Monetizing Knowledge

The fields of information science and economics have been expanding and overlapping for some time now. With the ever-increasing recognition of the value of knowledge organization systems (KOS), especially in the context of improved technologies and practices for them, it is time to look at them from the perspective of economics. This information came from a feature in ASIS&T’s April/May 2014 Bulletin by our own Marjorie Hlava titled, “Introduction: Economics of Knowledge Organization Systems.”

Indicative of this change are entirely new ways in which individuals and information systems generate, provide access to, and link information. In line with this change is a growing need to better integrate and leverage knowledge organization systems (KOSs). How does one measure the true value of successful information organization, navigation, and retrieval?

Melody K. Smith

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

Green Data Center Lab and Taxonomy

April 2, 2014  
Posted in News, Technology

Demartek has been named an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized test laboratory for the United States EPA ENERGY STAR® Data Center Storage program. They provide hands-on research and analysis by focusing on industry analysis and lab validation testing of server, network, storage, and security technologies. The EPA ENERGY STAR Data Center Storage taxonomy is consistent with the taxonomy developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Green Storage Initiative. This interesting news came from the trade-site Power Engineering in their article, “Demartek Becomes an EPA Recognized Independent Test Laboratory.”

“The EPA has applied the basic idea of energy efficiency to entire data center storage products as part of their ENERGY STAR program,” said Dennis Martin, Demartek President. “Demartek has deployed many data center storage products from a variety of manufacturers in its lab over the past few years and is experienced in running applications on these storage systems for conducting various validation and performance tests.”

Melody K. Smith

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

Keeping Up With the Times

February 20, 2014  
Posted in News, search, Technology

The Oxford English Dictionary has a reputation as the best, most comprehensive dictionary in the English speaking world. If asked, most people would agree that it has been geared more for academics than regular folks. That reputation doesn’t sit well with the new chief editor, Michael Proffitt, who believes that the dictionary still has a place in today’s modern and technologically driven age.

Despite the fact that Google definitions may well be more popular now than even web dictionaries like, Proffitt says that dictionaries’ “time has come.” This interesting news came from Bustle in their article, “The Oxford English Dictionary’s New Chief Editor Wants the Dictionary to Stay Relevant.”

We live in the age of information. Access to almost any text, image, audio clip or video is at our fingertips. However, sorting that information is the challenge and key, the organizing principle to what drives search results. In this information-based, real-time society we live in, we have come to expect findability. More and more, technology is making it possible.

Melody K. Smith

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

Information Sharing in a New Way

January 31, 2014  
Posted in News, Technology

RawVoice has announced the release of PowerPress 5.0, a platform that provides content creators with everything they need to podcast with a WordPress website or blog. The latest version includes Taxonomy Podcasting and Post Type Podcasting, which expand on the ability to podcast with blog posts and categories. IT Business Net brought this latest news to our attention in their article, “RawVoice launches PowerPress 5.0.”

Taxonomy Podcasting and Post Type Podcasting add additional control for content creators to organize and display podcast content.

This interesting application of taxonomies reminds us that building taxonomies that are solid and comprehensive takes professionals with experience in the industry. A very small number of companies, including Access Innovations, can help you generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Language Comes into the Future

January 27, 2014  
Posted in News, reference, Technology

The Oxford English Dictionary is progressing towards a third edition with over 619,000 words compiled between its binding. To compile a dictionary of nearly every word in the English language was an endeavor typical of Victorian times. This mammoth-sized task resulted in the first installment emerging in 1884 with its contents “A to Ant.”

The trusty dictionary now has a new chief editor, Michael Proffitt, who assumes the responsibility of retaining the vaunted traditions while ensuring relevance in an era of Googled definitions and text talk. This very interesting topic was brought to us by The New York Times and their article, “Language by the Book, but the Book Is Evolving.”

In a recent interview with the new chief editor, he shared that he believes a dictionary’s time has come, despite many people’s view that it is no longer needed with technology, real-time communication, and social media. He defended that statement with another, “People need filters much more than they did in the past.”

Truer words have never been spoken, or tweeted, or texted, or…

Melody K. Smith

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

The Ghosts of Concepts Future

December 30, 2013  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, Taxonomy, Technology

The bell struck twelve.


The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached. … It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.

(From A Christmas Carol in Prose; Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, by Charles Dickens.)

