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Quo Vadis indexing? Skills in building taxonomies and controlled vocabularies for a transformed South Africa. Gavin R Davis PhD DEPARTMENT OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPE BELLVILLE E- mail: Taxonomies and controlled vocabularies. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Quo Vadis indexing? Skills in building taxonomies and controlled vocabularies for a transformed South AfricaGavin R Davis PhDDEPARTMENT OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCEUNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPEBELLVILLEE- mail:

  • Taxonomies and controlled vocabularies IntroductionConcept clarificationControlled vocabularyMetadataThesaurusOntologyTaxonomyTypes of taxonomiesFlat taxonomiesHierarchical taxonomies Faceted taxonomiesNetwork taxonomies Conclusion

  • INTRODUCTIONAre things still as we know them?Which one is a mouse?

    OR AN


  • CONCEPT CLARIFICATION Controlled vocabulary - refers to a list of terms or headings, each one having an assigned meaning (Foskett, 1996; Cumming, 2005)Broughton (2006: 210) regards controlled vocabulary (also referred to as controlled indexing language) as a system used for classifying or indexing documents which uses a more limited set of terms than are found in natural language ( emphasis in the original).

  • CONCEPT CLARIFICATION CONTD.Metadata - Broughton (2006: 216) refers to metadata as data about data i.e. information attached to a document or resource that describes various features of the document, such as its creator, title, date of origin, subject contentCervone and Fichter (2004:180): metadata ascribe specific meaning to data elementsCritical component in a KM environment

  • CONCEPT CLARIFICATION CONTD.Thesaurus - Cumming (2005): structured sets of the terms used to index information.Foskett (1996: 89): consists of a list of terms denoting single concepts, showing the semantic relationships between them.Thesauri also have pre-coordinated headings

  • CONCEPT CLARIFICATION CONTD.Ontology - Can be misleading as its origin comes from Philosophy.Cumming (2005): More specific in defining a concept or item and its relationships.Aitchison and Clark (2004: 16): is another term used quite loosely in different circles, but in the artificial intelligence (AI) community, it is often defined as a formal, explicit specification of a shared conceptualization.

  • CONCEPT CLARIFICATION CONTD.Taxonomy - Koenig & Srikantaiah (2004: 6): two dictionary meanings (Webster)Study of the general principles of classification (Library and Information Science)Orderly classification of animals & plants Cumming (2005): a structured list, or tree, formed into a hierarchy with broader terms at the top.Each taxon (item) should be mutually exclusive and unambiguous.

  • E.GS OF TAXONOMIESBenjamin Blooms (1958) taxonomy - provide some conceptual base regarding knowledge counselling.Therefore speaks of hierarchical taxonomy of cognitive functions which is a structured framework for identifying information and knowledge needs of individuals (Debons, et al., 2001: 461).Is taxonomy always hierarchical?

  • E.GS OF TAXONOMIESCONTD.(Powell, 2004:225):Chemistry elements as found on the periodic table developed by the Russian chemist, Mendeleyev in 1869Aristotle, the Greek philosopher tried to classify organisms on the basis of either having red blood or not.Genus / species relationships of the Swedish naturalist Linnaeus in the 1750s

  • TYPES OF TAXONOMIES Bedford (2004:209 - 210): Accuses KM literature of advising KM architects to only produce hierarchical categories for the production of knowledge.Flat, faceted and network taxonomies are equally important in supporting KM processes.

  • FLAT TAXONOMIES Categories in flat taxonomies are regarded as co equal, basically referring to no inherent relationships among them (Bedford, 2004: 212)

  • HIERARCHICAL TAXONOMIES These taxonomies group content into two or more levels.

  • POLYHIERARCHICAL TAXONOMIES Cumming (2005): A taxon can be reached by different routes.

  • FACETED TAXONOMIES Although these taxonomies resemble flat taxonomies, their structure and purpose differ.

  • NETWORK TAXONOMIES These taxonomies organize content into both hierarchical and associative categories (Bedford, 2004: 217)

  • CONCLUSIONSignificance of all of these for transformation?Well structured taxonomiesAdhere to metadata standardsConstruct meaningful thesauriHave controlled vocabularies which are user friendly

  • THANKS! ENKOSI! DANKIE!Preserve for the future?


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