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Taxonomy Division Programs - Registration Open

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  • George Peckham-Rooney
    Early Registration registration for SLA 2013 is now open and from now till December 31st, 2012 anyone who registers for the 2013 conference will be able to
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 17, 2012
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      Early Registration registration for SLA 2013 is now open and from now till December 31st, 2012 anyone who registers for the 2013 conference will be able to lock in the SLA 2012 rate. The SLA Taxonomy division has assembled several excellent sessions at the upcoming SLA Annual Conference in San Diego on many different taxonomy-related topics including choosing taxonomy management tool(s), and organizing knowledge. 

      Session Schedule:

      Sunday, June 9th:

      • Starting a Taxonomy Project
      • Selecting a Taxonomy Management Tool
      • Enhance Your Records Management Program with Taxonomy
      • Taxonomy Disasters (Taxonomy Business Meeting with Patrick Lambe)

      Saturday, June 8th:

      • Introduction to Taxonomies (Continuing Education Event)

      Monday, June 10th:

      • Organizing Knowledge (Spotlight Session with Patrick Lambe)
      • How to Apply Your Taxonomy to Your Content

      Tuesday, June 11th:

      • SharePoint Speed Dating


      Continuing Education:

      The Division will also be hosting a continuing education seminar throughout the day (including lunch) on Saturday, June 8th, which we encourage anyone interested in the field to attend. The cost structure for the event is as follows: SLA Members:   $299, Students/Retired (Members): $199, Non-members: $399, and tickets are currently available. The continuing education workshop and the conference programs are independent events; you can register for either or both.

      Introduction to Taxonomies
      A fast moving and powerful introduction to both the theoretical and practical aspects of building a taxonomy, thesaurus or ontology.  A well-built taxonomy is part of the foundation of the information architecture underlying web sites, corporate Intranets, search retrieval and access to relevant content in databases.  After defining controlled vocabularies and identifying core standards, participants will explore key concepts of taxonomy, thesaurus, indexing, classification and filtering.  Discussion will include the basics of a taxonomy records and fundamental term relationships.  Attendees will put concepts into practice through multiple exercises, taxonomy, indexing, and related software tools will be demonstrated.


      About Taxonomy Division:
      The Taxonomy Division addresses ways to organize and structure information so that content is accessible and useful. It offers a practical context for exploring issues and sharing experiences related to planning, creating and maintaining taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, and other controlled vocabularies and information structures. If you are interested in learning more about the division please check out our website  where we have information about upcoming events, and if you're interested in joining the Special Libraries Association and the division please see the SLA website. 

    • Karen Bulow
      I am trying to make a strong argument to hire more taxonomists at my company.  Right now, we have about 7,000 terms and one half of a taxonomist now that I
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 19, 2012
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        I am trying to make a strong argument to hire more taxonomists at my company.  Right now, we have about 7,000 terms and one half of a taxonomist now that I have been partially moved onto another project.  I know that not all taxonomies are the same as far as the amount of maintenance needed to manage each one.  But I would like to get an idea of the number of FTE managing the taxonomies.  Please include those managing the taxonomy tool itself, those managing the non-preferred terminology, scope notes, and those who may manage lists of SMEs/content owners/system owners.
         
        Thanks,
        Karen Bulow
      • Seth Maislin
        Karen, Far be it from me to deny the involvement of other taxonomists, but it s important to decide what the taxonomy should be in charge of (in your
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 19, 2012
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          Karen,

          Far be it from me to deny the involvement of other taxonomists, but it's important to decide what the taxonomy should be in charge of (in your environment), and where the taxonomist needs to rely on commitments from other stakeholders.

          Taxonomy governance involves teams, usually a high-level strategic team and a lower-level hands-on team, and each of these teams is responsible as a whole for suggesting and implementing certain changes. There are also support teams outside of the business, such as IT and legal and security, who get involved when appropriate. For complex business with large taxonomies, the taxonomist can't know enough about everything to run the show.

          In my opinion, the taxonomist is really the taxonomy manager. He/she is the person responsible for making changes to the taxonomy, or at least approving changes that others have added to a change queue. This includes managing the preferred and nonpreferred terms, managing associative relationships, writing scope notes, etc., although the need for each of these items is likely to come from somewhere in the business (e.g., a request for a new term). The taxonomist is also responsible for socializing the taxonomy across the business, providing education and advice as needed, and recognizing opportunities for greater efficiencies by either growing or better leveraging the existing taxonomy. The taxonomy is also a liaison between business and IT, and so there needs to be a counterpart on the side where the taxonomist isn't. (If the taxonomist is on the business side, an IT person is needed to manage and integrate the taxonomy tools with other systems; if the taxonomy is an IT professional, then there needs to be someone on the business side to speak up about use cases and the user experience.) ... And yeah, that's a lot, so hopefully the taxonomist can lean on other folks to help out. Is the taxonomist the only person capable of inspecting search logs for new nonpreferred terms?

