Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105962
Title:
The concept of "subject" in Information Science
Author:
Hjørland, Birger
Citation:
The concept of "subject" in Information Science 1992, 48(2):172-200 Journal of Documentation
Journal:
Journal of Documentation
Issue Date:
1992
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/105962
Submitted date:
2008-01-08
Abstract:
This article presents a theoretical investigation of the concept of 'subject' or 'subject matter' in library and information science. Most conceptions of 'subject' in the literature are not explicit but implicit. Various indexing and classification theories. including automatic indexing and citation indexing, have their own more or less implicit concepts of subject. This fact puts the emphasis on making the implicit theories of 'subject matter' explicit as the lirst step. A very close connection exists between what subjects are. and how we are to know them. Those researchersw ho place the subjects in the minds of the users have a conception of'subject' different to that possessed by those who regard the subject as a fixed property of the documents. The key to the definition of the concept of 'subject' lies in the epistemological investigation of how we are going to know what we need to know about documents in order to describe them in a way which facilitates information retrieval. The second step therefore is an analysis ol the implicit epistemological conceptions in the major existing conceptions of 'subject'. The different conceptions of 'subject' can therefore be classified into epistemological positions. e.g. 'subjective idealism' (or the empiric/positivistic viewpoint), "objective idealism'(the rationalistic viewpoint),'pragmatism' and 'materialism/realism'. The third and final step is to propose a new theory of subject matter based on an explicit theory of knowledge. In this article this is done from the point of view ol a realistic/materialistic epistemology'. From this standpoint the subject of a document is defined as the epistemologicapl otentials of that document.
Type:
Journal Article (Paginated)
Language:
en
Keywords:
Library and Information Science Education
Local subject classification:
Subject matter; Subject analysis

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorHjørland, Birgeren_US
dc.date.accessioned2008-01-08T00:00:01Z-
dc.date.available2010-06-18T23:37:26Z-
dc.date.issued1992en_US
dc.date.submitted2008-01-08en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe concept of "subject" in Information Science 1992, 48(2):172-200 Journal of Documentationen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/105962-
dc.description.abstractThis article presents a theoretical investigation of the concept of 'subject' or 'subject matter' in library and information science. Most conceptions of 'subject' in the literature are not explicit but implicit. Various indexing and classification theories. including automatic indexing and citation indexing, have their own more or less implicit concepts of subject. This fact puts the emphasis on making the implicit theories of 'subject matter' explicit as the lirst step. A very close connection exists between what subjects are. and how we are to know them. Those researchersw ho place the subjects in the minds of the users have a conception of'subject' different to that possessed by those who regard the subject as a fixed property of the documents. The key to the definition of the concept of 'subject' lies in the epistemological investigation of how we are going to know what we need to know about documents in order to describe them in a way which facilitates information retrieval. The second step therefore is an analysis ol the implicit epistemological conceptions in the major existing conceptions of 'subject'. The different conceptions of 'subject' can therefore be classified into epistemological positions. e.g. 'subjective idealism' (or the empiric/positivistic viewpoint), "objective idealism'(the rationalistic viewpoint),'pragmatism' and 'materialism/realism'. The third and final step is to propose a new theory of subject matter based on an explicit theory of knowledge. In this article this is done from the point of view ol a realistic/materialistic epistemology'. From this standpoint the subject of a document is defined as the epistemologicapl otentials of that document.en_US
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdfen_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.subjectLibrary and Information Science Educationen_US
dc.subject.otherSubject matteren_US
dc.subject.otherSubject analysisen_US
dc.titleThe concept of "subject" in Information Scienceen_US
dc.typeJournal Article (Paginated)en_US
dc.identifier.journalJournal of Documentationen_US
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