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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Luís Miguel Oliveira Machado, Daniel Martínez-Ávila and Maria da Graça de Melo Simões

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the literature on concept theory in library and information science (LIS) from an epistemological perspective, ascribing each paper…

648

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the literature on concept theory in library and information science (LIS) from an epistemological perspective, ascribing each paper to an epistemological family and discussing their relevance in the context of the knowledge organization (KO) domain.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a hermeneutic approach for the analysis of the texts that compose the corpus of study following contingency and categorical analyses. More specifically, the paper works with Bardin’s contingency analysis and follows Hjørland’s families of epistemologies for the categorization.

Findings

The analysis corroborates the observations made for the last ten years about the scarcity of studies on concept theory in LIS and KO. However, the study also reveals an epistemological turn on concept theory since 2009 that could be considered a departure from the rationalist views that dominated the field and a continuation of a broader paradigm shift in LIS and KO. All analyzed papers except two follow pragmatist or historicist approaches.

Originality/value

This paper follows-up and systematizes the contributions to the LIS and KO fields on concept theory mainly during the last decade. The epistemological analysis reveals the dominant views in this paradigm shift and the main authors and trends that are present in the LIS literature on concept theory.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Rick Szostak

This paper aims to respond to the 2005 paper by Hjørland and Nissen Pedersen by suggesting that an exhaustive and universal classification of the phenomena that scholars…

2097

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to respond to the 2005 paper by Hjørland and Nissen Pedersen by suggesting that an exhaustive and universal classification of the phenomena that scholars study, and the methods and theories they apply, is feasible. It seeks to argue that such a classification is critical for interdisciplinary scholarship.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a literature‐based conceptual analysis, taking Hjørland and Nissen Pedersen as its starting point. Hjørland and Nissen Pedersen had identified several difficulties that would be encountered in developing such a classification; the paper suggests how each of these can be overcome. It also urges a deductive approach as complementary to the inductive approach recommended by Hjørland and Nissen Pedersen.

Findings

The paper finds that an exhaustive and universal classification of scholarly documents in terms of (at least) the phenomena that scholars study, and the theories and methods they apply, appears to be both possible and desirable.

Practical implications

The paper suggests how such a project can be begun. In particular it stresses the importance of classifying documents in terms of causal links between phenomena.

Originality/value

The paper links the information science, interdisciplinary, and study of science literatures, and suggests that the types of classification outlined above would be of great value to scientists/scholars, and that they are possible.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 64 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

David Bawden

762

Abstract

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 64 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2000

Abstract

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-045-6

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