Helen Lippell, a taxonomist, consultant and author, was recently interviewed about her “off the beaten” career path. Like so many in this field, it wasn’t the original destination. This interesting topic came to us from Research Information in their article, “A Mastermind of taxonomy.”

Starting out with an academic background of Latin and Economics, her first job after university was as a manual indexer of news information from all over the world. Applying tags to give power to words and phrases and improve their findability, was likely the first taste of classification that caught her attention.

Like so many information science professionals, a taxonomist typically specializes in a genre, subject or industry. And, like any library, taxonomy is only as good as its librarians. 

Metadata makes digital content findable. However, findability works only when a proper taxonomy is in place. 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

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