Main menu

The 4th Editions: 2016

Preface to the 4th Edition


Updated for 2016

The 4th edition of this award-winning and widely adopted text adds content to bridge between the foundations of organizing systems and the new statistical and computational techniques of data science because at its core, data science is about how resources are described and organized. The 4th edition reframes descriptive statistics as organizing techniques, expands the treatment of classification to include computational methods, and incorporates many new examples of data-driven resource selection, organization, maintenance, and personalization.

New sections and sidebars include:

  • The Distinction between Data and Information
  • Data Science and the Discipline of Organizing
  • The Concept of “Interaction Resource”
  • Organizing With Descriptive Statistics
  • Exploratory Analysis to Understand Data
  • Resource Description for Sensemaking and Science
  • Sensemaking and Organizing
  • Geometric Distance Functions
  • Implementing Categories Defined by Probability and Similarity
  • Rule-based Decision Trees
  • Probabilistic Decision Trees
  • Finding Friends and Dates: Lessons for Learning Categories
  • Statistical Bias and Variance

The Professional edition remains the definitive source for advanced students and practitioners who require comprehensive and pinpoint connections to the classic and contemporary literature about organizing. Dozens of new citations and endnotes for the new data science material bring to 12 the number of distinct disciplinary perspectives identified in the book.

As before, the Core Concepts edition is an abridged version that is simpler to read because it does not tempt the reader with the deep scholarly web of endnotes contained in the Professional edition. Instead, it seeks to reinforce the concepts and design patterns with numerous "Stop and Think" exercises, and omits some of the theoretical nuance of the Professional edition to put more emphasis on concrete examples.

The Informatics edition contains all the new content related to data science, but omits the discipline-specific content about library science, museums, and document archives.


Customized for Teaching

Instructors can also access our shared Teaching Materials — including classroom exercises, assignments, and other pedagogical resources — online at any time. (Registration is required to access these materials — please contact us to request access.)

Buy the 4th Edition (bundle of ebook and PDF formats)

The new editions are available at oreilly.com

Prospective instructors may contact us to request advance copies for lesson planning.

Buy the Third Edition (ebooks and PDF)

If you're not ready to upgrade to the new editions yet, the third editions are still available at oreilly.com:

s2Member®