Taxonomy in the Legal System

July 1, 2015  
Posted in News, Taxonomy

When it comes to managing court cases, few software applications can meet the specific needs of case workers and court clerks. The usual method for courts to acquire their case management systems is to just pick commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software from a leading packaged solution vendor, then customize it to suit. This interesting topic comes from the blog Enterprise Irregulars in their recent post, “PCM Requirements Linking Capability Taxonomy and Process Hierarchy.”

However, there are folks out there trying to rework the best practices to create definitive links and traceability between requirements, processes and the business capabilities taxonomy. One of them is John Matthias from the Court Consulting Services of the National Center for State Courts. He has also looked at a process hierarchy, where process stages break down to process groups, and then to elementary processes.

Having a defined taxonomy can help promote collaboration and connections. The taxonomy is a hierarchical view of a controlled vocabulary or a list of terms in their preferred form. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies. By focusing on making information findable, we produce knowledge organization that works.

Melody K. Smith

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

Taxonomy of Tradition

July 1, 2015  
Posted in News, Taxonomy

You already know my interest in finding obscure and odd taxonomies. Remember the hipster taxonomy or the taxonomy of psychopaths? My latest find has taken a bit of a twisted turn but still lies in the world of tradition. It was found on Forward in their article, “The Taxonomy of the Jewish Casket.”

While not an official taxonomy, the video takes you through the various types or classifications of caskets specific to the Jewish faith. The details are certainly what creates the various classifications. The days of a plain pine box are behind us.

According to Jewish law, a casket must be made of wood — it must be completely free of metal. Every Jewish casket has holes in the bottom so that the earth can come through the wood. These are just a few of the characteristics that begin to mold the categories.

Melody K. Smith

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

 

ICD-10 and Taxonomies

June 29, 2015  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy

In Canada, the implementation of ICD-10 caused an approximate 50% drop in productivity in rates of coding in the health profession. Reports show that a year after implementation, productivity only returned to 80% of the original ICD-9 baseline. Now, more than a decade since Canada adopted the new coding system, they still have yet to reach original productivity levels.

This reduction in productivity is understandable. ICD-10 is vastly more complex than ICD-9, and people sometimes have difficulty adapting to change. It’s naturally going to cause fear in the industry. The 3-page bill proposed to the US Congress by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), HR 2126, would allay those fears for a while by delaying U.S. implementation of ICD-10, which has already occurred several times. As noted in the referenced article, however, neither committee has decided to hear the bill, so yes, it seems highly likely that ICD-10 implementation will occur in the United States on October 1, as (currently) scheduled.

But tell me: do we really need to know that someone was “bitten by a turtle” (W59.21XA) rather than “struck by a turtle” (W59.22XA)? And if the person was bitten on the toe by that turtle, do we really need to know whether it was the right big toe (S90.471A) or the left big toe (S90.472A)? What if the incident happened, for some reason, while the person was waterskiing (Y93.17)? Do we need to know that? It is definitely helpful to know something about laterality, which side was the injury was on, and about the person’s activity when the injury occurred. It is also nice to know how many people a turtle bit this year, as well as how many waterskiing accidents.

In another (less funny but more likely) example, someone driving a pickup strikes a lamppost while texting. The person’s head strikes the dashboard, causing a contusion (S00.83XA), while the truck’s airbag expands and strikes them on the right side of the chest, causing a contusion there (S20.211A). That it happened in a pickup matters (V57.5XXA), as does the fact that they were texting at the time (Y93.C2). This is all highly useful information, but does it have to be done as a pre coordinate highly complex classification system? The format of the ICD-10 codes, and for that matter the ICD-9 codes, is quite old fashioned in a post-coordinate world.

A taxonomy — and it would be a large one — would better provide the desired data and in a much more flexible form than the ICD-10. Just a single laterality rule for left and right would remove a goodly portion of the listed codes.  If it is the interest of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to gather more data about health and health care in the USA, then why not apply some proven, inexpensive, easy-to-implement algorithms rather than cause a Y2K-style panic throughout the entire healthcare industry?

