Taxonomy in the Pipeline, Part 2: The Need for Quick Publishing

August 18, 2014  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy

Regardless of discipline, there’s one thing that connects most academics I’ve encountered: the desire to keep practicing their respective fields. They’ve spent years cultivating their expertise and want to make a difference in their field. But in order for that to happen, they all share the same obstacle: tenure.

Increasingly, universities are favoring adjunct jobs over tenured professorships. When one looks at it from a business perspective, as administrations with budgets are bound to, it isn’t hard to see why that happened.  They get to pay less for the same work (though maybe not the same quality of work) and they retain power over the adjunct’s job security.

Whether one agrees with that policy, it makes a certain kind of sense from that side of the pipeline. The system isn’t exactly ideal for the academics in adjunct positions, though, whose lack of job security means that, year after year, the potential of finding a new job (another adjunct position, likely) weighs heavily on their minds. Nobody can do great work under that kind of pressure.

Finally, they do get that tenure-track position. Initially, it might seem like the hard part is over, but it’s only just begun. Convincing a university administration to offer a position is one thing; it’s a whole different story when it comes to the thing that most fuels a university’s engine: publication.

It’s inviting to think high-mindedly about higher education, but a professor’s value is based far more on their academic prestige and contributions to the field, at least at the administrative level, than the professor’s skills as an instructor. These contributions are marked by the quantity of articles published in academic journals and by the prestige of those journals. There really is no other road to tenure.

It’s a cutthroat game and professors are playing for keeps…they have to. There aren’t more total jobs on the academic market; the tenured positions are replaced by adjunct ones at the first available opportunity. Those with tenure hold onto to the privilege for dear life, and rarely does a seat open up at the table.

It’s a simple equation then, once they do find a seat, why the institution would demand publication. The institution wants prestige, which they get through having a prestigious faculty that publishes in renowned journals. They select for it, because it’s a bottom-line situation for them; a well-respected faculty means a higher class of student, which means a higher rate of tuition and a better result at the end of the fiscal year.

This is why it’s vital for the journal itself to make sure that what is printed on their pages meets their academic standards. Enter the peer review process. While it was designed to uphold academic rigor (and often succeeds at that purpose), it has the consequence of acting as a gatekeeper for those seeking tenure. That consequence may not have been intentional, but it has become a growing issue.

Submitted articles, certainly, must be vetted for accuracy and content, but they also must be filtered so they get into the right hands for peer review. This process takes time—always has—but it has grown even slower in recent years. With fewer tenured positions, there are fewer people available to review articles. The number of articles hasn’t necessarily changed, though, so those available are now busier than ever and, unfortunately, less attentive on top of it.

The trouble is that those on the tenure track only have so much time before their window closes. It can take months and even years for an article to slog through the pipeline, often preventing viable candidates from receiving tenure for the simple and fixable issue of delay. This inefficiency does a grave disservice to the very people the system was designed to help.

Without wholesale change in university administration mentality, the issue will not fix itself, so it must be addressed from a new angle. By identifying and analyzing the metadata present in a given article submission, it becomes clear where the submission comes from and who it should go to, which can help to streamline the process and make it easier on both the author and the peer reviewer, which will subsequently speed up the publishing process.

Data Harmony software is able to take care of this quickly and easily with the Smart Submit module. Using the article metadata in conjunction with a taxonomy, Smart Submit automatically identifies the subject areas covered in a submitted article. With that information, and with a properly designed management system,  a publisher can find qualified peer reviewers for the submission and ensure that reviewers don’t get overwhelmed with submissions. A lighter workload means that more time and care can be taken with a given submission, making for a better work environment and, potentially, a smoother path through the pipeline.

Academic publishing is a two-way street. Publishers need authors to write articles to populate their journals. Authors need journals to publish their research, which furthers their career and their field. When the two sides work together, that’s when a field of study can really flourish.

Why set up these barriers? It should be difficult to get published in a prestigious journal because academic rigor demands it, not because of an inefficient system that doesn’t help either side of the system. Smart Submit won’t solve all the problems an author might face in getting published, but getting the submission and review parts of the process streamlined and more transparent will make the process less frustrating for users and, ideally, speed up an arduous process that often hinders, when it should be an avenue for fresh voices to be heard.

