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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Quo Vadis indexing? Skills in building taxonomies and controlled vocabularies for a transformed South Africa Gavin R Davis PhD DEPARTMENT OF LIBRARY AND."— Presentation transcript:

1 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:

2 Taxonomies and controlled vocabularies Introduction Concept clarification Controlled vocabulary Metadata Thesaurus Ontology Taxonomy Types of taxonomies Flat taxonomies Hierarchical taxonomies Faceted taxonomies Network taxonomies Conclusion

3 INTRODUCTION Are things still as we know them? Which one is a mouse? OR AN Apple?

4 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).

5 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 content… Cervone and Fichter (2004:180): metadata ascribe specific meaning to data elements Critical component in a KM environment

6 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

7 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.

8 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.

9 E.GS OF TAXONOMIES Benjamin 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?

10 E.GS OF TAXONOMIES CONTD. (Powell, 2004:225): Chemistry elements as found on the periodic table developed by the Russian chemist, Mendeleyev in 1869 Aristotle, 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

11 TYPES OF TAXONOMIES Bedford (2004: ): 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.

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

13 HIERARCHICAL TAXONOMIES These taxonomies group content into two or more levels. Primary Education Secondary Education Tertiary Education GraduatePostgraduate Education

14 POLYHIERARCHICAL TAXONOMIES Cumming (2005): A taxon can be reached by different routes. Fruit Tree fruit Vine fruit GrapesTomatoes Vegetables Salad Vegetables Root Vegetables CarrotsPotatoes

15 FACETED TAXONOMIES Although these taxonomies resemble flat taxonomies, their structure and purpose differ. Author Electronic Book File sizeTitle FormatCountry Keywords Place of Publication

16 NETWORK TAXONOMIES These taxonomies organize content into both hierarchical and associative categories (Bedford, 2004: 217) Natural Resources Natural Resource Markets Precious Natural Resources Village Markets VillagesVillage Banks Village Women Transport Low – Impact Transport

17 CONCLUSION Significance of all of these for transformation? Well – structured taxonomies Adhere to metadata standards Construct meaningful thesauri Have controlled vocabularies which are user friendly

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


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