The purpose of this paper is to highlight the difficulty of applying faceted classification outside of library contexts and also to indicate that faceted approaches are poorly expressed to non‐experts.
The faceted approach is being applied outside of its “home” community, with mixed results. The approach is based in part on examination of a broad base of literature and in part on results and reflections on a case study applying faceted notions to “real world” engineering documentation.
The paper comes across a number of pragmatic and theoretical issues namely: differing interpretations of the facet notion; confusion between faceted analysis and faceted classification; lack of methodological guidance; the use of simplistic domains as exemplars; description verses analysis; facet recognition is unproblematic; and is the process purely top‐down or bottom‐up.
That facet analysis is not inherently associated with a particular epistemology; that greater guidance about the derivation is needed, that greater realism is needed when teaching faceted approaches.
Experiences of applying faceted classifications are presented that can be drawn upon to guide future work in the area.
No previous work has reflected on the actual empirical experience used to create a faceted description, especially with reference to engineering documents.
Wild, P., Giess, M. and McMahon, C. (2009), "Describing engineering documents with faceted approaches: Observations and reflections", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 65 No. 3, pp. 420-445. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410910952410Download as .RIS
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