2.2. Selecting Resources

When we talk about organizing systems, we often do so in terms of the contents of their collections. This implies that the most fundamental decision for an organizing system is determining its resource domain, the group or type of resources that are being organized. This decision is usually a constraint, not a choice; we acquire or encounter some resources that we need to interact with over time, and we need to organize them so we can do that effectively.

Selecting is the process by which resources are identified, evaluated, and then added to a collection in an organizing system. Selection is first shaped by the domain and then by the scope of the organizing system, which can be analyzed through six interrelated aspects:

  1. the number and nature of users

  2. the time span or lifetime over which the organizing system is expected to operate

  3. the size of the collection

  4. the expected changes to the collection

  5. the physical or technological environment in which the organizing system is situated or implemented

  6. the relationship of the organizing system to other ones that overlap with it in domain or scope.

(In Chapter 10, “The Organizing System Roadmap, we discuss these six aspects in more detail.)

2.2.1. Selecting {and, or, vs.} Organizing

Many types of resources are inevitably evaluated one-at-a-time. It is impossible to specify in advance every property or criterion that might be considered in making a selection decision, especially for unique or rare resources like those being ...

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