Published as Libraries & the Cultural Record prior to volume 47

Abstract

Three popular knowledge organization systems (KOSs)—the Encyclopædia Britannica’s “Outline of Knowledge,” Roget’s International Thesaurus’s “Synopsis of Categories,” and the Dewey Decimal Classification—are compared in the context of a taxonomy of evaluation methods for KOSs that takes into account similarities and differences in formats and purposes. The goals are to argue for the wider adoption of a framework for KOS evaluation of the kind presented here; to promote the treatment of encyclopedia outlines and thesaurus synopses as well as library classification schemes as KOSs assessable via such a framework; and to improve our understanding of KOSs in general.