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A new framework for ethical creation and evaluation of multi-perspective knowledge organization systems

Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet (Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Humanities, Ramat Gan, Israel)
Lala Hajibayova (Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 25 June 2020

Issue publication date: 11 February 2020

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present a new framework for ethical creation and evaluation of multi-perspective knowledge organization systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying Held's understanding of the ethics of care, this paper proposes five operative criteria for ethical building and evaluation of multi-perspective knowledge representation and organization systems.

Findings

This paper argues that a carefully designed multipoint view of representation and organization conforms to the proposed ethical criteria and shifts concerns associated with the expectation of neutrality of library information professionals to the necessity to humanize and diversify the representation and organization of knowledge to build inclusive and equitable systems.

Originality/value

This paper presents multi-perspectiveness as key to ethical knowledge organization. The paper proposes a generic taxonomy of the main stages in the creation of multi-perspective knowledge representation and organization systems and demonstrates how to apply the proposed framework in each stage to ensure ethical outcomes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their appreciation to co-organizers, Barbara Kwaśnik, Robert Montoya and Laura Ridenour, and participants of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Special Interest Group on Classification (SIG CR) workshop “Building research agenda for multi-perspective knowledge organization”, held October 27, 2017 in Crystal City, VA, USA.

Citation

Zhitomirsky-Geffet, M. and Hajibayova, L. (2020), "A new framework for ethical creation and evaluation of multi-perspective knowledge organization systems", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 76 No. 6, pp. 1459-1471. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-04-2020-0053

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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