Toward Better Interoperability of the NARCIS Classification

Gerry Coen, Richard P. Smiraglia

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Research information can be useful to science stakeholders for discovering, evaluating and planning research activities. In the Netherlands, the institute tasked with the stewardship of national research information is DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services). DANS is the home of NARCIS, the national portal for research information, which uses a similarly named national research classification. The NARCIS Classification assigns symbols to represent the knowledge-bases of contributing scholars. A recent research stream in knowledge organization known as comparative classification uses two or more classifications experimentally to generate empirical evidence about coverage of conceptual content, population of the classes, and economy of classification. This paper builds on that research in order to further understand the comparative impact of the NARCIS Classification alongside a classification designed specifically for information resources. Our six cases come from the DANS project Knowledge Organi- zation System Observatory (KOSo), which itself is classified using the Information Coding Classification (ICC) created in 1982 by Ingetraut Dahlberg. ICC is considered to have the merits of universality, faceting, and a top-down approach. Results are exploratory, indicating that both classifications provide fairly precise coverage. The inflexibility of the NARCIS Classification makes it difficult to express complex concepts. The meta-ontological, epistemic stance of the ICC is apparent in all aspects of this study. Using the two together in the DANS KOS Observatory will provide users with both clarity of scientific positioning and ontological relativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345
Number of pages353
JournalKnowledge Organization
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2019


  • NARCIS Classification
  • Information Coding Classification
  • ICC
  • Sciences
  • Research Information


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward Better Interoperability of the NARCIS Classification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this