Islamic Information and Documentation Center
Islamic Information and Documentation Center isdependent on Islamic Sciences and Culture Institute which is dependent onIslamic Propagation Office of Qom Seminary. The Center works on many fields as its duty like Digital Library, Islamic software, Databanks, Websites, But the mostprominent mission occupied its attention is “Comprehensive thesaurus of Islamic sciences”, concerning the organizing and systematizing the Islamic sciences.
Comprehensive Thesaurus of
1) Comprehensive thesaurus of Islamic sciences, the urgent need.
The victory of Islamic revolution of Iran, the introduction of Pure Islam as the religion of both this and the next world, theemergence of religion in the field of action and socio-political arena and theremarkable turn toward Islam on behalf of thinkers and scholars andtheir expectations from the Islamic government to present the true face of Islam, allprompted the distinguished scholars of "Islamic theological centers" toorganize and systematize the Islamic sciences using modern technology and to takefundamental steps in the way of developing the production of Islamic informationand the management of religious sciences.
It is worth mentioning that since the 1360s\1980s Islamic theological centershave taken appropriate measures towards these noble ends by participating indomestic and international conferences and exhibitions, producing magazines,books, software, databanks and computer networks. They have also in mind the taskof training human resources through establishing academic educational and researchcourses within the framework of universities and research centers, publishingscholarly works, academic and researchmagazines, teaching such foreign languagesas Arabic, English and French.
As result we are now witnessing some 200 educational and research centers anddatabanks, along with tens of internet and intranet sites, hundreds of computersoftware and the publication of hundreds of books and tens of periodicals annually.The extent of information production in the field of religion, the establishmentof different institutes, various libraries, the compilation and publication ofencyclopedias, great team projects, the creation of academic associations all oneside, and the expectations of others particularly those of academic and culturalpersonalities and men of thought, and the abundance of existing questions withrespect to Islam on the other, all would demand the growing need to organizereligious information. For the realization of this enterprise, there-was an urgentneedfor a comprehensive thesaurus of Islamic sciences.
2) Macrothesaurus by Islamic Propagation Office
The Islamic Propagation Office as the greatest academic and propagation instituteof the Islamic theological center of Qom, with more than 30 years of experience in the fieldsof educational, research and communication activities, and with the support ofmore than 700 scholarsand researchers, and some faculties in the Baqer-ul-uloumInstitute for Advanced Studies, the Research Institute for Islamic Science andCulture, and the board of writers for fifteen general and specialized publicationswell recognized this urgent need and proposed to compile acomprehensivemacrothesaurus of Islamic science. In this way it began this enterprise by formingspecialized groups, consulting with distinguished professors of the field andappointing advisors and supervisors in specialized branches of Islamic sciences andthus began to make a procedure on the basis of ISO 2788, and finally began theproject in 1371/1992.
In the below we draw readers attention to the objectives,policies and some salient features of the sort of activities taken on in this regardthat are much importance:
1.Introducing the academic structure of Islamic sciences;
2.Explaining and drawing the semantic system of the terminology ofIslamic sciences and showing the strong structure in its different branches;
3.Re-ordering and reviving Islamic thinking by utilizing new techniquesand technology;
4. Helping to strengthen and develop the Islamic sciences by compiling thecomprehensive thesaurus of Islamic sciences (classification, organizationand management of information of Islamic sciences).
1. Attempts to realize a system of organizing Islamic data in an up to datemanner with the use of modern technology.
2. Focusing on the educated audience, experts, and scholars of bothuniversities and Islamic theological centers in the first place and generalreaders in the second.
3. Making use of scientific methods and international standards in thisdomain.
4. Popularizing the use of the Islamic thesauruses in information scienceand technology.
5. Moving toward designing the specialized-structural databanks on thebasis of these thesauruses.
6. Seeking new and proper ways for systematic production of Islamic dataand presenting them in a proper manner.
7. Communications with thinkers, scholars and men of culture and makinguse of their achievement.
8. Welcoming collaboration and cooperation with other research centersand institutes to avoid any repetition.
The notable activities performedto realize the determined ends:
1. Compilation of a specialized thesaurus of the Islamic sciences.
2. Giving the original references for the terms compiled with theconsultation of reliable sources and academic authorities.
C) Published Works:
1) The compilation and publication of An Introduction to thesaurus ofIslamic sciences using ISO 2788 standard, UNESCO thesaurus and Ericthesaurus (1372\1992- 1375\1995). This book provides the scholars withnecessary guidelines to the principles and rules to compile themacrothesaurus of Islamic sciences.
2) Specialized microthesauruses:
1. Thesaurus of Quranic sciences which covers more than 9321Quranicterms in three methods: alphabetical, topic-based and hierarchical.
2.Thesaurus of Islamic philosophy Itcovers the whole range of Islamic philosophy containing some 51698 terms (peripatetic,Illuminationist and the transcendent theosophy) and is presentedalphabetically.
3.Thesaurus the Roots of fiqhIt containingsome 6072 terms. It has been presented in three alphabetical,topic-based and hierarchical displays: the first presents each termalphabetically along with its a priori relationships with other terms. Intopic-based display one can find all the related terms
4.Thesaurus of logic. It containing 6531 terms. It is also compiled and publishedin three afore-mentioned methods.
