Readings' list

Kwasnik, B. 1989. How a personal document's intended use or purpose affects its classification in an office. SIGIR Forum 23, SI (Jun. 1989), 207-210.

Summary/ Key Points

Study on 8 university faculty members.

Subjects were asked to describe their own office in term of the organization that each of them defined documents.

They interviews were transcribed and analyzed. Documents and circumstances of categorization classified by nouns and phrases.

Several dimensions along which people make classificatory decisions were identified: among these "use" emerges as a strong determiner. Example of uses were:

work on a report, send a letter, apply for a grant, publish a book, takes minutes at meetings etc.

Uses can be classify broadly in:

"Two uses together". use modified by topic (example fundraising), uses under certain circumstances, use in a certain place, past, future etc.

"In addition to modeling the objects that constitute a system, perhaps it would be advantageous to explore ways of modeling typical contexts, circumstances, uses and purposes as well."

The study refers to paper documents.


Disclaimer: I wrote these summaries to help me remember the content and the main ideas of the paper. Since I am interested in certain aspects, I may leave out others.

If you have any comment, contact me at