Since Svenonius analyzed the research base in bibliographic control in 1990, the intervening years have seen major shifts in the focus of information organization in academic libraries. New technologies continue to reshape the nature and content of catalogs, stretch the boundaries of classification research, and provide new alternatives for the organization of information. Research studies have rigorously analyzed the structure of the Anglo- American Cataloguing Rules using entity-relationship modeling and expanded on the bibliographic and authority relationship research to develop new data models (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records [FRBR] and Functional Requirements and Numbering of Authority Records [FRANAR]). Applied research into the information organization process has led to the development of cataloguing tools and harvesting ap- plications for bibliographic data collection and automatic record creation. A growing international perspective focused research on multilingual subject access, transliteration problems in surrogate records, and user studies to improve Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) displays for large retrieval sets resulting from federated searches. The need to organize local and remote electronic resources led to metadata research that developed general and domain-specific metadata schemes. Ongoing research in this area focuses on record structures and architectural models to enable interoperability among the various schemes and differing application platforms. Research in the area of subject access and classification is strong, covering areas such as vocabulary mapping, automatic facet construction and deconstruction for Web resources, development of expert systems for automatic classifica- tion, dynamically altered classificatory structures linked to domain-specific thesauri, crosscultural conceptual structures in classification, identification of semantic relationships for vocabulary mapped to classification systems, and the expanded use of traditional classification systems as switching languages in the global Web environment. Finally, descriptive research into library and information science (LIS) education and curricula for knowl- edge organization continues. All of this research is applicable to knowledge organization in academic and research libraries. This chapter examines this body of research in depth, describes the research methodologies employed, and identifies areas of lacunae in need of further research.

Publication Date



Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries

Document Type

Book Chapter



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