The term became popular in LIS in the middle of the 1970s due to arguments put forward by the linguist William John Hutchins (cf. Hutchins, 1975, 1977, 1978). Hutchins found that "aboutness" was to be preferred to "subject" because it removed some epistemological problems. Hjørland (1992), 1997) argued however, that the same epistemological problems also are present in Hutchins proposal, why "aboutness" and "subject" should be considered synonymous.
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Campbell, G. (2000b). Queer theory and the creation of contextual subject access tools for gay and lesbian communities. Knowledge Organization, 27(3), 122-131.
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Hjørland, B. (1992). The Concept of "Subject" in Information Science. Journal of Documentation, 48(2), 172-200. Click for full-text PDF
Hjørland, B. (1997): Information Seeking and Subject Representation. An Activity-theoretical approach to Information Science. Westport & London: Greenwood Press.
Hjørland, B. (2001). Towards a theory of aboutness, subject, topicality, theme, domain, field, content. . . and relevance. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 52(9), 774–778.
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Hutchins, W. J. (1977). On the Problem of "Aboutness" in Document Analysis. Journal of Informatics, 1, 17-35.
Hutchings, W. J. (1978). The concept of "aboutness" in subject indexing. Aslib Proceedings, 30, 172-181.
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Putnam, H. (1958). Formalization of the concept “about.” Philosophy of Science 25(2), 125-130.
Ryle, G. (1933). “About.” Analysis 1(1): 10-11.
Salem, Shawky: Towards "coring" and "aboutness": an approach to some aspects of in-depth indexing. Journal of Information Science principles & practice, 1982, 4, 167-170.
Swift, D. F., Winn, V. & Bramer, D. (1978). "Aboutness" as a strategy for retrieval in the social sciences. Aslib Proceedings, 30, 182-187.
Thalheimer, R. (1936). More about “about.” Analysis 3(3): 46-48.