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FIT5106 Information organisation - Semester 2, 2014

This unit develops understanding of the fundamental principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures. It deals with standards governing description, distribution and access to information locally and globally cataloguing, indexing, thesaurus construction, classification and metadata for knowledge discovery. It examines the effects of economic, social and technological factors on the development of bibliographic networks and cataloguing operations. Practical sessions deal with the use of major bibliographic tools, schemes and systems for information organisation.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Caulfield (Off-campus)

Workload Requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • One 2-hour laboratory

(b.) Study schedule for off-campus students:

  • Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours independent study per week for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

Additional workload requirements

8 hours of weekly independent study usually consists of the following:

• 5 hours of practical work and assignment preparation
• 3 hours of assigned reading and reviewing weekly class materials.

Unit Relationships



Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Tom Denison

Consultation hours: Tuesdays 2.00 - 4.00, or by appointment. Email to arrange a time to meet or to talk via telephone or skype.

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. The University’s student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash’s educational strategy, see:

www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see: www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Previous feedback has highlighted the overall quality of the unit and that the assessment tasks, levels of engagement and feedback on performance are very good. Student feedback suggested that, while overall performance was rated good, the practical work was a little weaker than other aspects. In response to this, the second assignment has been revised.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students should be able to:
  • explain the key principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures;
  • apply standard cataloguing, classification, indexing, thesaurus construction, and knowledge discovery metadata schemes and tools;
  • explain the guiding principles behind bibliographic utilities/networks;
  • use bibliographic software; and
  • design systems for organising information and facilitating access to information resources in physical collections or digital/web-based repositories.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to FIT5106 Information Organisation Details of Assignment 1 provided
2 Lecture: Introduction to the metadata frameworks, models and policies; Lab/Tute: Introduction to Case Study  
3 Lecture: Metadata schemes; Lab/Tute: Metadata model exercises  
4 Lecture: Metadata schemes; Lab/Tute: Metadata scheme exercises  
5 Lecture: Metadata encoding schemes and tools; Lab/Tute: Metadata scheme exercises  
6 Lecture: Metadata encoding schemes and tools, Linked Open Data; Lab/Tute: Metadata encoding scheme exercises  
7 Lecture: Managing research datasets; Lab/Tute: Metadata tools exercises Assignment 1 due during Week 7 Tutorial
8 Lecture: Resource description and access; Lab/Tute: Managing research datasets Details of Assignment 2 provided
9 Lecture: Resource description and access. Applying rules for selecting access points. MARC records. Authority files; Lab/Tute: RDA and MARC exercises  
10 Lecture: Library schemas: Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC); Lab/Tute: RDA and MARC exercises. Selecting access points and authority files exercises  
11 Lecture: Library schemas: Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH); Lab/Tute: LCSH exercises Assignment 2 due during Week 11 Tutorial
12 Lecture: Managing information organisation processes (workflows; insourcing and outsourcing; the role of networks; economic considerations); Lab/Tute: The role of metadata  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning. 

Delivery of the unit involves two hours of lectures per week, covering the theory and practice of information organisation, and a two-hour tutorial/lab session where students undertake practical exercises. 

Off-campus students can access the lecture recording (audio with synchronised slides) via Monash University Lectures Online (MULO), and will have special weekly activities and interactive sessions in lieu of the on campus tutorials.

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 - Metadata Record 25% (includes 10% class participation) Week 7 Tutorial
Assignment 2 - Managing Research Datasets 25% (includes 5% class participation) Week 11 Tutorial
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 - Metadata Record
    This assignment involves the development of a Metadata Record for a resource to be included in an Online Portal. Components of the Metadata Record will be developed in class exercises and combined together into the submitted assignment. The class exercises will be undertaken in the Tutorial/Laboratory by on-campus students, and via Moodle by off-campus students.
    25% (includes 10% class participation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Class participation in exercises relating to the development of the Metadata Record (in Tutorials/Laboratories by on-campus students and via Moodle by off-campus students) is an assessable component of this Assignment.

    More details of assessment criteria will be advised in separate assignment handouts available via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Week 7 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 - Managing Research Datasets
    This assignment explores the growing need to manage research datasets, including the development of suitable metadata frameworks for specific disciplines and the issues involved in designing those frameworks. It involves a presentation in class as well as a hard copy version of the presentation. Alternative guidelines will be provided for off-campus students.
    25% (includes 5% class participation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment will be based on how well the information explored is presented and documented.

    More details of assessment criteria will be advised in separate assignment handouts available via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Week 11 Tutorial


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List (if applicable to the unit)

Faculty of Information Technology Style Guide

Feedback to you

Examination/other end-of-semester assessment feedback may take the form of feedback classes, provision of sample answers or other group feedback after official results have been published. Please check with your lecturer on the feedback provided and take advantage of this prior to requesting individual consultations with staff. If your unit has an examination, you may request to view your examination script booklet, see http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/procedures/request-to-view-exam-scripts.html

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:

  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

More information about referencing will be provided in the detailed instructions relating to each assignment.

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Recommended Resources

Students will be given access to online resources including the Library of Congress's The Cataloger's Desktop and Classification Web, and to WebDewey. Access to other resources will be provided as needed.

Recommended text(s)

Hider, Philip, with Harvey, Ross. (2008). Organising knowledge in a global society. (Rev. Edition) Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University (ISBN: 978 1876938 67 3).

Examination material or equipment

Details will be provided via the Unit Moodle website.

Other Information


Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at: www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

Key educational policies include:

Faculty resources and policies

Important student resources including Faculty policies are located at http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student Charter

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

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