What’s New With Dewey

The last session on Friday February 26 at OLA 2010 was all about Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC).
The first bit of news was that DDC23, the next edition, will be released in 2011. This new edition continues the process of improving DDC by way of greater internationalization, ongoing modernization, greater clarity and the incorporation of new topics.
Examples of improvements:
The 370 section (Education) is being updated to be less U.S.-centered.
The 781.62 section (Folk Music) will provide better criteria for deciding on pop music that is derived from ethnic or national groups.
The music section also has improvements for the treatment of hybrid styles of music, which are difficult to classify. The multitude of new musical styles can searched in the relative index since each style may not be listed in the actual schedules.
Other improvements in DDC23 include better terminology. For example, T1-092 Persons Treatment is now Biography.
WebDewey will also be redesigned with a new welcome screen, help screen, results screen, and taskbar, as well as a link to the local library OPAC.
DDC is now on the Semantic Web with http://dewey.info/. Only the Dewey summaries are registered, but they are already being put to use in the World Digital Library. The "Browse — Topic" function (http://www.wdl.org/en/browse/topic.html) links via URIs (uniform resource identifiers) to the registered Dewey summaries.
There are many benefits to using the Semantic Web, or Linked Data as it is also called. Dewey numbers can be mapped to headings and translated into any language automatically. The headings can point to related and narrower terms. Registered Dewey numbers in Linked Data form can be linked to other vocabularies, such as Library of Congress Subject Headings and FAST geographical headings (check out this OCLC presentation), as well as Geonames.
Essentially, Dewey on the Semantic Web allows people and computers to link to terms that are defined and linked to related terms, thereby allowing related data on the Web to be brought together or exchanged more accurately.
Another example: BISAC is the Book Industry Study Group’s classification scheme used in book stores (2009 BISAC Subject Heading List). The Semantic Web allows DDC numbers to be mapped to BISAC. For example, the BISAC heading "Education — Teaching Methods & Materials — Mathematics" can be mapped to Dewey numbers 372.7 and 510.712. This linking via the Semantic Web has applications for collection development, display of topics and better navigation among related topics, use of publisher metadata (as well as putting Dewey earlier into the supply chain), and toggling between different schemes for headings as well as immediate translation into other languages.
Presentation slides for this session, Dewey Update: What’s New With DDC? at:
Download this PowerPoint Open XML Slide Show (ppsx compressed folder) and open it in PowerPoint 2007 or PowerPoint Viewer.
Some key websites:
http://ddc.typepad.com — Dewey Blog
http://www.oclc.org/dewey/updates/new/ — New and changed entries
http://www.oclc.org/dewey/news/conferences/default.htm — Selected presentations from past conferences
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