Anticipating new media: A faceted classification of material types

Rebecca Greene, Nancy Fallgren


The emergence of new media types, many seemingly without counterparts in the non-digital world, challenges the readiness of existing knowledge organization schemes to accommodate them. A knowledge organization scheme based on a faceted analysis of existing classes of bibliographic materials is likely to accommodate new developments better than one based on a list of unanalyzed material types. The faceted analysis undertaken here, in which seven facets are recognized (content, generation of content, recording of content, publication/distribution, physical characteristics, perception/use, and relationships) shows the inadequacy of the traditional view of the bibliographic community of a fundamental distinction between content and carrier; interaction between content and carrier is common and enters into the characterization of material types. The facet analysis is validated by applying it to two new material types, wikis and blogs.

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