Crowdsourcing Funds to Preserve Language

May 5, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) has cataloged vernacular terms and idioms from around the country since it was founded in the early 1960s, Sadly, their funding is coming up empty. Previously funded by various grants, including endowments from the National Endoment for the Humanities, the project will run out of money this summer. The Huffington Post brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Dictionary Of American Regional English Threatened By Lack Of Funding.”

Anna Lewis, a librarian at the project’s home institution, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has launched a GoFundMe in response to the situation. But with an annual budget of $525,000, DARE’s needs are unlikely to be met by crowdfunding.

Personally, I enjoy the charming language you can find in the Dictionary of American Regional English. It is a nice counterpart to Webster’s and will be missed if funding isn’t resolved.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Referencing the Data

May 4, 2015  
Posted in metadata, News, reference

TopQuadrant has released TopBraid Reference Data Manager™ (TopBraid RDM) to bring consistency and accuracy to reference data management. DATAVERSITY brought us this news in their article, “TopQuadrant Launches TopBraid Reference Data Manager.”

Reference data is found in practically every enterprise application including back-end systems, front-end commerce applications, and in data warehouses. Despite its value at turning other data into meaningful business information, it is rarely managed well. Since reference data is the most widely shared class of data in an enterprise, the impacts of not managing it well are broad and far reaching. TopBraid RDM helps enterprises to achieve consistency in their reference data and avoid costly mistakes.

It is important to have a comprehensive search feature and quality indexing against a standards-based taxonomy. Choose the right partner in technology, especially when your content is in their hands. Access Innovations is known as a leader in database production, standards development, and creating and applying taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.


Revolution in the Reference Section

April 30, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

Drama in the archival world? Who would have thought? You may have heard about the two archivists at the University of Oregon who handed over close to 22,000 school records to an economics professor just for the asking. One archivist has since resigned. The remaining archivist was recently placed on administrative leave. There is a petition going to reinstate him, and more than 100 University of Oregon professors have signed. This interesting information came from Fierce Content Management in their article, “The side of records management we rarely see.

The petition declared that university managers have failed to manage records properly and to give librarians enough resources to handle them, and that the archivist on paid administrative leave had actually helped to fix a longstanding, ‘deplorable’ records situation, and should not be fired.

This shows a side of recordkeeping that’s rarely seen. Records management is a vital component of organizations that’s rarely given much thought until things go wrong.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Enterprise Architecture Professional Sought

April 21, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

To be as helpful as possible to those in the fields of taxonomy, indexing, ontology, etc., we are sharing career opportunities that we find with our readers. Even if you are not in the market for a career move, it is always good to stay on top of what is available and how the fields are evolving.

Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas is looking for a Managing Director – Enterprise Architecture. In this position you will join key technology decision makers, including, but not limited to, business and technology leaders, architects, designers, tech leads, and project managers. The Enterprise Architecture team is critical to making effective trade-off decisions between competing project or architectural proposals, or assessing different projects. Applications can be submitted here if you are interested.

If you are looking to change positions, good luck on your search.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary Input Invited

April 16, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

The National Agriculture Library is seeking your input on their Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary. The thesaurus and glossary were first released by the National Agricultural Library in 2002.

Primarily used for indexing and for improving retrieval of agricultural information, the thesaurus was originally prepared to meet the needs of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Currently, the thesaurus is the indexing vocabulary for the National Agricultural Library’s bibliographic database of citations to agricultural resources, AGRICOLA.

In 2007, the National Agricultural Library and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture collaborated to develop the Spanish version of the NAL AgriculturalThesaurus and Glossary, named Tesauro Agrícola y Glosario.

Proposals will be considered for the 2016 edition if received by October 1, 2015.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Thumbing Through Thesauri

April 14, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

The International Labour Organization (ILO) makes available a number of excellent resources in the field of occupational safety and health. This interesting information came from the blog, From Words to Deeds, in their post, “ILO glossary, thesaurus & legislation database.

It is nice to know that resources of this kind are available for those seeking this information. One of the resources includes a glossary that includes terms in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish.

The important thing to remember is ensuring that thesauri have findability. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies that practice ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliancy.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

A Short Roundup of Recent Taxonomy Books

April 13, 2015  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, reference, Taxonomy

© Nasir1164 | – 3d People Around Books Photo

Over the past couple of decades, the field of knowledge organization systems (such as taxonomies and thesauri) has matured. This maturation has led KOS experts to write books that consolidate and share the theories, insights, and techniques that have emerged. Below is a roundup of some of the more recent books in the area of taxonomies and related knowledge organization systems.

