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Anti-Developmental Biases in Thesaurus Design

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Anti-Developmental Biases in Thesaurus Design
Bias 1: Static Bias Associated with Noun Categories
Bias 2: Low-Context Bias Associated with Western Science
Bias 3: Pattern Conservation Bias
Bias 4: Dysfunctional Bias
Bias 5: Insensitivity to thesaurus implications
Bias 6: Avoidance of Top-of-Hierarchy issues
Bias 7: Preference for Adaptive "Maintenance" Thesauri
Bias 8: Investment in Rigid, Anti-Experimental Systems
Bias 9: Depersonalized Portrayal of Thesauri
Bias 10: Concealment of Contradictions
Bias 11: Concealment of Values
Bias 12: Preference for Simplistic List Structures
Bias 13: Exclusion of Uncodeable Dimensions
Bias 14: Mechanistic Concept of Thesaurus integration
References

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Paper for the Conference on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis in the Social Sciences (Bielefeld, 1981) sponsored by Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (COCTA) and International Federation for Documentation (FID). A somewhat abridged version appears in Fred W. Riggs (Ed.): The CONTA Conference: Proceedings of the Conference on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis in the Social Sciences. Frankfurt/Main, INDEKS Verlag, 1982, pp. 185-201 [PDF version]



Introduction

A number of biases seem to manifest themselves frequently in the process of thesaurus construction. These biases are inherently anti-developmental, introduce distortions into the design process and constitute obstacles to social development. The effect of these biases is particularly serious in the social science domain.

This is a preliminary investigation, intended to open up discussion. The supporting arguments and evidence are not presented here, although they form part of the argument of several earlier papers (1,2,3,4,5).


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