5.Thesaurus of Islamic theology. It contains17227 terms. It has also arranged in threeabove methods.
6.Thesaurus of Islamic ethics. It contains 6951 terms.Like other thesaurus it is arranged in three forms of alphabetical,topic-based and hierarchical classification.
7.Thesaurus of hadith sciences. It contains 7439 terms and more than 22000 propernames which due to their specific interrelationships amount to 30100.
8. Thesaurus of Fiqh (jurisprudence). Itcontains over 51698 termsin 40 legal subjects are extracted.
3) Common points
In compiling the specialized thesauruses there were key words that could not bespecifically contained in any of the related thesaurus. Also in indexing there wereterms which are not regarded as technical ones in the field of Islamic sciences.These words are determined and arranged in required categories for the sake ofimproving the indexing of related terms.they are classified in the following types:
1. General terms;
2. Proper nouns:
2.1 Individual people;
2.2 Corporate bodies or identifiers (names of Institute, centers,etc.);
2.3Geographical and place names.
4) Process of compilationand publication
The most important works performed here are as follows:
1. Choosing the faculties, advisors and supervisors and designing theorganizational structure of a center required for this task;
2. Deciding on the compiling procedure and establishing institutions andworkshops for the standardization of the thesaurus;
3. Designing the structure of comprehensive thesauruses-both general andspecialized- and the related descriptive and explanatory dictionaries;
4. Papering and arranging the sources of information on proper nouns,places etc.
5. Publishing the thesaurus with references;
6. Providing an electronic edition;
7. Designing data banks for a systemized version of sciences on the basisof vast information materials produced in the Islamic theological centers particularly the Islamic Propagation Office;
8. Taking measures in dissemination of Islamic culture and providingservices to research centers as well as individual scholars;
9. Updating religious information in the form of a thesaurus of Islamicsciences;
10. Codification of the thesaurus on the basis of logical order;
11. Holding sessions to critically review the compiled thesaurus andattempts to complete and update them;
12. Communications with publications centers and religious sites to use thethesaurus of Islamic sciences in subject indexing.
5) The Characteristics of the thesaurus of Islamic sciences:
1. It is the first Islamic macrothesaurus to cover exhaustively the Islamicsciences.
2.The terms are based on UNESCO ISO2788 standard which is praised ina letter of recognition by The Iranian National Commission of IJNESCO.
3.Presentation of general structure\ layout of every branch of Islamicsciences on the basis of standard ideas.
4.Deploying the topic-based and hierarchical methods on the basis of thesemantic relationship.
5.Deriving the related terms from main sources and references of eachdiscipline.
6.Having the support of well qualified consultants especially the religiousexperts and specialists
7. Subjects spanning 13specialized branches of Islamic sciences with over170000 terms. Also there are numerous checklists for the thesaurus of propernouns, Identifiers and general terms.
8. Documentation of all terms with reference to authentic sources.
9. Providing an exhaustive specialized dictionary for each branch.
10. The possibility of contextualizingthe terms with multimedia software.
11. The possibility of different types of search; verbal, conjunctive andsynthetic along with the capacity of adding extra material.
12. The possibility of interrelationship of specialized dictionaries and thehierarchical structure of specialized thesauruses.
13. The possibility of storing and regaining of Islamic data in hierarchicallevels.
1. Standardization of the Islamic terminology and updating them for themanagement of Islamic sciences
2.Institutionalization of thesauruses and standardization of classifyingterminology on the basis of them
3 . Providing multilingual versions of specialized thesauruses
4. Establishment of a digital library based on the thesaurus (some measureswere taken in its design and it is now in process).
5.Establishment of a center for academic records and documents in thefield of religion in accordance with the thesaurus method. Initial planshave been made but the continuation of work demands more support andnecessary funds.
6.Providing software of the macrothesaurus of Islamic sciences for easyaccess to the contexts of the related terms.
7) Obstacles and difficulties
1.Although it is possible to relate terms to the related texts through an E-edition, it is a masterpiece that demands the on-going work with requiredsupport and funds.
2.Formatting and digitalizing the information is beyond the capacity of onecenter and it calls for the support and collaboration of other centers aswell.
3.Indexing and updating the texts of different sorts
4.Persuading all organizations, and research centers to completely observethe required standards.
5.The initial versions of software for both loading and regaininginformation is made and issued for the public. New versions of them arealso being made, but the present possibilities do not satisfy thisenterprise and here also we need the support and the cooperation of otherexperts and centers.
6.Exact observance of all universal rules and principles of compilingthesaurus in view of the extent of Islamic sciences, the complexity ofterminology and the variety of ideas of authorities in defining relatedterms
With hope to witness the growth and expansion of the Islamicthesaurus on the international front.
Islamic Republic (IR)of IranQum, Shuhada Street, Moallem Avenue, Islamic Information and Documentation Center (DaftareTablighateIslami, MarkazeEttelaatvaMadarek-e Islami)
Tel. +9825371160, +982537833905
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