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Monash University

FIT5106 Information organisation - Semester 2, 2013

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.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Caulfield (Off-campus)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk

Workload requirements

This is a 6-point unit which, according to University guidelines, requires students to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 144 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



Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Tom Denison

Consultation hours: Available by appointment only. Email to arrange a time to meet or to talk via telephone or skype.

Academic Overview

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.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to FIT5106 Information Organisation Details of Assignment 1 provided
2 Lecture: Introduction to the metadata frameworks, models and policies; Lab/Tute: Introduction to Case Study  
3 Lecture: Metadata schemes; Lab/Tute: Metadata model exercises  
4 Lecture: Metadata schemes; Lab/Tute: Metadata scheme exercises  
5 Lecture: Metadata encoding schemes and tools; Lab/Tute: Metadata scheme exercises  
6 Lecture: Metadata encoding schemes and tools, Linked Open Data; Lab/Tute: Metadata encoding scheme exercises  
7 Lecture: Information architecture; Lab/Tute: Metadata tools exercises Assignment 1 due during Week 7 Tutorial
8 Lecture: Resource description and access; Lab/Tute: Information architecture exercises Details of Assignment 2 provided
9 Lecture: Resource description and access. Applying rules for selecting access points. MARC records. Authority files; Lab/Tute: RDA and MARC exercises  
10 Lecture: Library schemas: Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC); Lab/Tute: RDA and MARC exercises. Selecting access points and authority files exercises  
11 Lecture: Library schemas: Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH); Lab/Tute: LCSH exercises Assignment 2 due during Week 11 Tutorial
12 Lecture: Managing information organisation processes (workflows; insourcing and outsourcing; the role of networks; economic considerations); Lab/Tute: The role of metadata  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 - Metadata Record 25% (includes 10% class participation) Week 7 Tutorial
Assignment 2 - Information Architecture 25% (includes 5% class participation) Week 11 Tutorial
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning. 

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.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 - Metadata Record
    This assignment involves the development of a Metadata Record for a resource to be included in an Online Portal. Components of the Metadata Record will be developed in class exercises and combined together into the submitted assignment. The class exercises will be undertaken in the Tutorial/Laboratory by on-campus students, and via Moodle by off-campus students.
    25% (includes 10% class participation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Class participation in exercises relating to the development of the Metadata Record (in Tutorials/Laboratories by on-campus students and via Moodle by off-campus students) is an assessable component of this Assignment.

    More details of assessment criteria will be advised in separate assignment handouts available via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Week 7 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 - Information Architecture
    This assignment explores an information architecture related topic of the students' 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.
    25% (includes 5% class participation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment will be based on how well the information explored is presented and documented.

    More details of assessment criteria will be advised in separate assignment handouts available via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Week 11 Tutorial


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List

Feedback to you

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

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

More information about referencing will be provided in the detailed instructions relating to each assignment.

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Recommended Resources

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.

Recommended text(s)

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

Examination material or equipment

Details will be provided via the Unit Moodle website.

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Previous feedback has highlighted the overall quality of the unit and that the assessment tasks, levels of engagement and feedback on performance are very good. Student feedback also identified some concern that the unit was not sufficiently intelectually stimulating, so there will be an increased emphasis on the latest research and practical developments in the field. While overall feedback on performance was rated good, there was some concern that progressive feedback on Assignment 1 was inadequate. Staff will ensure that regular feedback is provided on a weekly basis.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

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