The Taxobook

One of the most recent books, published as a trio of monographs, is The Taxobook, written by Access Innovations President Marjorie Hlava and published by Morgan & Claypool Publishers. TaxoDiary recently had a blog post about The Taxobook. We’ll reiterate the summary:

Volume 1, The Taxobook: History, Theories, and Concepts of Knowledge Organization, introduces the foundations of classification, covering theories from the ancient Greek philosophers to modern thinkers. This volume also includes a glossary that covers all three volumes.

Volume 2, The Taxobook: Principles and Practices of Taxonomy Construction, 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.

Volume 3, The Taxobook: Applications, Implementation, and Integration in Search, covers putting taxonomies into use in as many ways as possible to maximize retrieval for users.

The Accidental Taxonomist

This book, by well-known taxonomy expert Heather Hedden, was published by Information Today Inc. in 2010. Here’s the publisher’s summary:

The Accidental Taxonomist is the most comprehensive guide available to the art and science of building information taxonomies. Heather Hedden—one of today’s leading writers, instructors, and consultants on indexing and taxonomy topics—walks readers through the process, displaying her trademark ability to present highly technical information in straightforward, comprehensible English.

Drawing on numerous real-world examples, Hedden explains how to create terms and relationships, select taxonomy management software, design taxonomies for human versus automated indexing, manage enterprise taxonomy projects, and adapt taxonomies to various user interfaces. The result is a practical and essential guide for information professionals who need to effectively create or manage taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and thesauri. 

Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies: Terminologies for Art, Architecture, and Other Cultural Works 

This book, originally published in 2010 by J. Paul Getty and revised in 2013, focuses on controlled vocabularies for the world of museums and cultural studies. Author Patricia Harpring is managing editor of the Vocabulary Program at the Getty Research Institute, which maintains some highly respected thesauri and other controlled vocabularies, including the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the Union List of Artist Names (ULAN), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and the Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA). Co-author Murtha Baca is Head of Digital Art History at the Getty Research Institute. Here’s the Institute’s description of the 2013 revision:

This primer on the characteristics, scope, uses, and methods for building and maintaining controlled vocabularies for art and cultural materials explains how vocabularies should be integrated in cataloging systems; utilized for indexing and retrieval; and structured to group synonyms and arrange concepts into categories.

The updated edition reflects recent developments in the field, including new national and international standards, current trends such as Linked Open Data, and revisions to the Getty vocabularies. The glossary and bibliography have also been updated.

Structures for Organizing Knowledge: Exploring Taxonomies, Ontologies, and Other Schema

This book, published in 2010 by Neal-Schuman Publishers, was written by June Abbas, whose research focuses on the development of user-centered digital libraries, institutional repositories, and knowledge organization structures. In the Preface, she outlines the three major sections of the book:

Traditional Structures for Organizing Knowledge—Part I looks at structures used in libraries, such as MARC records, subject headings, and classification schemes, as well as traditional structures that may not be as familiar, such as those from natural science. The historical  contributions to the organization of knowledge from fields such as library and information science, philosophy, natural science, and cognitive science are examined. Exemplars of how the structures have remained the same and/or have been adapted for use in the digital environment are also included in this section.

Personal Structures for Organizing Knowledge are the focus of Part II. These are systems developed by individuals in both home- and work-related contexts. Several research streams from library and information science (knowledge organization and human information behavior) and human–computer interaction (personal information management) are introduced, and research in each area of personal knowledge structures is explored.

Socially-Constructed Structures for Organizing Knowledge, or those that are beginning to merge as the result of individual and collaborative uses of social bookmarking and social cataloging Web 2.0 sites, are examined in Part III. Research focused on these new environments is becoming more prevalent and providing information professionals with a glimpse into how people organize their own collections. 


