Classification management and use in a networked environment : the case of the Universal Decimal Classification
In the Internet information space, advanced information retrieval (IR) methods and automatic text processing are used in conjunction with traditional knowledge organization systems (KOS). New information technology provides a platform for better KOS publishing, exploitation and sharing both for human and machine use. Networked KOS services are now being planned and developed as powerful tools for resource discovery. They will enable automatic contextualisation, interpretation and query matching to different indexing languages. The Semantic Web promises to be an environment in which the quality of semantic relationships in bibliographic classification systems can be fully exploited. Their use in the networked environment is, however, limited by the fact that they are not prepared or made available for advanced machine processing. The UDC was chosen for this research because of its widespread use and its long-term presence in online information retrieval systems. It was also the first system to be used for the automatic classification of Internet resources, and the first to be made available as a classification tool on the Web. The objective of this research is to establish the advantages of using UDC for information retrieval in a networked environment, to highlight the problems of automation and classification exchange, and to offer possible solutions. The first research question was is there enough evidence of the use of classification on the Internet to justify further development with this particular environment in mind? The second question is what are the automation requirements for the full exploitation of UDC and its exchange? The third question is which areas are in need of improvement and what specific recommendations can be made for implementing the UDC in a networked environment? A summary of changes required in the management and development of the UDC to facilitate its full adaptation for future use is drawn from this analysis.