In example one above, we could code for “turtle,” “toe,” “bite,” and even water or waterskiing. If any of those items was missing in the source data, i.e., the electronic medical record (EMR), we could still do a good job of determining the cause of the bite and collating the data for later reporting and retrieval. It would be possible to mine the data more effectively than using the classification system, since the data would be disaggregated and available. For example, all kinds of water-related accidents could be retrieved, as could all turtle-related injuries, bite-related injuries, etc.

Going one step further, one could even link the data as RDF triples for a full semantic enrichment and ontology approach, which would surface all kinds of fascinating relationships. One could then visualize the data in various presentations for quick understanding of how much danger there is the general populace regarding turtles bites and waterskiing.

Access Integrity has built a system to review EMRs and instantly provide a suggested list of ICD-10 codes, just like they have done for the ICD-9. For this, ICD-10 is certainly a good move forward. We still maintain that a human should review and make the final selection of the codes submitted for billing, due to the complexity of the classification system, the ambiguities in the EMR as written by the healthcare provider, and of course the liabilities in a litigious world. For those of us in the information business, more data is always better than less, so even if ICD-10 is imperfect, and it is, there is no doubt that it’s a step in the right direction.

Marjorie M.K. Hlava
President, Access Innovations

Making Content Findable

June 26, 2015  
Posted in indexing, metadata, News, semantic, Taxonomy

Linguamatics is expanding its natural language processing-based text mining platform to accommodate easier access to full-text articles. PR Newswire brought this latest news to our attention in their article, “Linguamatics Expands Cloud Text Mining Platform to Include Full-Text Articles.”

Researchers can now create sets of full-text XML articles from more than 4,000 peer-reviewed journals produced by over 25 scientific, technical, and medical publishers, and automatically make them available for text mining in I2E.

Even with semantic technology power, information management for any type of business is critical for fast, easy, and comprehensive findability. One key way to ensure this is through a solid taxonomy, based on standards, built by someone with years of experience in the field. 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 taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Polish Up Your Resume

June 24, 2015  
Posted in News, Taxonomy

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.

Best Buy out of Minneapolis, Minnesota is looking for a Site Taxonomist to create and maintain a hierarchy and data structure to support an organized, intuitive browsing and attribute-driven navigation structure. Learn more here.

Thomas Publishing Corporation out of New York City is looking for a Taxonomy Specialist. The successful candidate would be responsible for the development and maintenance of an industrial product and service classification system and assist in all taxonomy-related creation activities and in the development of a database of industrial products. Learn more here.

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.

TaxoDiary Blog Achieves Milestones in Sharing Information

June 22, 2015  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy

The TaxoDiary blog, which can be read at www.taxodiary.com and adds new posts on a daily basis every Monday through Friday, recently published its 3,000th blog post.

TaxoDiary was started in August 2010 and is sponsored and maintained by Access Innovations, Inc., under the leadership of Access Innovations President Marjorie Hlava and Chief Executive Officer Jay Ven Eman.

TaxoDiary covers all types of knowledge organization systems (KOS), and related subjects with daily posts sharing news and opinions. “Monday features” dig a little deeper into taxonomies, semantic technology, and other key areas of interest. There are over 200 of these feature articles that have been researched, written, and shared by the team at Access Innovations.

“The blog is designed as an information vehicle that highlights news of interest and topics that content professionals face daily,” Dr. Ven Eman commented. “Networking and providing access to methods of making content findable are helpful to us all.”

TaxoDiary is designed to provide taxonomists, indexers, and content professionals with news and opinions about categorization, and the application of KOS to increase findability of information objects within or across large collections of information, structured in databases, or unstructured in content repositories using controlled vocabularies.

Subscribing to TaxoDiary will deliver the posts directly to email, either as they are posted or as a daily summary.