Daryl Loomis
Access Innovations

Taxonomy in the Pipeline, Part 1: Introduction

August 11, 2014  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, metadata, Taxonomy

It can be tempting to look at a taxonomy and only see it in terms of the search results generated from it. That part of it is very important, no doubt, but taxonomies have far-reaching tendrils that extend deep into many industries, especially publishing. They work subtly and are often invisible to the end user, but the effects can be extraordinarily powerful.

Colossal_octopus_by_Pierre_Denys_de_MontfortDrawing by Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801,

Taxonomies interact with and enrich the publication pipeline in so many ways. This is especially apparent in the world of academic publishing, but the principles can be applied throughout the industry.

With the explosion of electronic content, the use of metadata has become increasingly important. Hunting down print records from an archive by hand is simply unacceptable today; documents get lost, forcing the unnecessary duplication of work. This is even more frustrating with electronic content because, in theory, the conversion to digital was supposed to streamline the retrieval process.

It hasn’t really worked out so smoothly. This isn’t simply about finding something with a search function; inefficiencies gum up the works at every stage, costing companies valuable time that could be more effectively used elsewhere. In fact, studies have shown that people in publishing spend up to 35% of their time hunting down information. That’s simply too much time.

Access Innovations’ Data Harmony software products can help clean up the mess, both literally and figuratively. With applications at every stage, from submission to publication, the software suite is specifically designed to improve accuracy and efficiency, from the writer submitting the work to the publisher putting it in a journal, to the end user who needs to access it.

We will examine these ideas in a nine-part series to see just how integral taxonomies are to publishers. Some features will specifically address how Data Harmony works to improve data, while some will be more general. The following topics will be covered:

  • THE NEED FOR QUICK PUBLISHING: Academics publishing papers in journals—crucial for tenure—often face months and even years of waiting, sometimes so long that the tenure window passes. How does Data Harmony, specifically Smart Submit, streamline the submission process?
  • SEMANTIC ENRICHMENT: The capture of metadata is key to meaningful analysis of content. The resulting metadata allows a user to view content in unique ways to draw previously invisible patterns that dramatically improve the accuracy of content retrieval and enable analytics.
  • BY THE NUMBERS: We look at the real cost of slow turnaround in academic publishing—it doesn’t just affect the writer. There is a real cost to publishers when their systems are inefficient.
  • INLINE TAGGING—WHEN YOU STILL CAN’T FIND IT: Data Harmony’s constant refinement has now led to inline tagging solutions that allow users to easily zoom in on and identify concepts in a full text document.
  • FINGERS IN MANY POTS—FROM SUBMISSION TO PUBLICATION: From Smart Submit to precision search results at the end, Data Harmony has a hand in making each piece of the workflow production pipeline smoother, easier, and more accessible.
  • FEEDBACK LOOPS FOR TRULY ACCURATE INDEXING: One of the more interesting aspects of Data Harmony indexing solutions is how they enable constant checking of content extraction effectiveness, so that it becomes ever more accurate with each new piece of added content.
  • THE FUTURE—REAL-TIME ANALYSIS OF THE CHANGES IN PUBLISHING: The explosion of content being housed online instead of in print brings up some interesting speculative issues about the future of journal publication.

The series will close with an installment that will demonstrate, on a broader level, that high-quality metadata and accurate taxonomy-based indexing streamline and enrich the publication process. Today’s technology gives publishers the opportunity to enhance the way their journals are compiled and disseminated to the public. However, many publishers have not yet taken advantage of that opportunity. This makes for a frustrating search experience for the end user that, most importantly, does not precisely deliver the content they require.

Ultimately, that end user experience is most crucial, but in order for a system to really work, it requires improved efficiency at every level. Certainly, good semantic enrichment software such as Data Harmony can help with that, but changes in mentality are also required. That doesn’t happen overnight, but the faster that publishers can start to implement new methods of looking at their data and making their content available, the faster that users throughout the pipeline will get true satisfaction from their results.

When the author is satisfied and the publisher is satisfied, the end user wins. That builds trust in your client base, which translates into revenue. That revenue allows the publisher to offer improved and diversified products, leading to a broader user base that is assured of a reliable content offering, which once again, leads to even more revenue. This kind of cycle drives industry to improve upon itself, and good semantic enrichment software such as Data Harmony can facilitate that process.

