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FIT3125 Information organisation - Semester 2, 2010

Chief Examiner:

Dr Kerry Tanner
Senior Lecturer
Phone: +61 3 990 32626
Fax: +61 3 990 31077

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Dr Kerry Tanner
Senior Lecturer
Phone: +61 3 990 32626
Fax: +61 3 990 31077

Contact hours: Monday 12-2 pm; Tuesday 4-6 pm; or email for an appointment

Soula Kipos (tutor)

Contact hours: To be advised


Welcome to FIT3125 Information Organisation for Semester 2, 2010. This 6 point unit is an elective unit in the BITS Information Management major, and a required unit for those who wish to gain ALIA recognition as a library/information professional.

FIT3125 develops understanding of the fundamental principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures.

Unit synopsis

This unit develops understanding of the fundamental principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures. It deals with standards governing description, distribution and access to information locally and globally cataloguing, indexing, thesaurus construction, classification and metadata for knowledge discovery. It examines the effects of economic, social and technological factors on the development of bibliographic networks and cataloguing operations. Practical sessions deal with the use of major bibliographic tools, schemes and systems for information organisation.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will:
  • understand the key principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures;
  • have skills in applying standard cataloguing, classification, indexing, thesaurus construction, and knowledge discovery metadata schemes and tools;
  • have developed experience in interacting with selected bibliographic utilities/ networks, and in using bibliographic software; and
  • be able to develop systems for organising information and facilitating access to information resources in physical collections or digital/web-based repositories.

Contact hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


This is a 6-point unit which, according to University guidelines, requires you to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 156 hours per semester).

For on campus students, typical weekly workload commitments are:
• 2 hours lecture
• 2 hours tutorial/laboratory (requiring advance preparation)
• 5 hours of practical work and assignment preparation
• 3 hours of assigned reading and reviewing weekly class materials.

Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however, should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups/ other designated activities each week. 

Unit relationships


Completion of 36 credit points at level 1 or equivalent


FIT5106, IMS3617, IMS5017, LAR3651

Teaching and learning method

Teaching approach

Delivery of the unit involves two hours of lectures per week, covering the theory and practice of information organisation, and a two-hour tutorial/lab session where students undertake practical exercises. 

Off campus students can access the lecture recording (audio with synchronised slides) via Monash University Lectures Online (MULO), and will have special weekly activities and interactive sessions in lieu of the on campus tutorials.

Each week there will be practical activities assigned as 'homework'. These are regarded as 'hurdle' exercises, which will be marked in the following week's tutorial/lab sessions. It is essential that you keep up to date with this work.

In addition to these exercises, there are three assignments and a final exam (see details under Assessment). 

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes please refer to MUTTS,

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using the Allocate+ system:

Off-Campus Learning or flexible delivery

Off campus students can access all unit, lecture and tutorial materials via the unit Blackboard website (access via MyMonash portal). Lectures are recorded via Monash University Lectures Online (MULO):

Unit Schedule

Week Date* Topic Tutorials Key dates
1 19/07/10 Unit overview. Definitions and introductory concepts; the need for standards. Overview of subject access to information resources No tutorial/lab sessions in Week 1  
2 26/07/10 The power of categories; indexing theory; thesaurus construction Thesaurus construction  
3 02/08/10 Thesaurus construction. Alphabetic lists of subject headings: Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and other lists Thesaurus construction  
4 09/08/10 Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Classification overview Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)  
5 16/08/10 Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) Assignment 1 Thesaurus, due on Tues. 17 Aug.
6 23/08/10 Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)  
7 30/08/10 Information architecture Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) Assignment 2, Pt A: LCSH, due on Tues. 31 Aug.
8 06/09/10 Information architecture Information architecture exercise  
9 13/09/10 Resource description and access: Applying rules for describing information resources Information architecture presentations. Metadata examples Assignment 2, Pt B: DDC, due on Tues. 14 Sept.
10 20/09/10 Resource description and access. Applying rules for describing information resources. MARC records Describing information resources and MARC exercises  
Mid semester break
11 04/10/10 Resource description and access. Applying rules for selecting access points. Authority files Describing information resources and MARC exercises. Selecting access points and authority files exercises Assignment 3, Information Architecture, due on Tues. 5 Oct.
12 11/10/10 Managing information organisation processes (workflows; insourcing and outsourcing; the role of networks; economic considerations). Selecting access points and authority files exercises  
13 18/10/10 Lecture: Unit Review. Revision and Guidelines for exam preparation Tutorial: Revision and exam preparation Semester ends Friday 22 Oct

*Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

 Hider, Philip, with Harvey, Ross. (2008). Organising knowledge in a global society. Rev. ed. Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. ISBN 978 1876938 67 3.

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Students will be given access to online resources including the Library of Congress's The Cataloger's Desktop and Classification Web, and to WebDewey. Access to other resources will be provided as needed.

Kennedy, J. and Schauder, C. (1998). Records management: A guide to corporate recordkeeping (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Longmans. Chapters 6 and 7.

Required software and/or hardware

At a minimum, you must have access to a personal computer, the Internet, and recent Java software for accessing our unit's Blackboard site. Your computer must also be able to access to Monash Lectures Online (MULO).

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 8 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

It is essential for all students to have access to the relevant textbooks and software.
• You will need to obtain a copy of the Hider and Harvey text.
• We provide access to online versions of DDC, LCSH, AACR, MARC and other tools, and references to linked web resources.
• We provide assignment guidelines and weekly class notes (available via links from the Unit Blackboard website)



Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Faculty assessment policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit.

Assignment tasks

Assignment coversheets

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website:
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Assignment submission and return procedures, and assessment criteria will be specified with each assignment.

Assignment submission and preparation requirements will be detailed in each assignment specification. Submission must be made by the due date otherwise penalties will be enforced. You must negotiate any extensions formally with your campus unit leader via the in-semester special consideration process:

  • Assignment task 1
    Assignment 1: Providing subject access to information resources--Thesaurus construction
    This assignment, the first on the theme of providing subject access to information resources, requires that you construct a small thesaurus on a topic of your choice.
    Criteria for assessment:
    Advised in separate assignment handouts.
    Due date:
    Tuesday, 17 Aug., 2010
  • Assignment task 2
    Assignment 2: Providing subject access to information resources--LCSH and DDC
    This assignment continues our exploration of systems for providing subject access to information resources, in the form of LCSH and DDC. There are two exercises that comprise this assignment, each worth 10%. The first is on LCSH, and the second on DDC.
    Criteria for assessment:
    Advised in separate assignment handouts
    Due date:
    Pt A LCSH, due on Tuesday, 31 Aug.; and Pt B DDC, due on Tuesday, 14 Sept. 2010.
  • Assignment task 3
    Assignment 3: Information Architecture
    This assignment can be taken either in a small group, or individually. It explores an information architecture related topic of your choice. It involves a presentation in class as well as a hard copy version of the presentation. Alternative guidelines will be provided for off campus students.
    Criteria for assessment:
    Advised in separate assignment handouts.
    Due date:
    Tuesday, 5 Oct., 2010.


  • Weighting:
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
See Appendix for End of semester special consideration / deferred exams process.

Due dates and extensions

Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Students requesting an extension for any assessment during semester (eg. Assignments, tests or presentations) are required to submit a Special Consideration application form (in-semester exam/assessment task), along with original copies of supporting documentation, directly to their lecturer within two working days before the assessment submission deadline. Lecturers will provide specific outcomes directly to students via email within 2 working days. The lecturer reserves the right to refuse late applications.

A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Refer to the Faculty Special consideration webpage or further details and to access application forms:

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date, without a prior extension being granted, will be subject to a penalty of 20% of the marks allocated for the assignment, per week overdue.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.


Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:

Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes

Graded assignments with comments

Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments


Please visit the following URL: for further information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams