By sylvie | April 24, 2007
I’ve noticed a new development at my favourite academic article social tagging web site, CiteULike: Richard has added “subjects” to the way you can describe an article, subjects being the article’s scientific domain. There are 15 in the dropdown menu that CiteULike provides:
- Agriculture/Food sciences
- Arts and Humanities
- Biology/Life sciences
- Computer and Information sciences
- Earth and Environmental sciences
- Economics and Business
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Philosophy/Linguistics (really? I would never have put those two together)
- Social sciences
As usual, this kind of categorization scheme leaves me in a quandary as to how to describe the human-computer interaction papers I read/write. Is it computer science? Is it psychology? It gets even more complicated when you add the computer-supported cooperative work research: it’s about groups, so it must be social sciences, but it’s about small group interactions, and that’s studied in psychology as well, but it’s about small groups interacting through computers, so it must be computer science. Right?
I don’t want to put down CiteULike for offering this new classification scheme. I think it’s a great idea in general and may help people find articles in their research domain. It’s just that for hybrid sciences like HCI that haven’t yet achieved enough status to get their own category, it can be frustrating to try to shoehorn our research into these pre-existing categories.
Personally, I would love to see HCI considered as separate from computer science and psychology, but I guess that will take a few more years to achieve.