Daryl Loomis
Access Innovations

Access to Information is Inclusive

August 11, 2014  
Posted in News, semantic, Taxonomy

The Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica has recently joined efforts with Pensoft Publishers to bring the Society’s journal, Nota Lepidopterologica, to the world of open access. The first open access issue of the journal has been published. Knowledge Speak brought this interesting news to us in their article, “Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica journal Nota Lepidopterologica goes advanced open access with Pensoft Publishers.”

Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica is the European society for the study of moths and butterflies and for the conservation of these insects and their natural habitats. The scope of the journal has not changed. It continues to publish contributions to the study of mainly Palaearctic Lepidoptera, including taxonomy, morphology and anatomy, phylogenetics, biogeography, ecology, behavior, and conservation, as well as other aspects of lepidopterology.

The new online format of the journal is semantically enriched and brings new benefits and features, including tightening up the waiting time from acceptance to publication.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Making Content Findable is Key

August 7, 2014  
Posted in indexing, News, search, Taxonomy

Search tools are a researcher’s best technological tool to help with analysis, evaluation, and discovery, since making content findable is key to progress. Semantic search takes those results to a new level. This interesting information was found on Fort Mill Times in their article, “Scale Capital Funds Unsilo, Democratizing Access to Scientific Research.”

Semantic search engine Unsilo seeks to break down knowledge barriers across industries and scientific domains. Making data available from a variety of industries and knowledge bases is much like being a kid in a candy shop for researchers.

Semantic technology requires a special knowledge of terminology and coding to reduce errors. Access Innovations, developer of the M.A.I. machine-assisted indexing system and specializing in complex coding, tagging, and indexing, provides a range of services that deliver tag integrity.

Melody K. Smith

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

Data Harmony Version 3.9 Shines a Spotlight On Inline Tagging Web-based Service Extension

August 4, 2014  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy

Access Innovations, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Data Harmony software line now includes inline tagging capability, beginning with Version 3.9, released earlier this year.

Inline Tagging Feature In Data Harmony 3.9 Installations Employing inline tags, the TestMAI screen in the MAIstro™  module now displays matching content in a highlighted font when a Data Harmony user runs M.A.I.™ (Machine Aided Indexer), putting the focus on indexing concepts as they appear in the input text. XML elements are applied in the text at the exact location where a word or phrase triggered a term suggestion from the controlled vocabulary (taxonomy or thesaurus).

Inline tagging keeps the context in view when M.A.I. makes a subject indexing match, and generates a statistical summary showing the list of matched terms. This provides a look at the operation of term-matching rules and improves the user’s experience during rule base testing and refinement.

Inline Tagging As a Software Product The Inline Tagging extension module is available as a Data Harmony web-based service, with configuration options for integrating M.A.I. into the user interface of a content management system.

“For Version 3.9, we added inline tagging for MAIstro and M.A.I. installations, as Data Harmony customers are seeing now when they run TestMAI on their data,” remarked Marjorie M. K. Hlava, President of Access Innovations, Inc. “And, we packaged Inline Tagging as a software module to be integrated with an organization’s content management program, in the interface.

The Inline Tagging extension puts M.A.I.’s indexing precision within the reach of users, users who may be requesting more Web functionality! Often, the first step to offering more interactivity at document level is the precise placement of inline subject tags… this step is accomplished through a thoughtful configuration of the Inline Tagging extension.”

“The Inline Tagging extension inserts an XML ‘wrapper element’ around matched words; it locates concepts from your vocabulary inside full-text documents,” explains Bob Kasenchak, Production Manager at Access Innovations. “The XML wrapper can be configured so your interface displays related information when a user points their cursor at the match. Or, the interface can display a link for the user to visit. But that’s not all… an IT department can deploy inline text tags to make search and retrieval in a large document collection more precise and context-sensitive.”

