5th December 2014

KO conference in Singapore

Patrick Lambe writes: “I was really blown away by the energy and sense of innovation at Taxonomy Bootcamp this year. So much so, I got together with Dave Clarke of Synaptica and Maish Nichani of PebbleRoad, and we're going to run the inaugural Innovations in Knowledge Organisation conference in Singapore next 18th-19th June – mark your calendars now!”

24th November 2014

Conference CfP submissions deadline extension

To give you a little extra time to respond to our Call for Papers for the ISKO UK Biennial Conference “Knowledge Organization – making a difference”, the deadline for submissions has been extended from 29th November to 7th December 2014.

9th June 2014

ISKO Executive Board Changes

A new President and Vice-President were elected at ISKO’s latest General Assembly, held in Krakow, Poland, in May 2014. The new President is Joe Tennis of the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, whose election manifesto is shown at Supporting him in the role of Vice-President is Stella Dextre Clarke, who also chairs the UK Chapter. Draft minutes of the whole GA can be seen in our members’ area.

Joe has made a very active start on our programme for the next two years. This is a great opportunity for ISKO as a whole to move forward, and for the UK Chapter to take on greater responsibility and influence in the affairs of the Society. All members are invited to raise queries and contribute ideas, via, or directly to Stella, or through any of our own committee members.

9th June 2014

ISKO UK Executive Committee changes

At its AGM on 1 April, the following new committee members joined our team:

  • Philip Carlisle (English Heritage)
  • Sylvie Davies (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen)
  • Aref Makooi (FittooJan Consulting)

The rest of the committee membership can be seen at

26th February 2014

Conference grants for students

In 2014 for the first time ISKO UK is offering a limited number of grants to students in the UK who wish to attend a conference relevant to Knowledge Organization. A great opportunity could be the ISKO biennial conference: Knowledge Organization in the 21st Century: Between Historical Patterns and Future Prospects coming up in Krakow, Poland on 19-22 May. See full grant details here.

20th February 2014

Making metadata work

Booking has now opened for our flagship event Making metadata work on 23rd June 2014, organized jointly with DCMI and the BCS IRSG.

1st August 2013

ISKO UK Biennial conference, 8/9 July 2013

“Uncertainty is the demon” warned Patrick Lambe, keynote speaker at our latest conference, on the theme of Knowledge Organization – pushing the boundaries. And yet “Discovery thrives on uncertainty,” he continued, pointing to the challenge of building knowledge structures to support scientific R&D.

But if discovery is to benefit from effective software for searching through an enterprise’s information assets, there’s a big gap to bridge, according to Martin White. White delivered our second keynote address, drawing on data in his recent techno-economic analysis for the European commission. “Enterprise search is not working” he asserted.

These speakers were followed by 36 others, addressing an international audience of 135, over the two days of networking and intellectual stimulus at UCL in London. Slides and other details of all the presentations are already available on the conference site, and audio recordings will be added when available.

Thanks are due to the generous sponsors whose support made the event possible.

There was a preprint in the recent conference bag of an article in the Journal of Information Science with the title “Logic and the Organization of Knowledge – an appreciation of the book of this title by Martin Frické. A set of short essays”. In fact, the book title should have read “Logic and the Organization of Information”, not “... Knowledge”. Apologies to all concerned. The actual journal issue and the online edition will both carry the correct title.

26th March 2013

ISKO UK partners UKeiG in Tony Kent Strix Award

The Tony Kent Strix Award is made annually in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the field of information retrieval. The Award was set up originally by the Institute of Information Scientists, and latterly has been administered by the UK e-Information Group (UKeiG). Since information retrieval is one of the prime applications of knowledge organization, ISKO UK has agreed to partner UKeiG in promoting the Award, and will soon be backing the search for a worthy 2013 winner. All enquiries about this award should be sent to

  • Previous winners of the Tony Kent Strix Award:
  • 2012 Doug Cutting and David Hawking
  • 2011 Alan Smeaton
  • 2010 Michael Lynch
  • 2009 Carol Ann Peters
  • 2008 Kalervo Jarvelin
  • 2007 Mats Lindquist
  • 2006 Stella Dextre Clarke
  • 2005 Jack Mills
  • 2004 Professor Cornelis Joost (Keith) van Rijsbergen
  • 2003 Dr Herbert van Sompel
  • 2002 Malcolm Jones
  • 2001 Prof Peter Willett
  • 2000 Dr Martin Porter
  • 1999 Dr Donna Harman
  • 1998 Prof Stephen Robertson
3rd February 2013

ISKO UK Biennial conference, 8/9 July 2013

Registration is now open for our best conference ever, to be held in the Roberts Building of University College London as before. “Knowledge Organization – pushing the boundaries” is the theme. Invisible boundaries separate KO researchers from the practitioners who could benefit from their findings, and also come between distinct fields of application such as records management, web design, librarianship, information retrieval, etc. This conference aims to explore such boundaries, challenge them and advance our thinking into new territory.

