Open Shelves Classification
About the Project
On July 8, 2008, Tim invited LibraryThing members to "help build the Open Shelves Classification (OSC), a free, "humble," modern, open-source, crowd-sourced replacement for the Dewey Decimal System." You can read more from the initial announcement here.
The OSC will be:
- Collaboratively written
The OSC itself should be written socially--slowly, with great care and testing--but socially. See the Build the Open Shelves Classification group.
- Collaboratively assigned
As each level of OSC is proposed and ratified, members will be invited to catalog LibraryThing's books according to it. Using LibraryThing's fielded bibliographic wiki, Common Knowledge.
- Progressive development
Written "level-by-level" (DDC's classes, divisions, etc.), in a process of discussion, schedule proposals, adoption of a tentative schedule, collaborative assignment of a large number of books, statistical testing, more discussion, revision and "solidification."
- Public-library focus
Academic collections, being larger, are less likely to change to a new system. Also, academic collections mostly use the Library of Congress System, which is already in the public domain.
- Statistical testing
As far as we are aware, no classification system has ever been tested statistically as it was built. Yet there are various interesting ways of doing just that. For example, it would be good to see how a proposed shelf-order matches up against other systems, like DDC, LCC, LCSH and tagging. If a statistical cluster in one of these systems ends up dispersed in OSC, why?
Who is involved
How to get involved
- Check out the Build the Open Shelves Classification group! Contribute to or start a new thread. The threads are where ideas are dicussed and hashed out.
- Check out the Open Shelves Classification Blog for the latest news about the project.
- Add to this wiki. The wiki is where the work of the group is documented and ideas are tested.
- Check out the Top Priorities section below to see what we are focusing on currently.