In spring 2002 I started teaching Knowledge Organization (KO) at the new master education at The Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen (MS RSLIS). I began collecting information about KO as support for my own teaching and research. In the beginning I made the information available to the student through a password protected system "SiteScape". This site was a great success, but I encountered problems in transferring the system for new classes the following years. Therefore I have now decided to make it public on the www and to protect only information that should not be made public. References freely available in electronic form are given an URL (if known). Electronic papers not freely available, but only available to students and colleges are available at:

(User name and password must be given).


From spring 2006 the MS LIS course on KO is made in English as an international course. For this reason, among other reasons, I decided to make this "Lifeboat for Knowledge Organization" in English rather than in Danish. The only terminological work in Danish, I am involved in at the present time is the Informationsordbogen. People interested in Danish terminology (or in Danish-English & English-Danish translation) should consult this work, also freely available on www.


Information about the class and to the class is provided through another password-protected forum: (Spring 2006 class): 


It is my hope that this initiative will also contribute to strengthen the international cooperating in developing KO as an academic discipline.


Users are strongly recommended to use this lifeboat together with Core Concepts in Library and Information Science (LIS) and the Epistemological Lifeboat. Problems of KO are strongly overlapping with LIS in general and cannot be understood properly without a certain basis in epistemology.


As is the case with Epistemological Lifeboat are signed contributions welcome, either as new articles or as debate. (Examples are Olof Sundin's entry on 'Studies of professions' and Kari Holland's comment on 'Relevance'). 


All entries which are not signed are written by myself. 


Entries are saved in (four times a year) and irregularly in  (in 2005 it was saved 31 times, which provide a reasonable precise archive of different versions of this dynamic document)



Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 16-02-2008



Ideas for writing term papers


Stllingsopslag_sætte begreber i system.pdf



Some presentations by Birger Hjørland



A new version of this Lifeboat is under construction at: