Knowledge Organization (KO)

Knowledge Organization (ISSN 0943-7444) is the official journal of ISKO.

The journal was founded in 1973 by Dr. Ingetraut Dahlberg, the first President of ISKO, with a consulting board of editors representing the world's regions, the special classification fields, and the subject areas involved. The journal began publication in 1974 with the title International Classification; in 1989, it became the official organ of ISKO; and in 1993 (Volume 20), the title was changed to its present form. From 1974 to 1980 it was published by K. G. Saur Verlag of München; from 1981 to 1997 by Indeks Verlag of Frankfurt; and since 1998 by Ergon Verlag of Würzburg (merged in Nomos Verlag in 2017).

The contents of the journal are indexed and abstracted in Social Sciences Citation Index, Web of Science, Information Science Abstracts, INSPEC, Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA), Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (EBSCO), Library Literature and Information Science (Wilson), PASCAL, Referativnyi Zhurnal Informatika, and Sociological Abstracts. The journal impact factor (JIF) for 2023 was 0.6.


Knowledge Organization publishes original research articles that: (1) clarify theoretical foundations (general ordering theory, philosophical foundations of knowledge and its artifacts, theoretical bases of classification, data analysis and reduction); (2) describe practical operations associated with indexing and classification, as well as applications of classification systems and thesauri, manual and machine indexing; (3) trace the history of knowledge organization; (4) discuss questions of education and training in classification; and (5) problems of terminology in general and with respect to special fields.

Submission of manuscripts

Instructions for authors intending to submit manuscripts to Knowledge Organization are available.

Manuscripts must be submitted through the Open Journal System. All inquiries about submission of manuscripts should be be directed to the editors <editors@isko.org>.

Most papers are published within 6 months after submission. Authors can apply via email for receiving printed copies of the issue including their paper. The journal is green open access: authors may distribute their manuscripts with appropriate link to the journal. After 3 years, authors are also free to distribute their articles in the final, published PDF form.

It is possible to publish individual articles in the journal open access by making the digital version freely available under a Creative Commons license chosen by the respective author(s). The publisher requires a fee to cover the publication costs (Article Processing Charge, APC) in the amount of 1,990.00 EUR (plus VAT). Many scientific institutions and science funding bodies provide corresponding funds for the publication of research results.


The journal publishes reviews of recently published KO-related resources. Reviews should follow the guidelines for reviews.

All inquiries about reviews should be be directed to the editors: <editors@isko.org>.

Subscriptions and advertising

All ISKO members receive electronic copies of Knowledge Organization (see the Join ISKO page for details on how to become a member of ISKO). All subscription inquiries by non-members, and all inquiries about advertising, should be directed to the publishers, Ergon Verlag. The annual non-member subscription rate for 8 issues is 359 euros (print + online). Ergon's contact details are as follows:


  • Ergon Verlag in der Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
    Waldseestr. 3-5
    76530 Baden-Baden



  • +49 (0)7221-2104-0


email: editors@isko.org

  • Natália Tognoli (Fluminense Federal University, Brazil)
  • Lu An (Wuhan University, China)
    Deputy Editor
  • Thiago Barros (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
    Deputy Editor
  • Maja Žumer (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
    Deputy Editor
  • Birger Hjørland (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Series Editor for Reviews of Concepts in Knowledge Organization
  • María J. López-Huertas (University of Granada, Spain)
    Series Editor for Research Trajectories in Knowledge Organization

Editors Emerita

  • Hope A. Olson (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA)

Former editors-in-chief: Ingetraut Dahlberg (1974-1996), Charles T. Gilreath (1997-1998), Francis Miksa (1998), Clare Beghtol (1999), Hope A. Olson (2000-2004), Richard Smiraglia (2005-2020), Vanda Broughton (2021-2023).

