Since late 2005, the Dewey editorial team has been working on a project to improve the representation of groups of people throughout the DDC. The project had the following goals:
- Study the treatment of groups of people throughout the DDC
- Update the terminology for groups of people (also reconsider terminology in Table 1 —09)
- Update the provisions for specific groups of people
We started the project with a reconsideration of the phrase “kinds of persons” in the caption at Table 1 —08 and elsewhere in the DDC. The phrase “kinds of persons” is currently used throughout the DDC to describe groups of people. Use of the phrase in Table 1 —08 causes confusion with “persons treatment” in Table 1 —092; more troubling is the unintended interpretation of “kinds of persons” as a definitive classification of people. As a first step, we replaced “kinds of persons” with “groups of people” in Table 1 —08 and elsewhere in the DDC. At the same time, we deleted “History and description with respect to” entirely from the caption at Table 1 —08 and elsewhere in the DDC. We also substituted “Groups of people” for “Social groups” in the caption at 305 and elsewhere in the DDC.
We have long known that “persons treatment” is a confusing phrase, and questioned whether there was any reason to continue using it in Table 1 —092. We changed the caption at Table 1 —092 to “Biography,” and made a slight revision to the caption at Table 1 —09 at the same time (now “History, geographic treatment, biography” instead of “Historical, geographic, persons treatment”).
We have adopted consistent use of “people” versus “persons” when we are referring to a group of people by a specific attribute, e.g., homeless people. In a few cases, the term “persons” has been retained when it is part of the common name for a group of people, e.g., “stateless persons.”
Similar changes to terminology have been introduced in the Relative Index. In addition, we have replaced the current “Persons” index array with three new entries: Person (Legal concept), Persons (Individuals), and People. The index term for groups of people in general is “People”; the general index term for individuals is “Persons (Individuals).”
We have made small adjustments throughout Table 1 and 305–306 in the developments for groups of people by specific attributes. We wish to draw special attention to the following developments:
- Updated provisions for people by gender or sex at Table 1 —081 and 305.3 (including a new number for men at Table 1 —0811)
- A new development for transgender and intersex people at Table 1 —0867 and parallel changes to the development at 306.76 Sexual orientation, transgenderism, intersexuality
- Updated developments for people by marital status in Table 1 —0865 and marriage and family in 306.8
- Extensions to collected biography in Table 1 —092
Draft PDFs of the revised versions of the schedules for Table 1 —08–09 and 305–306 plus the Relative Index are now available for review. Relative Index entries are marked with the following internal codes: P (proposed new print/electronic entry), E (proposed new electronic-only entry), N (electronic-only entry), and I (intellectually mapped LCSH). Entries without codes are current print/electronic entries. In most cases, current Relative Index phrase entries in which the term “persons” has been replaced by “people” are also not accompanied by a code. The draft schedules have been produced directly from our editorial support system without further editing of the PDFs, and may contain some spacing problems that do not exist in the electronic version.
Timetable for Review and Implementation
The Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) has approved the updated developments in principle and has recommended that we introduce them into the DDC as soon as possible. At Meeting 129, EPC approved an implementation plan that includes a period of user comment, final approval, and implementation in 2009.
We are asking for comments on the draft schedules and implementation plan. Please reply directly to this blog entry (or alternatively to email@example.com) by October 30, 2008. Receipt of comments by that date will facilitate discussion of user feedback and final action on the updated developments by EPC at Meeting 130 (November 18–19, 2008). It is our current intention to implement the changes throughout the DDC and introduce them in WebDewey and Abridged WebDewey by second quarter calendar year 2009. We will also make final PDFs of Table 1 and 305–306 available on the Dewey web site at the same time the changes are implemented in the web versions of the DDC. There will be ripple effects elsewhere in the DDC that will not be addressed in the PDF versions; areas with substantial changes related to the treatment of groups of people (e.g., 150 Psychology, 362 Social welfare problems and services) will be featured as New and Changed Entries on the Dewey web site. The changes introduced in the web versions of the DDC will also appear in the print version of DDC 23 (scheduled to be published in late calendar year 2010).