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on 23 March 2013
This book is a fascinating insight into the power and role of classification systems in our lives. An important contribution to science and technology studies, closely related to but not beholden to actor-network theory and a substantial contribution to the theorisation of boundary objects.

The conclusion feels weak and seeks to relate this idea (the boundary object) in a scatter-gun approach to lots of other theoretical frameworks e.g activity theory,community of practice and ANT. In this it feels wooly rather than directed at the end.

Essential reading if you are doing research on or around classification systems or standards of interoperability.
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on 16 August 2017
A classic "must read" that articulates foundational concepts for anyone interested in understanding how infrastructures and categories work.
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on 2 June 2015
As an information scientist, this is a must read :)
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2006
You can't expect every book to make worthy subjects fascinating (e.g. Freakonomics), but this collection of lengthy (so, so lengthy) descriptions of mostly medical classifications is as dull as they come.

Even for academia, the emphasis of description, the paucity of analysis and the complete absence of any practical guidance is disappointing.

OK it was written in 1999, but there is nothing about the emerging challenges of information classification on the Internet at a time when Yahoo! etc. were offering browsable taxonomies of web sites.
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on 11 July 2006
For a classification nerd like me, this is a thoroughly engaging look at how the creation and implementiaton of classification schemes infiltrates and is affected by other social and human factors.

For the lay-reader, Sorting things out is a digestible, although sometimes overly worded introduction to the pernicious nature of categorising and dividing anything and a wake-up call to everyone to give more consideration to the segmentations we create and perpetuate on a daily basis and their wider effects.

Great for IA's - gives a wider view of the importance of labelling and structure and the behaviour of users and agents.
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on 4 December 2000
It does provide the information what I need for classification. Excellent book!
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