Guidelines for contributors

NB: This page is constantly under construction.

Using endnotes and reference managers
Articles on concepts
Articles on KOSs
Biographical articles

Entries are structured with numbered subheadings followed by an alphabetically arranged list of references. When writing new entries, authors are recommended to coordinate with already published entries, for example, by linking, supplementing and avoiding too much overlap with existing entries.

IEKO follows the instructions for authors for the journal Knowledge Organization (KO). KO is generally based on The Chicago Manual of Style (latest edition: 17, from 2017), but have some peculiarities. When in doubt always follow these rules or see recent issues of the journal. In a few cases, IEKO authors have some options (although following the journal guidelines will make printed publication easier):

  • Articles may be written in American English or in British English. However, articles must apply one of these consistently (except for quotes, which should always reflect the original source)
  • Articles may be written in "Headline style" or in "sentence style" in headings and in titles in references (again, one of these must be consistently used throughout the article):
    Example, headline style: Beckner, Morton. 1959. The Biological Way of Thought. New York: Columbia University Press.
    Example, sentence style: Beckner, Morton. 1959. The biological way of thought. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Issue numbers for journals when a journal volume is through-paginated, may be preserved or omitted:
    Example with issue number: Hjørland, Birger. 2013. "Facet Analysis: The Logical Approach to Knowledge Organization." Information Processing and Management 49, no. 2: 545-57.
    Example without issue number: Hjørland, Birger. 2013. "Facet Analysis: The Logical Approach to Knowledge Organization." Information Processing and Management 49: 545-57.
  • Page numbers for ending pages may preserve or skip the initial numbers if identical with page numbers for beginning pages.
    Example, preserved numbers: Library Trends 56, no. 4: 763-783.
    Example, skipped numbers: Library Trends 56, no. 4: 763-83.

Entries should at the same time be concise and provide a broad and deep overview of their respective topics. We value succinctness (clear, precise expression in few words). Unnecessary details should be avoided and details should instead be provided through the references. Different terminology and conceptions should be introduced. Important research should be referred to, and different theoretical perspectives presented and discussed (authors are selected on the assumption that they know the most relevant research in the field). Papers should provide a conclusion with the author's evaluation of the present state of the concept, the methodology etc.

The online version at the ISKO homepage will be sent to the web editor by the editor of the ISKO Encyclopedia. This version should include a Table of content at the top of the article.

The authors themselves upload their peer-reviewed and accepted files to ScholarOne for publication in the journal Knowledge Organization:

  • Include as separate files full contact information, brief biographical statement (100 words or fewer) and digital photo according to the standards of Knowledge Organization.
  • Choose "Feature" and indicate that this is an accepted article for the ISKO Encyclopedia.
  • Ignore that the papers has been prepared for double blind peer review (because has already been peer-reviewed by the editor of the ISKO Encyclopedia).
  • Accept the condition "this has not been submitted or published elsewhere" (as this does not cover the online version of the ISKO Encyclopedia).

About using endnotes and reference managers

Footnotes are not allowed in Knowledge Organization, but endnotes are. However, the journal editor often prefers to replace them with sentences in brackets. Also, endnotes often requires hard work when editing MS Word or similar formats to HTML. Therefore, an advise would be to reduce their use as much as possible.

Standard word processors automatically keep track of numbering endnotes, and are very practical during writing. However, after final acceptance of the manuscript, all endnotes must be replaced (after acknowledgements and before references) and the automatic numbers have to be replaced by manually inserted numbers. In the text, these numbers must be superscript (e.g., 23). This is a somewhat complex, time-consuming and dangerous process, but you have to do it before uploading final versions of accepted manuscripts. (The danger is that endnotes may automatically be renumbered and thereby wrongly numbered if you have not thought this out before you start.) When this is done, it is very time consuming if you need to add or delete new endnotes, so it is important that this is the last step made before final submission, after the manuscript has been accepted.

There are similar issues with reference managers. Normally, they are very practical tools. However, they are not always correct in the details, and they may not inform you that a given reference lacks necessary data. In other words, they are no guarantee that your references are done correctly in both text and reference list. When used in a manuscript, the references in text as well as in the reference list may communicate with a database in "the sky" and insert invisible codes in the manuscript. These codes have to be remover before final submission (after final acceptance) because they obstruct the work of both the web-editor and journal editor. Again, when they are removed new references cannot be updated to your reference manager database (and thereby reused for new writings), so it is important that this is the last step made before final submission, after the manuscript has been accepted. There have been some issues with reference managers that have been updated or changed, and it has been a very time-consuming task manually to insert the references into the text as well as into the reference list. You should not write for IEKO at the same time you learn about using a reference manager. Wait using a reference manager until you master how to use it.

Author guidelines for articles on concepts

When writing about a given concept, please try to provide both historical and theoretical knowledge about that concept. Historically, one may distinguish:

  • The history of the word (its etymology). For example, the word hypertext was coined at the beginning of the eighteenth century and popularized by German mathematician Felix Klein at the end of the nineteenth century to describe a geometry with many dimensions [etc.], cf. hypertext#3.1
  • The history of the concept. The different meanings given to the word and how they are related to "paradigms" or theoretical issues. For example, how hypertext was understood by Vannevar Bush in his Memex, and how it was understood both before and after Bush, cf. hypertext#3.3
  • The history of the thing referred to by the concept (e.g. hypertext systems), such as the generations of hypertext systems described by Ridi: hypertext#3.6
  • The history of the research field named by the concept, e.g. the research on hypertext, for example as done by Ridi: hypertext#5

(These four aspects originate in the German tradition of Begriffsgeschichte, here taken from Weimar (1997-2003): Weimar, Klaus (Ed.). 1997-2003. Reallexikon der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft. 3. neubearb. Aufl. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Band 1-3.)

