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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Seminar in Information Science - Subject Analysis
INFO 287

  • Spring 2023
  • Section 12
  • 1 Unit(s)
  • 04/12/2023 to 05/10/2023
  • Modified 05/22/2023

Canvas Information: Courses will be available April 12th, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Dr. Sylvia Hall-Ellis
Other contact information: 720-387-6585 (mobile)
Office location: virtual office (Zoom)
Office Hours: arranged by appointment

Course Information

This 1-unit course runs from April 12th - May 10th.

Course Description and Requisites

Application of cataloging and organization of information principles to multi- and hypermedia resources, complex serial publications, evolving standards for representation of nontraditional networked information, and cataloging policy development (SJSU Official Description). This course provides an overview of the principles and framework in Resource Description and Access (RDA) for subject analysis of print, non-print, and electronic materials using standard subject heading lists, thesauri, taxonomies, and folksonomies. Focuses on the challenges of bibliographic database building and maintenance as the community of practice interacts with the new cataloging rules and data-sharing environment.


INFO 200, other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Classroom Protocols


Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

Program Information

Course Workload

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group; contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Goals

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes) Supported

INFO 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Gain the ability to perform subject analysis for both print and electronic resources, integrating resources, sound recordings, videos, and other selected non-print resources.
  2. Select and/or create subject heading authority records according to national cataloging guidelines.
  3. Become more efficient in using LC subject headings, thesauri, taxonomies, folksonomies, Dewey Decimal Classification and the Library of Congress Classification systems for resources cataloging.
  4. Discuss current developments and possible future directions in cataloging.
  5. Gain the ability to evaluate cataloging operations to provide efficient solutions to issues and problems.

Course Materials


Required Textbooks:

  • Moulaison, H., & Wiechert, R. (2015). Crash course in basic cataloging with RDA. Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1440837767

Course Requirements and Assignments

Late Assignments

Students are expected to meet deadlines for assignments or class projects. Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor. Incomplete grades will not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation will be required in cases of medical or health emergencies.

Grading Information

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100A
94 to 96A minus
91 to 93B plus
88 to 90B
85 to 87B minus
82 to 84C plus
79 to 81C
76 to 78C minus
73 to 75D plus
70 to 72D
67 to 69D minus
Below 67F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9 (PDF), relevant university policy concerning all courses, such as student responsibilities, academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. and available student services (e.g. learning assistance, counseling, and other resources) are listed on the Syllabus Information web page. Make sure to visit this page to review and be aware of these university policies and resources.

Course Schedule

Expectation Title CLOs Supported Weight Due Date
Assignment 1 Strategies and Techniques to Express "Aboutness" Paper 2,3,4 22% 4/18/2023
Assignment 2 Tools for subject analysis 2,3,5 22% 4/25/2023
Assignment 3 Subject headings in bibliographic description 2,3,5 22% 5/2/2023
Assignment 4 Using classification for subject access 1,5 22% 5/9/2023
Participation     12% Throughout