29th March 2012

ISKO UK Annual General Meeting

The ISKO UK AGM was held at 13:00 on 29th March, at the British Computer Society London Office, 5 Southampton Street, London, immediately before the “On Location” meeting on organizing and using geospatial information. Reports and accounts for 2011 are available in the members' section of this web site.


ISKO UK 2011 conference proceedings published

Image of book cover

The proceedings of the ISKO UK second biennial conference, 2011: Facets of knowledge organization have now been published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited as an attractive hardbound volume incorporating reprints of some of Vickery's key writings and a comprehensive bibliography. Copies have been sent to all the participants in the conference.

Publication details and a synopsis are on the publishers' web page.

Facets of knowledge organization : proceedings of the ISKO UK Second Biennial Conference, 4th-5th July 2011, London / edited by Alan Gilchrist, Judi Vernau. – Bingley : Emerald, 2011. – xix,416p. ; 23cm. – ISBN: 978-1-78025-614-0 : £77.95.


ISKO UK Strategic Framework

The ISKO UK Executive Committee have recently drafted a Strategic Framework to guide our actions in the coming three years. The document may be downloaded from here and comments and suggestions are invited.


ISKO UK November Event

ISKO UK’s latest event, a meeting entitled “Interoperability: joining up knowledge and information in the health sector”, took place at the King’s Fund, London, on 1st November 2011.
Details of the programme are on the event’s web page, and we plan to add the slide presentations and recordings of the talks to that page soon, once they have been edited.

Online Information 2011

This year's Online Information exhibition and conference is being held on 29 Nov. - 1 Dec. in the National Hall, Olympia, London. ISKO members can benefit from a special conference discount of 25% if booking before 28 Oct 2011 or a 15% discount after that date. To book visit Online Information 2011.


UKeiG names Professor Alan Smeaton as the 2011 Tony Kent Strix Award winner

UKeiG – the UK eInformation Group of CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals – is delighted to announce this year’s winner of the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award.

Professor Alan Smeaton of the School of Computing, Dublin City University is a worthy winner of this prestigious award with sustained contributions to the field of natural language processing techniques for textual information retrieval as well as to the indexing and retrieval of image, audio and video data. He now leads a research team at the University of 40 researchers working in areas including life-logging, video analysis, summarization and search, data aggregation in environmental sensor networks, collaborative search techniques, data fusion from sensor networks and using sensors in media applications. He was founding director for the Centre for Digital Video Processing, a world-leading research centre for video processing and retrieval. Professor Smeaton was also the founding coordinator of TRECVid, which started as an independent evaluation exercise of the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) in 2001 – an initiative that has clearly been instrumental to the progress of the field of digital video retrieval.

The presentation of the ‘Owl’ Trophy and a certificate will take place on Monday 24th October at the Enterprise Search Europe event at the Hilton London Olympia. Martin White (UKeiG Chair), Doug Veal (Chair of the Strix Award Panel) and David Hawking, the Keynote Speaker for the opening day, will preside over the presentation. They will be joined by representatives of the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award’s two sponsors: ASLIB and the Chemical Information and Computer Applications Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Further information about the award, as well as a list of winners, can be found at


Classification and Ontology, The Hague, 19-20 September, 2011

The third biennial conference in a series of UDC Seminars organized by the UDC Consortium is titled Classification & Ontology and is hosted by The National Library of the Netherlands.

Ontology-like representations of classifications are recognized as potentially important facilitators in creating a web of linked data (the Semantic Web). The objective of the conference is to promote collaboration and exchange of expertise between different fields dealing with knowledge classifications: bibliographic, web and AI.

To read more and to register, please visit the event's website


117 people attended the ISKO-UK conference on 4-5 July, a great networking opportunity for a mix of researchers, commercial providers and practitioners interested in “Facets of Knowledge Organization”. Abstracts, full papers and PowerPoint files are already available for downloading and audio recordings will be added to the event web page in the next few weeks. The event was held in memory of Brian C Vickery, who died in 2009 at the age of 91, leaving a lifetime of inspiration to the LIS profession. Read Fran Alexander’s full review on the ISKO-UK blog. 


