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About ISKO UK

Who we are

ISKO UK is the UK Chapter of ISKO, the International Society for Knowledge Organization. We are a not-for-profit scientific/professional association dedicated to promoting the theory and practice of Knowledge Organization through the pursuit of four key objectives:

  • To establish an active membership of people with an interest in Knowledge Organization (KO), whatever their background or qualifications;
  • To explore the scope and role of KO and its value to society, to publicize the results and to spread the understanding that emerges;
  • To enable members to develop a community of interest and to build bridges between those working in different sectors, particularly between researchers and practitioners.
  • To encourage and support the next generation of KO researchers and practitioners.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote the theory and practice of organizing knowledge and information.

History

The International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO) was founded in 1989.  Currently it has more than 500 individual and corporate members and a worldwide reach, with 14 Regional Chapters. Every two years members come together in an international conference, of which the latest was held in Krakow, Poland. Members' subject fields include information science, philosophy, linguistics, computer science and other specialist domains such as medical informatics, and their interests are reflected in the journal Knowledge Organization

The ISKO UK chapter was established in February 2007. Our UK emphasis is to build bridges between the research and practitioner communities across the field. For the benefit of society at large, we want to see timely KO research feeding into sound practice, and ideas for research coming from practitioners.

Activities

We hold regular afternoon meetings on topical subjects, attracting excellent speakers and a large following. Occasionally we also arrange a workshop or tutorial.  Upcoming events are shown on the page  Our Events, followed by a list of past events with links to the presentations given and audio recordings. 

Every two years the Chapter arranges a conference in London, which typically attracts many members from other Chapters, as well as our UK following of members and non-members.

We make audio recordings of all speakers at our events (including our biennial conferences) and these recordings, together with the associated visual presentations, are available for download in our media repository ISKOMedia.

Grants and Awards

Together with UKeiG (UK e-Information Group) and IRSG (Information Retrieval Specialist Group of the BCS) we support and promote  the Tony Kent Strix Award, which is presented annually in memory of the pioneering information scientist Tony Kent. This annual award recognizes an outstanding contribution made to information retrieval - the prime application area for knowledge organization. All enquiries about the award should be sent to awards@ukeig.org.uk.

To support KO students at an earlier stage in their careers, we also now offer small research grants and conference grants to students. (Follow the links to learn more.) The aim of the latter is to help students attend events where they can hear and develop contacts with others in the field. Each grant will cover the registration fee of a KO-oriented conference, and may contribute also to travel expenses. 

Governance

ISKO UK is governed by an Executive Committee with the following officers:

  • Chair: Judi Vernau (chair[@t]iskouk.org)
  • Vice Chair: Stella Dextre Clarke (vicechair[@t]iskouk.org)
  • Hon. Secretary: Sylvie Davies (info[@t]iskouk.org)
  • Hon. Treasurer: Duncan McKay (treasurer[@t]iskouk.org)

Additional members of the Executive Committee are:

  • Bob Bater
  • Philip Carlisle
  • Helen Challinor
  • Elizabeth Marley
  • Aref Makooi

Membership

Our membership illustrates the breadth and variety of professions and roles where KO is a key element. It includes:

  • information scientists
  • digital asset managers
  • librarians
  • records managers
  • information architects
  • semantic web developers
  • taxonomists
  • media workflow managers
  • IT specialists

By attending our meetings you can hear directly from leaders in our field, as well as meeting people who share your interests. By subscribing to ISKO you'll qualify for discounted prices; many of our meetings are free to members. You will also receive the journal Knowledge Organization and regular news by email. And don't forget to blog and tweet!

Collaboration

While quiet systematic knowledge organization in the calm of one's own study can be an excellent thing,  progressing KO with friends and colleagues is even better. ISKO UK actively collaborates with several other professional societies, research bodies and educational institutions working in related fields. More collaborative projects and alliances are welcome.   ►Read more

Join us!