A Space of Transition: Rethinking Surrogates

Hope A. Olson, Lynne C. Howarth


The knowledge organization (KO) process of representing something identifiable typically involves creating a surrogate. The surrogate brings together the thing and the knowledge organization system (KOS). Therefore, we decided to focus on the surrogate and its role in the process of representation. In current practice KOS govern the creation of the surrogate. This something being represented is typically, but not necessarily, an information resource. It may also be artistic, tangible, spiritual, etc., knowledge organization systems meant to organize surrogates that represent something identifiable. A knowledge organization professional (KOP) selects what aspects of the thing to include in the representation. The knowledge organization experts/establishment (KOE) are responsible for the development of the context in which surrogates are created. The KOE are key drivers in determining process, and in developing and maintaining standards. Traditional practices are intended to ensure consistency and uniformity of interpretation and application across a range of physical and digital discourses. This context can be considered anew as postcolonial critic Homi Bhabha’s concept of the Third Space (1994).

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7152/nasko.v4i1.14655