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The Discipline of Organizing

ASIS&TInformation Science Book of the Year for 2014!

tdo-pro-lrgWe organize things, we organize information, we organize information about things, and we organize information about information. Organizing is an important and ubiquitous challenge, and we can look to library and information science, informatics and computer science, cognitive science, business, law, and many other fields for concepts and methods that guide us in organizing. The Discipline of Organizing seeks to unify these diverse perspectives about organizing with the concept of an organizing system, defined as an intentionally arranged collection of resources and the interactions they support.

Every organizing system involves a collection of resources, a choice of properties or principles used to describe and arrange resources, and ways of supporting interactions with resources. By comparing and contrasting how these activities take place in different contexts and domains, we can identify patterns of organizing and frameworks that enable more effective multidisciplinary communication and collaboration. We can create a discipline of organizing in a disciplined way.

New for 2014: The Revised Version 2 Editions

disciplineoforganizing_core_redblueWe are very excited to offer the revised, digital-only Version 2 of The Discipline of Organizing, published by O'Reilly Media, in two separate editions — the Professional Edition and the Core Concepts Edition — making the book even more effective and engaging as an academic text for courses in Information Organization, Knowledge Management, Digital Collections, Information Architecture, Information Systems Design, and other related fields, or as provocative reading for people who want to be more self-aware and effective about how they organize the resources they deal with in their personal and professional lives.

Both the Professional and Core Concepts editions contain substantial new and revised content about the active resources of the Internet of Things, and how the field of information architecture can be viewed as a subset of the discipline of organizing.

To learn more about the new editions, including where to get a copy and how we can help support its use in your classrooms, click here.

You can also learn about different profiles and strategies for teaching with TDO from the presentations and reports of the conference workshops held in February 2014 and in October 2014 .

The Reviews are In

A veritable compendium of techniques and principles in the IT and LIS fields ... ideally suited as a textbook and a substantive reference text.

Elaine Svenonius, UCLA


A promising attempt to transcend traditional thinking ... brings in valuable linguistic knowledge and models from computer science that are becoming increasingly relevant for library and information science in these times, but in many cases are ignored in mainstream textbooks.

Mikael Gunnarsson, Swedish School of Library and Information Science


From the student perspective, it hits a sweet spot, balancing thoroughness and comprehensibility ... this book was exactly what I needed.

David Hansen, UNC-Chapel Hill

Find all our collected reviews here.


Recently Posted - Presentations from EBooks Workshop

At this year's iConference of the iSchools TDO authors and instructors were among those participating in a workshop on "Authoring, Designing, and Delivering EBooks" Presentations are linked ‎here

Teaching Materials for Instructors

Professors: we want to help you integrate our transdisciplinary educational model into your syllabus, which is why we've developed more than 300 assignments, exercises, exam questions, lecture modules, and other resources and released them to the Discipline of Organizing teaching community along with the Version 2 editions this year.

All these materials are available online: to register for access, visit the Teaching Materials area of this website or contact us.

Free Chapter Downloads

For instructors who only want to use a small portion of The Discipline of Organizing in their classes, or who wish to try out some of the material without committing to a purchase, we are releasing several chapters of the first edition available as free PDF downloads; click here to access them and read more about the first edition.