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Everyday Classification on Large Government and NGO (SIG CR)

Joseph Busch, Susan Fagan, Farah Gheriss, Gina Pearson, Barbara Kwasnik and Kathryn LaBarre

(Submission #19)


This session is about everyday classification—specifically how public information is categorized to make it findable on large government and NGO websites. The panel includes representatives from three major public agencies who will discuss how the categorization schemes used on their website were developed, how the site activity is monitored to see how the schemes perform, and how the schemes are modified in response to user activity or agency initiatives. Classification researchers will react to these methods by observing how established classification best practices are being followed or not in these real world applications, what applicable practices are not being followed, and whether current classification instruction is preparing people with the skills to do this work.

Government and NGO website panelists will speak to the following questions:

• What methods were used to develop the categorization scheme on the public website?

• Is the site activity monitored to see how the category schemes perform?

• How are taxonomies and other category schemes modified in response to user activity or agency initiatives?

Classification researchers will respond to the public information site developers addressing the following questions:

• Do the methods and types of categorization schemes correspond to well-know practices in the classification research community?

• What other practices seem applicable but are not being applied?

• Do current training in classification skills prepare people to develop browse taxonomies like the ones at these public sites?


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