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Informatics for cultural heritage instruction: an ontological framework

Sonia Yaco (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Arkalgud Ramaprasad (University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 29 November 2018

Issue publication date: 19 February 2019



The purpose of this paper is to suggest a framework that creates a common language to enhance the connection between the domains of cultural heritage (CH) artifacts and instruction.


The CH and instruction domains are logically deconstructed into dimensions of functions, semiotics, CH, teaching/instructional materials, agents and outcomes. The elements within those dimensions can be concatenated to create natural-English sentences that describe aspects of the problem domain.


The framework is valid using traditional social sciences content, semantic, practical and systemic validity constructs.

Research limitations/implications

The framework can be used to map current research literature to discover areas of heavy, light and no research.


The framework provides a new way for CH and education stakeholders to describe and visualize the problem domain, which could allow for significant enhancements of each. Better understanding the problem domain would serve to enhance instruction informed from collections and vice versa. The educational process would have more depth due to better access to primary sources. Increased use of collections would reveal more ways through which they could be used in instruction. The framework can help visualize the past and present of the domain, and envisage its future.



Yaco, S. and Ramaprasad, A. (2019), "Informatics for cultural heritage instruction: an ontological framework", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 2, pp. 230-246.



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