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Topics and changing characteristics of knowledge organization research in the 21st century: a content analysis

Li Si (Center for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China) (Department of Library Science, School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Yi He (Department of Library Science, School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Li Liu (Department of Library Science, School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 10 August 2022

60

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge organization (KO) has been advancing at a progressively rapid pace under the influence of information technology. This study aims to explore the topics, characteristics, and trends of KO research in the 21st century.

Design/methodology/approach

The full text of 4,360 KO-related articles published from 2000 to 2021 is collected. Through content analysis, this study identifies the topics, research methods, and application areas of each article, and the statistics are presented through a series of visualizations.

Findings

In total, 13 main topics, 105 sub-topics, 16 research methods, and 57 application areas are identified. Notably, classification has always been an important topic, while linked data, automated techniques, and ontology have become popular topics recently. Significant changing features have also occurred. The versatile use of research methods has increased, with empirical research becoming the mainstream. Application areas show a trend of refinement from subject areas to specific scenarios. Construction techniques present a combination of automated techniques, crowdsourcing, and experts.

Originality/value

KO has evolved and diversified due to technological developments. This study is the first to focus on the continuous changing features over an extended, 21-year period, as opposed to sampling a few years. It also provides clues and insights for researchers and practitioners interested in KO to understand how it has changed in the Semantic Web and big data context.

Keywords

Citation

Si, L., He, Y. and Liu, L. (2022), "Topics and changing characteristics of knowledge organization research in the 21st century: a content analysis", Journal of Documentation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-05-2022-0101

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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