Implementation Ideas for Inline Tagging Web-based Service Extension:

  •  As a search engine tool to boost document search results
  • To turn up the volume of social media postings
  • To create a better, more searchable index of an XML database
  • To foster increased user interaction opportunities with documents

How the Inline Tagging Extension Works, Simplified Implementations of the Inline Tagging extension module are based on an organization’s controlled vocabulary and accompanying rule base, stored in a Data Harmony installation. The Inline Tagging API can retrieve any element from the vocabulary term record in order to offer relevant information alongside matched content, and it handles this ‘on the fly.’ This makes it convenient for a Web developer to implement customized functions for a content management system. Driven by data already stored in the term records, with Web-based services configured for the CMS interface, Inline Tagging gives users immediate access to supplemental information about the relevant controlled vocabulary terms, and any related concepts.

About Access Innovations, Inc. –,,

Access Innovations has extensive experience with Internet technology applications, master data management, database creation, content-aware thesaurus/taxonomy creation, and semantic integration. Access Innovations’ Data Harmony software includes machine aided indexing, thesaurus management, an XML Intranet System (XIS), and metadata extraction for content creation developed to meet production environment needs.  Data Harmony is used by publishers, governments, and corporate clients throughout the world. Access Innovations has been changing search to found since 1978.

Accessing the Data

July 31, 2014  
Posted in indexing, metadata, News, search, Taxonomy

Atypon has released Literatum 14.1 for professional and scholarly publishers. Literatum powers the websites of over 200 professional and scholarly publishers, including many of the most prestigious publishers in the world. This interesting news came from Knowledgespeak in their article, “Atypon unveils Literatum 14.1.

This being the first of multiple releases scheduled for 2014, Literatum 14.1 adds dozens of new features such as taxonomy management capabilities.

Access to data is important. It can be achieved by creating strong taxonomies. Proper indexing against a strong standards-based taxonomy increases the findability of data. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

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

Managing Change with Consistency

July 29, 2014  
Posted in indexing, metadata, News, Taxonomy

Like most things in life, there are changes everywhere. Technology isn’t the exception, it is more than likely the leader. As it evolves, with it come new challenges. Information architecture sees its own changing landscape with new content types, expanding/collapsing the taxonomy and modifying the metadata, as well as relationships between content types and associated business rules. How do you manage that kind of change? This interesting topic was found on KM Institute in their article, “Governing the Information Architecture – Model, Taxonomy, Metadata.”

It is important to promote the consistency of the information used across the platforms. By managing enterprise content, its metadata, and associated taxonomy, users will find the content they are looking for when and how they need it.

Proper indexing against a strong standards-based taxonomy increases the findability of data. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

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

Locating and Finding Are Not Equal

July 29, 2014  
Posted in News, search, storage, Taxonomy

New technologies are responsible for the electronic storage of information. Interestingly enough, though, 90% of businesses are still storing documents in paper format, according to a study by JSE-listed storage management provider Metrofile. This interesting information was brought to our attention by Business Day Live in their article, “Firms prefer paper to electronic records.”

Apparently 75% of respondents store the original paper documents on site, while only 45% of businesses scan the original paper documents as back-up. While the physical location of data still mattered, it is becoming increasingly irrelevant and can be replaced.

Access to data is important. It can be achieved by creating strong taxonomies. Proper indexing against a strong standards-based taxonomy increases the findability of data. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

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

Buzzwords, Bling, and Being Snowed

July 28, 2014  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy


breathofsnow / / CC BY-ND 3.0

I recently had the opportunity to see webinars featuring a couple of software systems for taxonomy construction/management and content categorization. The systems were both impressive and, if I didn’t have 20 years in the business, I would have been totally awed … and snowed. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by a slick appearance and professional presentation.

Early in my career, I was overwhelmed and confused by the terminology—its abundance, multiplicity, and ambiguity. Each software company used different words, all very catchy, developed by a creative marketing department. I didn’t get whether they were talking about different concepts or the same in different verbal wrappers. Cutting through the terminology to identify key software features and functions can be tough. Yet that’s just what must be done for an informed buying decision.

One of the buzzwords I came across in these recent webinars was “content-driven” (or “data-driven”) to describe a taxonomy. To my amazement, this was described as a “trend” in taxonomy construction by the presenter for the company “with over 15 years of experience.” Apparently it was intended as a strike at a “top-down” approach to pulling together terms for a taxonomy based on an abstract, authoritative view of a domain. The top-down approach was described as more complex than necessary and including nodes not reflecting your content.

However, the discussion ignored the equally familiar and long established counterpart to top-down. This is the “bottom-up” approach, drawing terms directly from the documents to be categorized, i.e., content-driven. Here’s a link to a brief description of the strategies written in 1996 by Jessica Milstead.

In most cases, building a taxonomy or thesaurus requires a hybrid approach, with the overall organization based on a top-down approach for navigation and the bulk of terms reflecting the preferred terms for concepts in the domain and drawn from the actual documents. The strategies are most often used in balance, with the taxonomist providing a logical “top” structure into which the content-linked terms can fit.

The software on display generated a list of candidate terms, offering words and phrases from the content as terms. But this was just a starting point in taxonomy construction. Time for the taxonomist to add the value of organization through hierarchical, associative, and equivalence relationships.

Ah, “relationships” takes me to semantics, another buzzword that sounds very impressive and truly represents the power of taxonomies. The key thing to remember is that semantics in a taxonomy starts with the hierarchical, associative, and equivalence relationships. (Actually, a taxonomy with all those features is more accurately called a thesaurus). Organizing terms in a hierarchy of broader and narrower concepts—from general to specific—and recognizing synonymous alternative expressions and internal conceptual links all add semantic richness to terms by providing context based on the meanings of words. These are features built into a well-developed taxonomy, providing pivot points from one term to another through logical semantic associations. Applied as metadata to content items, the taxonomy terms provide semantic enrichment.

Another slick webinar focused on semantic enrichment with an artfully designed but effective presentation. As jaded as I have become, I was duly impressed by the appealing motifs, the jazzy colors, the graphics in motion, and the requisite buzzwords in the opening. This is the part you show to the CIO, CTO, etc., the one with final budget authority. We are still talking about semantically enriching content with metadata from a domain-specific taxonomy. You say, “This is just what I need!”

Several modules were described. One extracts words and phrases as key topics for a taxonomy-ish product, called by a name not found in the ANSI/NISO Z39.19 standard for taxonomy construction. Another is for human taxonomy building from scratch, if the ready-built domain taxonomies are not a good fit. Others serve categorizing/indexing/tagging/annotating content (chose your favorite expression), also known as applying taxonomy terms as metadata or … semantically enriching the content.

I must admit I was impressed, but not snowed. I’m an editor, not in marketing or in an art department. I knew what this was all about because this is basic taxonomy and indexing work that I do daily, using software that delivers these functions. I know that slick is cool to look at, but it comes at a price.


“Gee, thanks for the spin in your Ferrari, but I was hoping for a Chevy pricetag and Honda/Volvo/Subaru reliability.”

civicPhoto by Ahmad Mukhlis, / CC BY-SA 3.0

I also know that essential functions are available in products much more accessible to organizations on a budget.

If you are interested in software for taxonomy creation, management, and application, don’t get snowed by the buzzwords and bling. Know the basics of taxonomy construction and implementation, and use that knowledge as a starting point when comparing software. Know the functions you need to perform and avoid slick but unnecessary frills, as alluring as they may be. Know if the product will work with other systems and whether you’ll need a high-priced mechanic or an editor to do the work. When you hear about trends, consider established history and experience. Data Harmony software from Access Innovations was developed for a demanding production setting, starting in 1995 and continually improving over the years. It may be eclipsed on the slick presentation front, but the software has proven it’s up to the job. Just ask any of our satisfied customers. Contact us; we’d be happy to give you the list.

Alice Redmond-Neal, Senior Taxonomist
Access Innovations

Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Taxonomy

July 25, 2014  
Posted in News, Taxonomy

EBSCO Information Service and Infotrieve have joined efforts to combine their search, content access, rights management and document delivery in a single platform. This new information came to us from KM World in their article, “EBSCO and Infotrieve Partner.”

Customers will be able to use Infotrieve’s Mobile Library as their e-content access and management platform while using the search and extensive metadata from EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS).

It is important to remember the value of a solid taxonomy and its role in the search process. How the content is classified impacts the findability of your data. Professionals should look for an experienced builder of solid standards-based taxonomies to associate content for appropriate machine-assisted indexing.

Melody K. Smith

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

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