Editorial Board

  • Thomas Dousa (The University of Chicago Libraries, USA)
  • Melodie J. Fox (Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure, Shorewood, USA)
  • Jonathan Furner (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
  • Claudio Gnoli (Università di Pavia, Italy)
  • Rebecca Green (Library of Congress, USA)
  • Jane Greenberg (Drexel University, USA)
  • José Augusto Chaves Guimarães (Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil)
  • Michael Kleineberg (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany)
  • Kathryn La Barre (University of Illinois, Champaign, USA)
  • Devika Madalli (Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, India)
  • Daniel Martínez-Ávila (University of León, Spain)
  • Widad Mustafa el Hadi (Université Charles de Gaulle Lille 3, France)
  • H. Peter Ohly (Bonn, Germany)
  • M. Cristina Pattuelli (Pratt Institute, New York, USA)
  • K. S. Raghavan (Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, India)
  • M. P. Satija (Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India)
  • Aida Slavic (UDC Consortium, The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Renato R. Souza (Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Rick Szostak (University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)
  • Yejun Wu (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA)
  • Maja Žumer (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Annual Best Paper in KO Awards

  • vol. 44 (2017): Michael Kleineberg. "Integrative levels" Knowledge Organization 44, no. 5: 349-379 [IEKO version of fulltext]
  • vol. 43 (2016): Elaine Ménard, Nouf Khashman, Svetlana Kochkina, Juan-Manuel Torres-Moreno, Patricia Velazquez-Morales, Fen Zhou, Pierre Jourlin, Priyanka Rawat, Peter Peinl, Elvys Linhares Pontes and Ilaria Brunetti. "A Second Life for TIIARA: From Bilingual to Multilingual!" Knowledge Organization 43, no. 1: 22-34 [abstract]
  • vol. 42 (2015): Philip Hider. 2015. "Survey of the Coverage and Methodologies of Schemas and Vocabularies used to Describe Information Resources". Knowledge Organization 42, no. 3: 154-63 [abstract]
  • vol. 41 (2014): M. P. Satija, Devika P. Madalli and Biswanath Dutta. "Modes of Growth of Subjects". Knowledge Organization 41, no. 3: 195-204 [abstract]
  • vol. 40 (2013): Birger Hjørland. "Theories of knowledge organization — Theories of knowledge". Knowledge Organization 40, no. 3: 169-81 [abstract], and Jens-Erik Mai. "Ethics, values and morality in contemporary library classifications". Knowledge Organization 40, no. 4: 242-53 [abstract]

Online access

Open access to Knowledge Organization is available for back issues from 1974 to 3 years ago through the Nomos eLibrary KO index. ISKO members have right to access all issues. Members encountering access problems or having lost their login credentials may contact Janina Amann (amann@nomos.de) and Ines Karch (karch@nomos.de).

All other access to Knowledge Organization is available through the Nomos eLibrary.

The tables of contents and abstracts of volumes 2011 to 2020 are also available here:

    volume 47: 2020. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6; issue 7; issue 8
    volume 46: 2019. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6; issue 7; issue 8
    volume 45: 2018. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6; issue 7; issue 8
    volume 44: 2017. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6; issue 7; issue 8
    volume 43: 2016. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6; issue 7; issue 8
    volume 42: 2015. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6; issue 7; issue 8
    volume 41: 2014. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6
    volume 40: 2013. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6
    volume 39: 2012. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6
    volume 38: 2011. Issue 1; issue 2; issue 3; issue 4; issue 5; issue 6

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Online access through libraries

Access to Knowledge Organization online is provided by libraries subscribing to the journal in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Libraries subscribing to "Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with full text (LISTA) by EBSCO" can search and have access to journals via LISTA. This is an indirect access as it does not appear directly from the library catalogue because you have first to search for LISTA. (The direct and normal procedure is that books and journals are sought in the catalog and the catalog record say how to access it).
  2. Libraries subscribing to the online journal via EBSCO have to protect the access through a password. It is possible, however, for libraries to put the password automatically into force so that KO may be accessed directly from the institution served by the subscribing library. (But this solution does not make access to volumes older than year 2009 or to Advances in Knowledge Organization). This solution has been tested and works if the library has implemented it. We recommend that all libraries subscribing to KO implement this service for the users.
  3. Libraries which are institutional members of ISKO can make the same sort of solution as the one described under 2. This will provide full-text to all published issues of both KO and AKO. This solution is currently being tested and should presently be the best solution available.
  4. Many online journals and books have today automatical IP-recognition software. That means that a journal or book is automatically open to institutions subscribing to the journal directly from the publisher. If the users library has bought, for example, The elements of Knowledge Organization by Smiraglia (published by Springer), this book is automatically available to users at the subscribing institution from the publishers site. The same is the case for many electronic journals. This is the most user-friendly way of establishing access, but this option is not presently available for KO.


© ISKO: Last updated 2024.07.03