The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship


Publication Title

Knowledge Organization

Document Type


Publication Date



Most knowledge organization practices have opinionated detractors. Some criticisms are informed and serious, but unsubstantiated assertions and fatuous dismissals are so commonplace that practitioners grow weary of the perpetual need to refute them. Many have had the experience of conducting and publishing research that contradicts a popular misguided claim, and then seeing this evidence have little effect on the continued repetition of the claim. This paper (which is part polemical essay) will attempt to contribute another tool for tackling this problem: a taxonomy of attacks on knowledge organization. Categorizing and devising names for the major strains of deprecation of knowledge organization, cataloging, and metadata will not defeat those arguments, but identifying and reframing them might strengthen the knowledge organization community’s resolve to take them on. Warning: there might be neologisms!



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