The event following ISKO UK's Annual General Meeting on April 14th, 2011 - Public Access to Information? - was one of the most successful yet. Organised jointly with TiPS, it attracted over 100 registrants, most of whom turned up on the day. All four speakers delivered highly engaging presentations which provoked not only frequent questions during each session, but also resulted in a lively panel session at the end.

For a full account of each of the presentations, see the report on the ISKO UK blog.


The ISKO UK event "Legal Know-How: Organization & Semantic Analysis" held on 10 November 2010 attracted over 80 participants and offered an interesting selection of talks from the field of legal information. Presentation slides are now available on the event website and audio recordings will be uploaded as soon as they have been processed. Read about the event in Fran Alexander's review.


"Facets of Knowledge Organization", our second biennial conference, will take place on 4-5 July 2011. It will honour the life and achievements of Brian C Vickery, who sadly died last year, but has left us much to celebrate and build upon during the conference. To make the most of the event, please respond to our Call for Papers.


ISKO UK is sorry to announce the death of Jack Mills, on 9 July 2010, at his home in London, at the age of 91. Jack had a long and distinguished career as a professional librarian, academic, teacher and researcher, and, for the last 40 years, as Editor of the Bliss Bibliographic Classification, Second Edition (BC2). In recent years his work had been marked by the award of an Honorary Fellowship of CILIP, and the Tony Keny Strix award for services to information retrieval. He was also honoured by the (then) American Society for Information Science as one of a handful of British information professionals nominated as 'Pioneers of Information Science'.
His death was unexpected and peaceful, sitting in his garden at home, and, as usual, he had been working on BC2 during the day. A fuller tribute will appear here, and in Knowledge Organization.


A date to mark in your calendar: ISKO UK is organizing a one-day seminar on Linked Data on 14th September. Ten speakers from five countries will discuss and illustrate the application of linked data in various domains. The preliminary programme and booking form are available at the event's website.


Seeing is Believing: New Technologies for Cultural Heritage, ISKO UK event that took place on 9th June 2010 at University College London. This was yet another successful meeting attended by over 90 participants. The afternoon offered a fascinating and mutually complementary suite of talks that covered topics ranging from how to capture 3D representations of precious artefacts in order to improve access to mass audiences without the damage caused by physical handling, to how crowdsourcing can harness the enthusiasm of online communities to improve collections, speed digitisation, and enhance metadata. A range of questions about privacy, community, and how we relate to both the most precious and the most trivial things in our lives was prompted by the description of the Tales of Things project, which uses the geolocatory power of RFID and QR codes to allow people to add their memories to objects via the website. This event was organized in cooperation with the UCL Department for Information Studies and refreshment was sponsored by Gallery Systems. Outputs are available on the event page.


dabater image

Next meeting:
The great debate

Thursday 19th February 2015
preceded by the ISKO UK AGM

Past events
29th March 2012 On Location: organizing and using geospatial information - London
16th July 2012 I think, therefore I classify: A full day, to consider how and why we categorize objects and ideas, and review how we teach and learn classification - London
4th September 2012 Afternoon meeting: The shape of knowledge: improving the visual representation of information and knowledge.
28th November 2012 Afternoon meeting: Images in focus: organizing visual content for use.
19th March 2013 The power of social media to support knowledge sharing AGM + afternoon meeting
8th-9th July 2013 Knowledge organization – pushing the boundaries 2-day conference
24th October 2013 Information – a risky business
1st April 2014 Taming the news beast – finding context and value in text and data
23rd June 2014 Making metadata work One-day event
11th-12th September 2014 13th European Networked Knowledge Organization Systems (NKOS) Workshop at the International Digital Libraries Conference (DL2014)
15th September 2014 Metadata management in Sharepoint Afternoon tutorial
5th November 2014 Knowledge organization goes mobile Afternoon meeting
Items of Interest

Content of the last issues of the Knowledge Organization journal: 33(2006)1, 33(2006)2, and Vol. 33(2006) No 3.

Online construction of alphabetic classaurus: a vocabulary control and indexing tool, by F. J. Devadason (the online version of the article published in Processing and Management, Vol. 21(1985); No.1; p 11-26.)

Prolegomena to Library Classification (1967) and other books by S.R. Ranganathan in dLIST open archive...

Metadata's many meanings and uses (January 2007) by Conrad Taylor