Archive for the ‘concepts’ Category

Concepts

I wrote an article about concepts, and it was recently published after much ado of various sorts, so I want to bring it to the attention of anyone who might happen on this blog.

A good while back I was working on a collaborative project that involved a lot of conversation about concepts, and I said at one point something along the lines of how interesting it would be to see what early information science pioneers thought about concepts. I actually proceeded soon after that to acquire the entire run of American Documentation in digital form from the ASIST Digital Library, and I carried out various analytical procedures using what might today be called basic text mining. I gathered every instance of the stem “concept” and its relatives, and so on. The details are in the article of course.

Along the way I realized what I was looking at was more than just a community comprehension, but that there was a sort of background story as well. I tried using the analysis to lead me to clues about the discourse, and that’s where I found some exciting influences. No spoilers here–it’s in the article.

Here is the abstract:

Concepts are central elements of knowledge. This article reveals some of
the historical contours of the use of “the concept” in information by delving into
the evolution of the use of the term in American Documentation, the first formal
journal of information science in North America. Discourse in American Documentation
about “the concept” was critical to the development of machine searching to
have a concrete definition of a concept. Metaphors used to visualize the role of
concepts range from multidimensional arrays to lights shining in the darkness of
semantic space.

The article is “The Evolution of the Concept: A Case Study from American Documentation = L’évolution du concept : une étude de cas tirée de American Documentation.”
Not to worry it’s all in English. It appears in Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science 42, nos. 1-2 (2018): 113-34.

Posted May 12, 2019 by lazykoblog in concepts

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