These four points do not exhaust the content of an article about a given concepts. Other issues could, for example, relate to application in different contexts. It is supposed that articles in IEKO are based on a literature search on the concept and that main ideas, developments and applications are described. The most important thing is to consider (1) why is the concept important (if it is; if it isn't, why do you write about it, is it a kind of vogue word, that you are critical about?). Try to uncover the most important theoretical understandings of the concept and outline their implications for theory as well as practice in KO. Conclude by describing the understanding that you consider the most important and provide arguments why you think so.

Author guidelines for articles on classification schemes and other KOSs

Articles may consider schemes and systems currently in use, either in libraries and information services, or for digital organization of resources. Articles are also welcome about older systems of knowledge organization for their theoretical or historical interest. The scheme addressed may be a general (universal) classification, or one dealing with a particular subject or other specialist area.

The general guidelines for format and presentation of articles in IEKO (such as citation style) should be followed. In addition, authors should do their best to cover the following aspects of the givenclassification scheme or KOS, as they may be relevant and appropriate (although not necessarily in this order). It is understood that older, and historic, schemes may not exhibit all of these features, so the list should be regarded as a guide, rather than essential.

  • Origins and history of the scheme
  • Theoretical principles and philosophy of the scheme, including the use for which it was intended
  • Coverage, broad structure, and main subject subdivisions, number of classes and level of specificity
  • Notation and synthetic features
  • Principal uses and applications of the scheme, including some examples of important library and/or information service users; principal geographic areas where system is used
  • Perceived advantages and disadvantages for libraries in applying and using the scheme
  • Innovative uses and applications of the system; associated research and development projects
  • Arrangements for maintenance and revision, revision policy, and provision of bibliographical support services; difficulties in maintaining schemes
    • Institutions responsible for managing and publishing the scheme, including official websites
    • Other relevant organizations and sources of information, including user groups
    • The authoritative classification data and how it is stored and managed
  • Publication formats and means of access (print and online formats, with bibliographical details), including mention of any alternative versions of the scheme (for example, abridgededitions, special subject versions)? Conclusion, including status of the scheme today, competing systems and technologies, andevaluation of its future prospects.

Authors should adopt a critical and analytical approach to the scheme, and not be merely descriptive, although it is important to present a comprehensive factual account of its main characteristics. Articles should include a review of research relating to the scheme, and the text should be supported by reference to the published literature on the scheme, both primary and secondary. A bibliography containing these references and other relevant published material should be provided; this need not be exhaustive but should include significant books and papers.

Authors are encouraged to provide examples to demonstrate the working of the scheme, and to illustrate functional features such as notational provision and classmark building. Graphical representations of the layout and display of the scheme should be employed where possible to accompany the text.

Author guidelines about biographical articles (non-living persons only)

  1. The focus of the biographical article should be on the biographee's importance for the field of knowledge organization (KO), but the first section should be a general introduction to the life and work of the person, including bibliographical references to more detailed presentations (try to include the most acknowledged contributions). Especially, if the biographee was not from the field of knowledge organization, but e.g. a polymath like Aristotle, it is important that the article focuses on the person's relevance for classification and KO.
  2. The following sections may be ordered after subject matter (the biographee's contributions to different issues of interest to knowledge organization or the biographee's relation to philosophical, scientific and scholarly theories). Alternatively, a chronological order may be used (phases in the biographee's intellectual development), or a combination of systematic and chronological order. The second section might be about the contexts, ideas and traditions that influenced the biographee.
  3. Criticism, reception and discussions of the biographee's views may be presented in an independent section or in the systematic sections.
  4. The last section should be a conclusion containing an overall evaluation of the person's contribution and the reception of his/her works. Including an evaluation of the biographee's status today in general as well as in relation to knowledge organization.
  5. The bibliography may be divided in
    1. Works by the person in original language (including translations made by the author him/herself). This first part could be as comprehensive as possible and arranged chronologically.
    2. Works by the person in translations, organized after language, thereafter chronologically (if the person wrote in other languages than English it is important to include a list of English translations; translations into all other languages are optional)
    3. Works by others including other works cited in the main article.

Updating after publication

After publication authors are encouraged to update their articles, for example, with new important references (both in text and in reference list). As an author, You are expected to be a leading expert in the field, and constantly keeping ajour and trying to improve your work. Another way to update could be to develop a part of the article to a new article, and just keep a brief section, while referring to the new article. Here, Wikipedia may serve as a model. For example, the article "Information science" has brief explanations about concepts such as "Philosophy of information" and "Information scientist" with links to full articles.

You can also do this in other entries than your own. In that case, however, you should make sure that you give full credit to the authors view in the new article — and also acknowledge his or contribution (perhaps co-author the new article).


© ISKO 2016 : last updated 2018.07.14