And so it is with emerging concepts, those concepts whose forms we can but vaguely discern at the present point in time, whose true reality lurks in the future.

As taxonomists, we have a responsibility to discern those future concepts, although they may still be invisible to most. We can save the various expressions of those concepts in search logs from being rejected from consideration for a vocabulary simply on account of their as yet infrequent appearance.  In a taxonomy or thesaurus, we can provide labels that will consolidate the indexing for a concept whose researchers have not yet settled on a name. In some cases, especially with widely used vocabularies, we can perhaps determine the name by which a concept will be known on a standard basis.

This role in itself is one of the emerging responsibilities for taxonomists, thanks to the rapid advances in science and technology. In “What Next, Taxonomy?” (posted on The Taxonomy Blog on November 4, 2011), taxonomist Marlene Rockmore concludes that taxonomists need to deal with emerging technologies in a variety of ways, including collection of relevant content:

“So what next, taxonomy? What is nice to hear is that more taxonomists are surviving because their organizations understand their core roles. What’s the emerging topics and challenges –  how to distribute and decentralize (localize)  while having authority and control, how to collect new content on emerging, current topics, visualization, how to be more agile, how to fit in with new technologies like social media, mobile, and big data. Phew! That’s a challenge. Taxonomists have a chance to build relationships not only between terms, but with stakeholders on the way to a compelling, visualized, multidimensional content strategy. Good luck.”

This challenge has been growing in step with the rapid advances in science and technology. One example among the many advances in science is the ability of biologists to recognize new and emerging species, as well as life forms that have existed for a while but were formerly overlooked. The Live Science page Newfound Species observes:

“Science has identified some 2 million species of plants, animals and microbes on Earth, but scientists estimated there are millions more left to discover, and new species are constantly discovered and described. The most commonly discovered new species are typically insects, a type of animal with a high degree of biodiversity. Newly discovered mammal species are rare, but they do occur, typically in remote places that haven’t been well-studied previously. Some animals are found to be new species only when scientists peer at their genetic code, because they look outwardly similar to another species — these are called cryptic species. Some newfound species come from museum collections that haven’t been previously combed through and, of course, from fossils.”

Even the humble hosta has its own emergings, due in part to technological and social advances in communication.


A Rookie’s Guide to Hostas, Hostas, Hostas observes:

“In past centuries, we used to talk about people “discovering” new species of plants. What this usually meant was that European, English or American plant explorers traveled to remote parts of the world and found plants that were new to them. Now, of course, we know that local people in those other parts of the world were often quite familiar with these plants all along. Many of the so-called new plants, including hostas, have been found in local paintings and documents produced long before the Westerners started poking around. In more recent times, however, with better communications, we more universally share the knowledge of different horticultural communities.”

As far as actually emerging species are concerned, evolutionary biologist Rob DeSalle of the American Museum of Natural History has indicated the continuing nature of species emergence:

“Identifying a new species as it emerges is the holy grail of evolutionary biology. … Species must be emerging someplace on earth. The best places to look would be places with lots of species, like rain forests, and islands, because isolation opens new niches.”  (In “Q & A; Emerging Species” by C. Claiborne Ray, published June 17, 2003 in The New York Times)

The ScienceDaily website has a webpage dedicated to news about “new” species of plants and animals. While most of these will escape public awareness, Time Magazine has sifted through the barrage of information to identify the “Top 10 New Species” of 2013.

Speaking of top things of 2013, and moving on to emerging technologies, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s online Technology Review has published a list of “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013“. The Technology Review’s “Best of 2013” (December 23, 2013) a quantum internet that Los Alamos National Laboratory has been running, is one of many significant technologies that didn’t make the list, perhaps because the system has been running for the past two years.


The Wikipedia article “Emerging technologies” emphasizes the role of technology convergence in the emergence of new technologies. The article mentions an acronym of particular interest to those in the information technology world:

“NBIC, an acronym for Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology and Cognitive science, is currently the most popular term for emerging and converging technologies, and was introduced into public discourse through the publication of Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, a report sponsored in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation.”

Wikipedia also has a “List of emerging technologies” containing brief descriptions of “some of the most prominent ongoing developments, advances, and innovations in various fields of modern technology.” More than two hundred emerging technologies are listed.

