Classification of Design Research Documents
Classification involves the development and use of schemes for the systematic organisation of knowledge (represented as information) (Langridge, 1992). The origins of modern approaches towards document classification are founded on principles originally developed by library scientists (e.g. Rowley and Farrow, 2000; Foskett, 1996; Taylor, 1992). The traditional functions of a library were to gather, classify and distribute information. However, in recent times, with the development of the Web and computer networking technologies, the problem of gathering and distributing information has assumed lesser importance. In contrast, the organisation and classification of information is seen as the key to enabling people cope with the ever-increasing quantities of documents to which they have access. Within an engineering design context, classification offers the possibility of contributing to management of complexity that arises from globally distributed design, from the increasing complexity of engineering artefacts themselves and from the current emphasis on design reuse. It also offers the possibility of assisting the design community in developing a shared understanding of their domain of interest. This latter point is the subject of this paper.