, a Dutch company, announced that a special UDC-version of their solution for visual browsing of UDC would be released on 1st July. MagnaView has decided to postpone this release until 1st September 2007 to further improve this version.

Erik Jan van der Linden's presentation "Visual Universal Decimal Classification?" and a summary of his talk can be viewed here.

For more information contact MagnaView

Presentations from the UDC Seminar now available on the UDCC web

Presentations and paper abstracts - from the UDC Seminar that took place on 4-5 June 2007 at the UDC Headquarters in The Hague are now linked and available for download from the Seminar's Programme.

Wednesday 27 June 2007

IFLA Newsletter on Indexing and Classification

The June newsletter for the Classification and Indexing section is now available.

Table of Content:

  • IFLA 2007 Durban
  • UDC News
  • DDC News
  • International Developments in Classification and Indexing

Tuesday 12 June 2007

Helmut Arntz (1912-2007)

Professor Helmut Emil Richard Arntz (1912-2007) died on 31 May 2007. Professor Arntz held the posts of vice-president (1965-1971) and president of the FID (1972-1980). He was a founding member of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Dokumentation of which he was the president 1962-1972.

Professor Arntz worked on the Universal Decimal Classification since 1952. He was the chair of the FID/Central Classification Committee from 1959-1986 and was involved in the revision of social sciences. He was also the member of several UNESCO Committees. Professor Arntz was the author of many publications and a recipient of many international awards for his contribution to the field of documentation.

(More detailed biography and bibliography of Prof. Arntz is available here ).

Press release - UDC Seminar, The Hague

A two day International Seminar on the UDC, organized by UDC Consortium, was held at the UDC Headquarters in the The Hague 4-5 June 2007. The event was entitled "Information Access for the Global community" and its aim was to explore the latest developments and applications of the Universal Decimal Classification. The Seminar brought together UDC publishers, editors of the scheme and UDC users and offered an opportunity for information exchange and discussion of future developments.

There were around seventy participants from over thirty countries including librarians, subject specialists, editors of national editions of the scheme, university lecturers, researchers and LIS students. The conference programme included eleven invited talks on the topics of user experiences and applications, innovative approaches in UDC use and UDC education and training (see programme). Papers will be published in the forthcoming Extensions and Corrections to the UDC, in November 2007 and will be also made available online from the UDC website.

The UDC Consortium chairman Alan Hopkinson and the UDC Editor in Chief Maria Inês Cordeiro invited greater input from users and announced a newly formed international editorial team and new editorial system that will support the collaborative input of an international team of UDC revision experts. The UDC MRF file will be moved to a new database with extended functionality, including improved and more diversified UDC exports in 2007. The UDC Consortium announced that this successful seminar would be the first in the series of similar events it plans to organize in the future.