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4277Re: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

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  • Patrick Lambe
    Feb 1, 2012
      John - 

      I think Bob's reply is a good statement.

      I define controlled vocabulary as a list of terms (vocabulary) for which there are principles, rules, roles and responsibilities governing structure, inclusion and exclusion of terms (control). People generally only think about constraint when they talk about controlled vocabularies, but the concept also implies active governance.

      All taxonomies are controlled vocabularies (or should be, the "control" portion is often neglected in practice). Not all controlled vocabularies are taxonomies because not all controlled vocabularies express relationships between the terms - Bob gives some nice examples. Controlled vocabularies simply supply selection values to metadata elements, some of which are taxonomy elements, many of which are not. A staff directory listing can be a controlled vocabulary supplying values to the "author" metadata element.

      There is some fuzziness about the term "enterprise taxonomy", especially when you are working with facets. I think when people talk about an enterprise taxonomy singular, they are often referring to multiple taxonomy structures making up (hopefully) a coherent and helpful taxonomy system. I think the term "enterprise knowledge organisation system" would be a more precise term to use because it accommodates the possibility of multiple contributing structures that interact with each other, but am not optimistic about swaying common usage on this.

      I like the question about multiple taxonomies coming out of one controlled vocabulary. Normally, you would have a set of controlled vocabularies, each vocabulary supporting a different metadata element. However there can be cases where a single vocabulary can project different taxonomy structures. For example, in an Army context, we have a facet for "Battalion Activities". This is a single (large) controlled vocabulary, but each Army formation (Infantry, Signals, Armour etc) will only see the activity terms that are relevant  to them. In complex environments, the "background" taxonomy is not necessarily the same as the "presentation" taxonomy. This phenomenon of course becomes more common when you are working with ontologies.

      As Bob says the impact on search depends on your search engine - but more importantly what you can tell your search engine to do, and whether it can be configured to recognise meaningful relationships between concepts - assuming that you have got them defined.

      It is actually more common to have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single enterprise taxonomy, if by that you mean "taxonomy system" using facets.


      Patrick Lambe
      Tel: +65 62210383

      On Feb 2, 2012, at 1:08 AM, John O'Gorman wrote:


      I was looking for information related to David's request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary's link (below) with a few questions. I could start another thread but allow me to begin the questions here:
      1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?
      2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?
      3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?
      4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?
      I found the connection between taxonomies and 'search' kind of confusing. I can see using a taxonomy for navigation and a controlled vocabulary for limiting search results, but a taxonomy by itself (unless the answer to question # 1 is always "Yes") seems a stretch.
      John O'
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary Garcia [mailto:mary_garcia@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 07:29 AM
      To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers


      Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
      along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
      "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.

      Mary Garcia
      Data Harmony Support
      Access Innovations, Inc.

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