 

About Access Innovations, Inc. – www.accessinn.com, www.dataharmony.com,www.taxodiary.com

Access Innovations has extensive experience with Internet technology applications, master data management, database creation, 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.

Homemade Taxonomies

June 19, 2015  
Posted in News, Taxonomy

Expert System is offering a learning opportunity next week titled, “Enriching Google Search Appliance: Cogito Connected for GSA.” This webinar focuses on helping you find, tag, and create your own custom taxonomies for all the metadata available in your content. You can register for the June 24th event here.

Having a defined taxonomy can help promote collaboration and connections. The taxonomy is a hierarchical view of a controlled vocabulary or a list of terms in their preferred form.

It is important to remember that Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies. By focusing on making information findable, we produce knowledge organization that works.

Melody K. Smith

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

Taxonomist Positions Available

June 16, 2015  
Posted in News, reference, Taxonomy

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.

TE Connectivity is looking for a Manager, Digital Product Data Taxonomist at their Middletown, Pennsylvania location. In this position you will manage the work required to maintain their taxonomy, information architecture, content management, and knowledge management projects to maintain a customer-centric online catalog.

Amazon is looking for a Taxonomist & Browse Developer at their Seattle, Washington location. You will help build an intuitive and comprehensive navigation structure to optimize product discovery when searching and browsing on their sites.

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.

Father of Library Science

June 15, 2015  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy

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Father’s Day is coming up soon, so we thought we’d pay homage to Shiyali Ramamrita (S. R.) Ranganathan. As described in the Wikipedia article about him, Ranganathan “is considered to be the father of library science, documentation, and information science in India and is widely known throughout the rest of the world for his fundamental thinking in the field.” He is also regarded by many information science professionals throughout the world as the father of library science. That’s a lot of fathering.

Ranganathan is perhaps best known for devising a system of faceted classification that had enormous influence on classification and indexing science. We’ve already observed (in “Ranganathan, Classification, and British Toys”) about how his career path, along with a peek into the window of a toy store, provided the background and inspiration for his Colon Classification system.

In 1931, Ranganathan’s book The Five Laws of Library Science was published. While some of the more specific recommendations in the text have been rendered obsolete by technological advances, there are many passages that are still relevant. Let’s have a sampling.

From pages 1, 6-7:

The first law of Library Science is: BOOKS ARE FOR USE. No one will question the correctness of this law. But, in actual practice, the story is different. The law is seldom borne in mind by library authorities. We may examine the history of any aspect of library practice and we shall find ample evidence of a deplorable neglect of this law.

[This is followed by several illustrative anecdotes focusing on library authorities who fortunately have remained nameless.]

On the other hand a modern librarian, who has faith in the law that ‘BOOKS ARE FOR USE,’ is happy only when his readers make his shelves constantly empty. It is not the books that go out that worry him. It is the stay-at-home volumes that perplex and distress him. He too will constantly cross the yard to meet his Agassizes. But he will go to them, not to snatch away the books they are using, but to distribute the new arrivals that need to be introduced to them as rapidly as possible.

From page 49 (where it’s evident that “indexing” wasn’t an entirely accepted word for the activity quite yet, at least not in a library context):

Not infrequently one comes across a bumptious upstart, who has the cheek to say, “What is there in indexing?” meaning by ‘indexing’, Cataloguing. One only wishes that he was allowed to try his hand at ‘indexing’ for a couple of months to discover for himself what a mess he is capable of making.

From page 50, which brings to mind the love-hate relationship between taxonomists and subject matter experts:

Another, a specialist quite jealous of the rights of his line of experts, may make a flippant remark, “That is not the way to classify. This is the way to catalogue. Reference-work is not in your province. It is the preserve of the Professors” and so on. One has to tell him “Mr. Specialist, I am a specialist in my line as much as you are, Sir, in yours. If your field is clouded in mystery and needs prolonged formal initiation, so is mine. Remember what you will think of any uninitiated Tom, Dick or Harry who attempts to poke his nose into your sphere.”

