Archive for the 'Child Protection' Category

Terms and Terming

The other day I ran a simple retrieval on the NHS e-library for the term ‘child protection’. It came back with the news that there were 13114  resources. Of course, some of these will appear on more than one list, and it’s likely that a proportion of them will only be of interest to ‘dead men in white coats’ rather than the broader CP community. But it’s still a shed-load of ‘knowledge’ (OK, depending upon how you view knowledge).

This is part of some initial thinking I’m doing on trying to make the general e-library resources more available and nearby, to the Child Protection Shared Space and its various inhabitants. One simple approach would be to provide some topic lists that would drive ‘canned queries’ to retrieve pre-defined lists of material. Here’s an example, from palliative care.

But, what topics to use, and equally important, how to develop them? I remember being fearfully impressed with the card-sorting approach used by Sarah Curier in the early days of Stor Curam (now the Learning Exchange) where she did some pilot f2f work with a small number of Social Work academics, on the social care terms they used, then had one of her colleagues (Ivanna Fernandez) create a nifty Flash widget so that the other 100 or so HEI staff could all have a go on the web. She arranged for some statistical software to be connected behind the scenes, and ran the analysis. It was the democratic aspect that this introduced that seemed new and intriguing, quite apart from the sensible suitability of card-sorting, to this problem. [memo to self, must see if Sarah’s notes/article on the process are available, even as grey lit.]

Then again this morning, discussions included what to do about a set of Child Protection Committee (CPC) terms for topics that the West of Scotland network would like to sort by. Once more, the process of devising and agreeing these seems just as, if not more, important than the list that emerges.

Now, there’s the risk of lurching into the whole tags, tagging, and folksonomies thing – which I hope not to do (as it’s been really, really well rehearsed elsewhere…all over the place…one item among many). But two key questions remain:

  • how to avoid locking down the taxonomy that one agrees originally – so of course one needs to incorporate a ‘tag cloud widget’ or something similar into ones app.;

  • how to promote the sharing of knowledge, insights, impressions, ways of looking at the world, that you can so easily get from supporting a folksonomy by tagging, and perhaps even annotation too.

Maybe a Knowledge4Practice thing?? I feel an event coming on….

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