          It's not the taxonomy's size that matters as much as its complexity, but if the taxonomy has a dozen facets, several of those facets have over 500 terms, and there exist at least two different kinds of complex relationships between faceted terms -- such as products and product categories, tasks and roles, documents and processes -- then I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't need at least a full-time taxonomist (taxonomy manager), part-time IT support, and business engagement from every group, executive support, and occasional involvement from other groups such as legal, security, publishing, social marketing, or what-have-you depending on the environment. And if your taxonomy is constantly in flux, or if you must regularly map multiple taxonomies together -- something that could happen annually if you're using an externally published taxonomy that updates annually -- then you're going to need even more time than that.

          My "dream team" for taxonomy is a taxonomist, an information designer/architect, a systems specialist (IT), a search specialist, an indexer, and an educator/socializer, all with the support of an enthusiastic executive sponsor. Note that these roles are flexible, such that you can have a single IA/search specialist, and content authors can be responsible for their own indexing.

          - Seth M

          Seth Maislin
          Taxonomy Practice Lead
          Earley & Associates
          seth.maislin@...
          direct: 781-775-0684
          http://www.earley.com
        • marti@mkheyman.com
          Karen - I can share the numbers for Gale/Cengage Learning, but keep in mind that we re a publishing company and our vocabularies are massive. We currently have
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 20, 2012
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            Karen -
             
            I can share the numbers for Gale/Cengage Learning, but keep in mind that we're a publishing company and our vocabularies are massive. We currently have 13 FTEs covering the roughly 8 million terms within our 70 different vocabularies (including numerous name authorities). So, each vocabulary editor covers about 600,000 terms (although that isn’t how we organize the work).
            I would argue that an company that sees the value in having some form of controlled/managed vocabulary to aid in the discoverability of assets, and has already made the investment to develop and deploy the vocabulary, should have a dedicated FTE to manage the ongoing health and adoption of the investment.
            Good luck!
            Marti Heyman
            Executive Director, Metadata Standards and Services
            Cengage Learning
          • Fran Alexander
            Hi Karen In the BBC Archive we have a Taxonomy Team comprising a Taxonomy Manager (me), a Senior Taxonomist, and two junior Taxonomists, as well as a couple of
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 22, 2012
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              Hi Karen

              In the BBC Archive we have a Taxonomy Team comprising a Taxonomy Manager (me), a Senior Taxonomist, and two junior Taxonomists, as well as a couple of taxonomists who are not officially part of the team but look after our Natural History taxonomy amongst other work. There's an IT support team.

              When we have projects - such as our current taxonomy revision project - we can draw on members of other teams. At the moment we have 4.6 FTE from the cataloguing team helping us out for one year.

              In total, we have 2.7 million concepts in about 20 taxonomies, but 1.7 million of those are flat keywords used for tagging legacy content that we are leaving pretty much alone at the moment. Our Natural History taxonomy has some 150,000 preferred and 200,000 non-preferred terms. Our core Subject taxonomy has about 500,000 preferred and 350,000 non-preferred terms.

              There are lots of taxonomies in other departments of the BBC that we do not manage, and even some within the Archive itself (we are not managing the Written Archive's or the Photo Library's taxonomies, for example).

              The Public-facing Website teams have lots of Data Managers and Information Architects who develop and curate their ontologies and taxonomies but do other things as well. There are also people across the business who manage taxonomies on the Intranet, and for general business systems too.


              All the best

              Fran


              ------------------------------
              On Thu, Dec 20, 2012 16:00 GMT marti@... wrote:

              >

              >Karen -

              >I can share the numbers for Gale/Cengage Learning, but keep in mind that we're a publishing company and our vocabularies are massive. We currently have 13 FTEs covering the roughly 8 million terms within our 70 different vocabularies (including numerous name authorities). So, each vocabulary editor covers about 600,000 terms (although that isn’t how we organize the work).
              >I would argue that an company that sees the value in having some form of controlled/managed vocabulary to aid in the discoverability of assets, and has already made the investment to develop and deploy the vocabulary, should have a dedicated FTE to manage the ongoing health and adoption of the investment.
              >Good luck!
              >Marti Heyman
              >Executive Director, Metadata Standards and Services
              >Cengage Learning
              >
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