From pages 293-294, on the Second Law, Every reader his/her book:

It is a peculiar sort of knowledge that is needed to find for EVERY PERSON HIS BOOK. People at all levels will seek the help of the Library Staff to find their books. It may be a freshman that wants help to prepare for the scholarship examination; it may be a senior student who wants to lead a debate on feminism; it may be a professor who wants to settle a point in the phonology of the Dravidian vowel system; it may be a physicist who wants the book that will give him just enough and no more of Matrices to understand Heisenberg’s treatment of Wave Mechanics. …

No person can depend on his memory to say what his library resources are on such a bewildering range of subjects. The Library Staff have necessity to depend on certain recognised mechanical aids, to discharge their obligations in helping EVERY PERSON TO FIND HIS BOOK.

From pages 382-383, and largely true of taxonomies and research databases, as well as physical libraries:

The Fifth Law is: A LIBRARY IS A GROWING ORGANISM. It is an accepted biological fact that a growing organism alone will survive. An organism which ceases to grow will petrify and perish. The Fifth Law invites our attention to the fact that the library, as an institution, has all the attributes of a growing organism. A growing organism takes in new matter, casts off old matter, changes in size and takes new shapes and forms. Apart from sudden and apparently discontinuous changes involved in metamorphosis, it is also subject to a slow continuous change which leads to what is known as ‘variation’, in biological parlance, and to the evolution of new forms. … The one thing that has been persisting through all those changes of form has been the vital principle of life. So it is with the library.

From pages 397-398, where the Fifth Law leads us to a discussion of classification approaches:

Another important matter that needs to be examined in the light of the Fifth Law is the classification of books. In the first place, as A LIBRARY IS A GROWING ORGANISM and as knowledge itself is growing, it is necessary that the “classification must be comprehensive, embracing all past and present knowledge and allowing places for any possible additions to knowledge”. Indeed this has been set down by Mr. Sayers [William Charles (W.C.) Berwick Sayers, Ranganathan’s mentor in library science at the University of London] as the first canon of classification. To quote Sayers again, “A classification must be elastic, expansible, and hospitable in the highest degree. That is to say, it must be so constructed that any new subject may be inserted into it without dislocating its sequence”. Cases like that of Wave Mechanics, Matrices, Raman Effect, Internal Combustion Engine, Radium, Behaviourism, Dalton Plan and the entire subject of Sociology have had to be accommodated within living memory. It can not be said that all the printed schemes in force have come quite unscathed out of this trial.

And we’ll conclude with an excerpt from page 414, where Ranganathan looks towards the future (as do all good fathers):

What further stages of evolution are in store for this GROWING ORGANISM — the library — we can only wait and see. Who knows that a day may not come — at least [Orson] Wells has pictured a world in which dissemination of knowledge will be effected by direct thought transfer, in the Dakshinamurti fashion, without the invocation of the spoken or the printed word — that a day may not come when the dissemination of knowledge, which is the vital function of libraries, will be realised by libraries even by means other than those of the printed book?

Barbara Gilles, Taxonomist
Access Innovations, Inc.

Photo, S. R. Ranganathan’s photo at City Central Library, Hyderabad, India. Photo by Krzna, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:S._R._Ranganathan.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Defining Analytics

June 12, 2015  
Posted in metadata, News, Taxonomy

Qlik has introduced a new analytics platform to support the development of custom analytics applications, including web mash-ups. Business Wire brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Qlik Introduces Developer Platform for Data Visualization and Analysis.”

The Qlik® Analytics Platform is designed specifically for developers to build data-driven apps to power and differentiate their organization. This new platform can be used to extend the reach of business intelligence strategies to partners and customers. This development enables users to foster greater collaboration and interaction through data.

Having a defined taxonomy can help promote collaboration and connections. The taxonomy is a hierarchical view of a controlled vocabulary or a list of terms in their preferred form. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies. By focusing on making information findable, we produce knowledge organization that works.

Melody K. Smith

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

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