Main menu

Reviews of the Book

For the 4th Edition (2016)

"The problem of knowledge acquisition and use is a deep subject.
It builds on two intellectual pillars---one concerned with ontology
and representation and the other concerned with inference and
decision-making under uncertainty. While the latter pillar
has been the focus of much recent work in machine learning and
data science, the former is of equal importance. Indeed, ontology
and representation are logical precursors to machine learning---the
design of a system that learns from data presupposes an understanding
of what that system should learn. In The Discipline of Organizing
we have a carefully-written, entertaining treatment of core material
in knowledge representation, essential reading for any
data scientist

Michael I. Jordan, Professor, Computer Science and Statistics,
University of California, Berkeley

"As the interdisciplinary field of data science continues to evolve it is essential that information schools continue to provide foundational attention to issues of data quality, social and economic data policies, and preservation and management of data resources, applications, and work flows. Without understanding both the art and science of organization, data analysts and algorithms are destined to yield meaningless outputs that can lead to poor actions or policies. THE DISCIPLINE OF ORGANIZING provides vital perspectives on how data is created, named, and organized and should be required study for all data scientists. It provides core treatments of data quality, and how data relates to human activities in the physical and virtual world, and includes clear linkages to the technologies and techniques of data science."

Gary Marchionini, Dean, School of Information and Library Science,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

For the Third Edition (2015)

"This book changed my views of organizing as the dull, tedious task of putting things in order into thinking of it as the marvelous study of how people add structure to things. This new [third] edition expands the domains covered by previous ones, adding new dimensions to consider, expanding not just the topics, but our understanding of the power, strengths, biases, and weaknesses of organizational structures. Glushko is the master of the discipline of organizing, painting the fascinating story of how different organizational schemes change our behavior and our thoughts."

Don Norman, Author, "The Design of Everyday Things"; Professor/director, The Design Lab, UCSD


"The third edition of The Discipline of Organizing builds on previous editions to reflect and understand the development of information organization (IO) as a dynamic, interdisciplinary and fascinating field of study. This current edition continues to further define and refine IO in a data intensive world, where everyone, regardless of his or her intellectual and work space, is grappling with the challenge of making sense in a complex, data- and information-driven environment."

Ed Cortez, Professor, School of information Sciences, University of Tennessee


"Glushko’s volume is a tour de force. He and his co-authors compel their readers to see—perhaps for the first time and at the very least in a new way—exactly how their lives are bound up with the organization of artifacts. Uniting aspects of cognitive science, library science and computer science, Glushko provides a common frame and language for conceptualizing how information is collected, stored, managed, derived, shared, lost, retrieved and transformed. The well-crafted argument guides readers through a sophisticated set of ideas with assurance, leaving them with this discovery: That to interact with information artifacts is to participate in a long arc of coordination between people of the past, present and future."

Leysia Palen, Founding Chair & Professor of Information Science and Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder

"Glushko and his colleagues have become the 'go-to' for graduate and undergraduate introductory courses in information. Their argument that information is fundamentally about the discipline of organizing is subtle but powerful. When the students understand it, they know why they are studying information. Great case studies and examples turn otherwise arcane material into something quite interesting."

John Leslie King, W.W. Bishop Professor of Information, University of Michigan


"It is more than a textbook - it defines and creates the field for which it is a text...  The rare combination of breadth and depth empowers readers by providing a new perspective and framework for organizing subsequent experiences ... This book provides the best tools available for understanding the disruptions of today and tomorrow in information management ... This is a book that points to areas for research, provides ways of looking at new developments, and reveals to the perceptive reader yet unexplored territory in the spaces between disciplines."

Jonathan Grudin, Microsoft Research (from the Foreward)


"This book opens the doors to the discipline of organizing across many facets of the 'i' arena—and has applicability for undergraduate and graduate education, in both computer and information science ... we are excited about exploring how to use this text in our new undergraduate data science program to be launched in fall 2016."

Jane Greenberg, Alice B. Kroeger Professor & Director of the Metadata Research Center, Drexel University College of Computing and Informatics

Reviews of earlier editions