As we celebrate the 57th birthday of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), it is essential to remember the important and powerful data they collect, organize, manage and share. This is done primarily through the NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program to preserve NASA’s research and development published results.

The primary part of that daunting task is done with the NASA Thesaurus, which contains the authorized NASA subject terms used to index and retrieve materials in the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) and the NTRS Registered (formerly known as the NASA Aeronautics & Space Database (NA&SD)). The scope of this controlled vocabulary includes not only aerospace engineering, but all supporting areas of engineering and physics, the natural space sciences (astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science), Earth sciences, and the biological sciences. The NASA Thesaurus contains over 18,400 subject terms, 4,300 definitions, and more than 4,500 USE cross references.

Machine Aided Indexing (MAI) is used to index technical literature for the NTRS Register. The terms of the NASA Thesaurus serve as the foundation for the extensive knowledge base used by MAI. Using this established vocabulary of terms, MAI provides valuable assistance in assuring that technical reports and other STI documents are uniformly and consistently accessible.

Not all technology is created equal. It is important to 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 taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.