The Taxobook: Principles and Practices of Building Taxonomies, Part 2 of a 3-Part Series

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Morgan & Claypool Publishers, Nov 1, 2014 - Computers - 164 pages
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This book outlines the basic principles of creation and maintenance of taxonomies and thesauri. It also provides step by step instructions for building a taxonomy or thesaurus and discusses the various ways to get started on a taxonomy construction project. Often, the first step is to get management and budgetary approval, so I start this book with a discussion of reasons to embark on the taxonomy journey. From there I move on to a discussion of metadata and how taxonomies and metadata are related, and then consider how, where, and why taxonomies are used. Information architecture has its cornerstone in taxonomies and metadata. While a good discussion of information architecture is beyond the scope of this work, I do provide a brief discussion of the interrelationships among taxonomies, metadata, and information architecture. Moving on to the central focus of this book, I introduce the basics of taxonomies, including a definition of vocabulary control and why it is so important, how indexing and tagging relate to taxonomies, a few of the types of tagging, and a definition and discussion of post- and pre-coordinate indexing. After that I present the concept of a hierarchical structure for vocabularies and discuss the differences among various kinds of controlled vocabularies, such as taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, and ontologies. Once you have a green light for your project, what is the next step? Here I present a few options for the first phase of taxonomy construction and then a more detailed discussion of metadata and markup languages. I believe that it is important to understand the markup languages (SGML and XML specifically, and HTML to a lesser extent) in relation to information structure, and how taxonomies and metadata feed into that structure. After that, I present the steps required to build a taxonomy, from defining the focus, collecting and organizing terms, analyzing your vocabulary for even coverage over subject areas, filling in gaps, creating relationships between terms, and applying those terms to your content. Here I offer a cautionary note: don’t believe that your taxonomy is “done!” Regular, scheduled maintenance is an important—critical, really—component of taxonomy construction projects. After you’ve worked through the steps in this book, you will be ready to move on to integrating your taxonomy into the workflow of your organization. This is covered in Book 3 of this series. Table of Contents: List of Figures / Preface / Acknowledgments / Building a Case for Building a Taxonomy / Taxonomy Basics / Getting Started / Terms: The Building Blocks of a Taxonomy / Building the Structure of Your Taxonomy / Evaluation and Maintenance / Standards and Taxonomies / Glossary / End Notes / Author Biography
 

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Contents

Building a Case for Building a Taxonomy
1
Taxonomy Basics
13
Getting Started
49
The Building Blocks of a Taxonomy
55
Building the Structure of Your Taxonomy
75
Evaluation and Maintenance
93
Standards and Taxonomies
105
Glossary
117
End Notes
131
Author Biography
139
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About the author (2014)

Marjorie M.K. Hlava and her team have worked with or built over 600 controlled vocabularies. Their experience is shared with you in this book. Margie is well known internationally for her work in the implementation of information science principles and the ever-evolving technology that supports them. She and the team at Access Innovations have provided the "back room" operations for many information-related organizations over the last 40 years. Margie is very active in the main organizations concerned with those areas. She has served as president of NFAIS (the National Federation of Advanced Information Services); that organization awarded her the Anne Marie Cunningham Memorial Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service to the Federation in 2012, as well as the Miles Conrad lectureship in 2014. She has also served as president of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), which has awarded her the prestigious Watson Davis Award and their top honor, the ASIS&T Award of Merit. She has served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Special Libraries Association (SLA); SLA has honored her with their President's Award for her work in standards and has made her a Fellow of the SLA for her many other services within the organization. More recently, she served as the founding chair of SLA's Taxonomy Division.

For five years, Margie was on the Board of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and she continues to serve on the Content and Collaboration Standards Topic Committee for NISO. She has also held numerous committee positions in these and other organizations. She convened the workshop leading to the ANSI/NISO thesaurus standard NISO Z39.19-2005, and was a member of the standards committee for its writing. She also acted as liaison to the British Standards Institute controlled vocabulary standards group to ensure that the U.S. and British standards would be compatible.

Margie is the founder and president of Access Innovations, Inc., which has been honored with many awards, including recognition several times by KMWorld Magazine as one of 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management and as a Trend-Setting Product Company, as well as by EContent Magazine as one of 100 Companies That Matter Most in the Digital Content Industry. The company's information management services include thesaurus and taxonomy creation. Under Margie's guidance, Access Innovations has developed the Data HarmonyŽ line of software for content creation, taxonomy management, and automated categorization for portals and data collections. The Data Harmony Suite is protected by two patents, numbers 6898586 and 8046212, and 21 patent claims. Her recognition of the value of automatic code suggestion forthe medical industry led to the founding of Access Integrity and its Medical Claims Compliance system.

Margie's primary areas of research include automated indexing, thesaurus development, taxonomy creation, natural language processing, machine translations, and computer aided indexing. She has authored more than 200 published articles on these subjects. At industry and association meetings, she has given numerous workshops and presentations on thesaurus and taxonomy creation and maintenance.

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