This book focuses on the clarification of what actually a handbook is, the systematic identification of what ought to be considered as "settled knowledge" (extracted from historic repositories) for inclusion into such a handbook, and the "assembly" of such identified knowledge into a form which is fit for the purpose and conforms to the formal characteristics of handbooks as a "literary genre". For many newly emerging domains or disciplines, for which no handbook with normative authority has yet been defined, the question arises of how to do this systematically and in a non-arbitrary manner.
This book is the first to reflect upon the question of how to construct a desktop handbook. It is demonstrated how concept analysis can be used for identifying settled knowledge as the key ingredient by utilizing the assembled data for classification; a presentation scheme for handbook articles is developed and demonstrated to be suitable. The sketched approach is then illustrated by an example from the railway safety domain. Finally, the limitations of the presented methods are discussed.
The key contribution of this book is the (example illustrated) construction method itself, not the handbook, which would result from a highly detailed and thoroughly comprehensive application of the method.
I Part I : Background.- 1Introduction and Motivation.- 2Related Work.- Part II : Analysis.- 3A General Method for Composing an Engineering HB.- 4Application of the General Method to the Railway Domain.- Part III : Synthesis.- 5Example HB Entry of a Formal Method for the Railway Domain - Step 6.- 6Conclusions and Prospects for Future Work.