Trajectories for Research: Fathoming the Promise of the NARCIS Classification

Richard P. Smiraglia

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NARCIS—National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System-- is the national research portal for the Netherlands’ data and research archiving, which is governed by its own NARCIS Classification. The current instantiation of the classification dates from 2015.
The classification is currently made up of two classes—D for the sciences broadly, and E for interdisciplinary areas. The NARCIS Classification is designed specifically and with care for the contents of the NARCIS data portal. The classification mostly represents the sciences. A few anomalous situations are visible in the ontology of the classification: the humanities occupy one division within the sciences, placed between the life sciences and law; and, the treatment of interdisciplinarity, for which a separate class E is set aside for interdisciplinary sciences. A dump of the NARCIS database was used to analyze the population of the NARCIS classification. The life sciences occupy 34% of the NARCIS database. A framework for research networking systems reveals the NARCIS database and its classification most objectives, with the only lapse being the output of entities and attributes to ontologies. The NARCIS Classification is also an occupational classification. The NARCIS classification supports a vital research portal that, in turn, supports a nationally-coordinated research effort designed to provide better inter-institutional communication of scholarly productivity, thus is in itself an information institution, in which domain-dependence is part of its cultural imperative. The NARCIS Classification incorporates an example of top-down politics in which funded disciplines are included and best represented. A perhaps unintended consequence is the encapsulation of forced views. Trajectories for further discussion with regard to continued development of the NARCIS Classification include identity, interoperability, interdisciplinarity, and synthesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337
Number of pages344
JournalKnowledge Organization
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2019


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