In 2008, the American Library Association published the first edition of this book by Marcia Lei Zeng and Jian Qin, two experts in the field of knowledge organization systems and in the metadata connected with those systems. The second edition is scheduled to be released in 2016. Here’s the ALA’s description of the new edition:

Metadata remains the solution for describing the explosively growing, complex world of digital information, and continues to be of paramount importance for information professionals. Providing a solid grounding in the variety and interrelationships among different metadata types, Zeng and Qin’s thorough revision of their benchmark text offers a comprehensive look at the metadata schemas that exist in the world of library and information science and beyond, as well as the contexts in which they operate. Cementing its value as both an LIS text and a handy reference for professionals already in the field, this book

Lays out the fundamentals of metadata, including principles of metadata, structures of metadata vocabularies, and metadata descriptions

Surveys metadata standards and their applications in distinct domains and for various communities of metadata practice

Examines metadata building blocks, from modeling to defining properties, and from designing application profiles to implementing value vocabularies

Describes important concepts as resource identification, metadata as linked data, consumption of metadata, interoperability, and quality measurement

Offers an updated glossary to help readers navigate metadata’s complex terms in easy-to-understand definitions

An online resource of web extras, packed with exercises, quizzes, and links to additional materials, completes this definitive primer on metadata.

Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness

This book, by knowledge management consultant Patrick Lambe, was published by Chandos Knowledge Management in 2007. In the book’s introduction, Lambe offers an overview:

In the first half of this book we’ll challenge a number of assumptions about taxonomies and the work of taxonomy building, and relate this work to organization effectiveness and knowledge management.…

In the second half of this book, we take a more practical approach and guide you through the steps involved in a ‘typical’ taxonomy project. Here we challenge the assumption that taxonomy development can be done in the abstract, by a consultant, sitting apart from the information and knowledge world of the organisation it is intended for. Very few taxonomies can be developed in that distant, unengaged way.…

To close, in Chapter 10 we take a forward look at issues and challenges on the horizon for knowledge managers. What do the semantic web, folksonomies, ontologies and social tagging mean for taxonomy work? Will we need taxonomies at all?

Those of us involved with TaxoDiary believe that taxonomies, thesauri, and other controlled vocabularies will continue to be relevant to knowledge management and information retrieval. And we look forward to seeing new insights and approaches, and new books.

Barbara Gilles, Taxonomist
Access Innovations, Inc.

Tools for the Trade

April 13, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

I am a writer. I write a variety of content. Writing for TaxoDiary is just one avenue where my words take shape. I also write about employee engagement, communications, healthcare billing, medical coding, human resources, and when time allows, I splurge with some good ole fiction writing to spur the creative juices. I say all this to provide context as to why having a new variety of theasauri truly excites me.

The bookstore on Writers Helping Writers is like a candy store for me. A thesaurus for emotions? Yes, please. A thesaurus for positive traits? And another for negative traits? Thank you, yes.

As you can tell, there is no suppressed indifference to my knowledge of these books’ existence. In fact, I am giddy with excitement or should I say, I have enthusiasm for what is to come.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Grammar Violations

April 8, 2015  
Posted in News, reference, semantic

We all know them. They are the grammar police. The person in your circle of friends or maybe on your Facebook feed that can’t ignore mix-ups like irregardless and regardless or vica versa and vice versa. For that matter, maybe you are that friend. The misuse of words, whether it be accidental or a true misunderstanding of the meaning, makes the hairs on your neck stand alert and makes you ready to proclaim a guilty sentence and subsequent punishment on any offender. This interesting and slightly humorous topic came from in their article, “Trying To Stop Words From Changing Their Meanings Is “Literally” Useless.”

What if the word is being used in a definitive way that is wrong but the masses have decided it should be the definition ir..err regardless (pun totally intended)? Some English-snobs are concerned that the misuse of “literally” to mean “really,” will do just that. But is it the first occurrence of that happening?

What, if any, role has the evolution of natural language processing and semantic technology had in this phenomenon?

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Intern Position Available

March 16, 2015  
Posted in News, reference

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is seeking applications for a paid internship at their Washington, D.C. office. The internship will be in Library Services in the Applied Research and Methods (ARM) team. The deadline for applying is March 18, 2015. The position is slated to start in May or June.

Student interns may have an opportunity for a permanent position based on a successful intern experience and successful completion of degree requirements.

The GAO assists Congress in making informed decisions by providing information on policy and program issues, as well as by providing recommendations to make government more effective and responsive. Their work is designed to address four goals:

– to help Congress address current and emerging challenges to the well-being and financial security of the
American people;

– to help Congress to respond to changing security threats and the challenges of global interdependence;

– to help transform the Federal government to address national challenges; and

– to maximize the value of GAO by enabling quality, timely service to Congress and by being a leading practices
Federal agency.

Interns will work on various assignments within an Administrative Professional and Support Staff (APSS) office. Interested individuals can apply here.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

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