There are and will continue to be many new and emerging concepts in science, technology, and other fields. Taxonomies can help define the terminology for those concepts. This is perhaps most readily evident for genus-species-subspecies-etc. names, whose designation is the territory of the biological taxonomist, or the biologist temporarily acting as taxonomist. Elsewhere, taxonomists can identify predominant labels and the occasionally used synonyms, and then use that information to add appropriate preferred terms and non-preferred synonyms to a vocabulary. They can also add definitions and scope notes. The skills of the taxonomist can bring clarity to formerly mysterious concepts and nomenclature. 

No fog, no mist; clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to; Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells. Oh, glorious! Glorious!


So don’t be scared of the ghosts of future concepts. Think of them as true spirits of the future, taking flight with the benefit of well-chosen terms and synonyms in a taxonomy or thesaurus.

Every time a new term rings true, an emerging concept gets its wings.



Barbara Gilles, Taxonomist
Access Innovations

Mapping the Stars

December 30, 2013  
Posted in indexing, News, reference, Technology

Floating around the Milky Way galaxy is the most recent space observatory launched by the European Space Agency (ESA). Gaia will monitor each of its target stars about 70 times over a period of five years – all unmanned.

The mission aims to compile a 3D space catalog of approximately one billion astronomical objects (approximately 1% of the Milky Way population). Gaia will create a precise three-dimensional map of stars throughout the Milky Way Galaxy and map their motions, which encode the origin and subsequent evolution of the Milky Way.

This interesting news was everywhere, but the article, “Gaia spacecraft set for launch on mission to map a billion stars“, in The Guardian brought this to our attention. After years of preparation, this “star census worker” will spend five years preparing the digital map. “It’s going to be the most accurate and the most detailed 3D map of stars there has ever been,” said Dr. Ralph Cordey, head of science at Astrium UK, a company involved in the building of the spacecraft.

Melody K. Smith

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

Improving the Process of Data Mining

November 27, 2013  
Posted in News, Technology

CODY Systems has released the industry’s first end-to-end crime analysis solution, which combines a proven real-time public safety and law enforcement data management solution with data visualization, sophisticated crime analytics, and geospatial summaries suitable for COMPSTAT-style reporting. This interesting news came from Broadway World in their article, “CODY Systems Launches the CODY Crime Analysis Dashboard.”

CODY Dashboard is available as part of the CODY Systems Records Anywhere and  platforms. The data mining options available through CODY Dashboard can analyze, investigate, and mine regional data from various, separate sources.

Improving the process of data mining is a worthy achievement. Technology that can help users achieve that is worth investigating.

Melody K. Smith

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

Investing in the Professionals

November 7, 2013  
Posted in News, Technology

Chief information officers (CIOs) are responsible for the availability of information to their businesses on a consistent and timely basis. However, in many organizations, this is not considered a strategic priority but is more of a maintenance task. This is unfortunate. Ventana Research brought this topic to our attention in their blog post titled, “CIOs Need to Make Information Management a Real Priority.”

Poor and inadequate tools find many technology professionals doing little more than data entry instead of system analysis.

How do information technology professionals create a shift in their focus, as well as the strategic leadership to see the power and importance of solid information technology? How do they change the perception of them being little more than a help desk?

Melody K. Smith

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

New Partnership Delivers Solutions

November 6, 2013  
Posted in News, storage, Technology

Coraid has announced a technical partnership with Splunk to enable large-scale machine data analytics in Coraid enterprise and cloud data centers through Splunk Enterprise. This interesting information was found on MarketWatch in their article, “Coraid Announces Alliance With Splunk to Tame Large-Scale Machine Data With Scale-Out Storage.”

The combination of their data collection, indexing and analytical capabilities, and flexible scale-out storage architecture will allow customers to easily and cost-effectively deploy analytics capabilities for their machine data. “We’re pleased to be working with Coraid to help organizations collect, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated data. Splunk and Coraid combine to deliver a solution for organizations that need a scalable, comprehensive, cost-effective approach to operational intelligence,” said Bill Gaylord, senior vice president of business development, Splunk.

“Advanced operational intelligence software combined with a scale-out, flexible storage infrastructure ensures that even complex data center environments can be managed effectively. Making advanced storage-performance analytics available to Splunk users further enriches their experience.”

Melody K. Smith

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

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