ClassificationEnglishGeneralLibrary Science

Advantages and disadvantage of UDC (Universal Decimal Classification)

Advantages of UDC Classification scheme:


  1. Since UDC is a general scheme of classification, it covers the whole field of human knowledge. The process of dividing a class into ten subclasses is carried to the required degree of specificity. The required degree of detail is achieved with the help of commonand special auxiliaries. The resultant subject description is of utmost precision.
  2. Due to the UDC’s incredibly flexible disposition it naturally lends itself to conversion in a digital computer format.
  3. The UDC like the DDC has been published in Full, Abridged, and Web formats.
  4. The UDC lends itself very well to applications in other languages and scripts. Its notation overcomes all language and provides world wide use.
  5. Due to its versatility it can be utilized in multiple fields including museums, archives, libraries, and in documentation.
  6. Due to its abbreviated nature and vocabulary it is easily updated and enables worldwide standardized indexing.
  7. It is easier to manipulate the UDC to accommodate advances in knowledge because of greater scope for creating new synthesized numbers for concepts or simply inserting a new number asrequired without the need to reach general editorial agreement.UDC
  8. Its notation consists of numerals and signs, which are understood internationally. The decimal notation allows maximum hospitality for the admission of new terms.
  9. It forms a carefully organized and comprehensive vocabulary of terms (in its index) for indexing and retrieval. It may be used as a thesaurus.
  10. It is ideally suited to special libraries, as its full edition contains subject schedules of minute description. Special subject editions are also ‘separately available. The medium edition can take care of almost all subjects.

Disadvantages of UDC Scheme:

  1. The notation often tends to be long and appears clumsy. As a result, its use on the shelves becomes difficult.
  2. User participation in revision has created unevenness in the scheme at places. It also delays revision of schedules until they become out of date.
  3. The UDC lacks conformity and exhibits a lack of uniformity across libraries that use it.
  4. The UDC is uneven in its coverage of modern topics and some of the expansions of UDCare too detailed.

References: (This document is collected from materials available from online/web and organize here for LIS students)

  1. RAJU (AA N). Universal decimal classification (IME-1993): Theory and practice: A self instructional manual. 2007. Ess Ess Publications; New Delhi. p-4- 9
  2. SARDANA (JL) and SEHGAL (RL). Universal decimal classification: Structure and methodology. 1983. Ess Ess Publication; New Delhi. p 1.
  3. KRISHAN KUMAR. Theory of classification. 1993. Vikas Publishing; New Delhi. p1.
  4. SHARMA (C D). Use of libraries: A guide to better use of libraries and their resources. 1978. Metropolitan Book; New Delhi. p-120.
  5. SHARMA (C D). Op. cit., p 121.
  6. KRISHAN KUMAR. Op. cit., p 4.
  7. INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY (IGNOU). Unit 2: Needand purpose of library classification. IGNOU; New Delhi. p 26.
  8. DUTTA (Dwijendranath). Library classification: Theory and practice. 1962. The Western Book Depot; Nagpur. p 48.
  9. RAJU (Addepali Appala Narasimha). Dewey decimal classification (DDC 20): Theory and practice: A practical and self instructional manual. 1995. T.R. Publications; Madras. p 4.
  10. CHOWDHURY (G G). Introduction to modern information retrieval. Ed. 3. 2004. Facet Publishing; London. p 89.

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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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