Case Study: American Association for the Advancement of Science Thesaurus Project


The group that publishes Science magazine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), asked Access Innovations to help them with a thesaurus project. AAAS was established in 1848. They have publications dating back to the 1880s. Because scientific language has changed over time, AAAS needed help updating their thesaurus.


AAAS had a website where people could search for scientific information, but they wanted to improve it by adding specific topics for people to browse. They needed a way to organize the information so people could find what they were looking for more easily. Since AAAS publishes many different types of scientific journals, they needed to make sure the thesaurus included all the specific areas of science as well. AAAS was blessed with many in-house experts who could review the thesaurus to make sure it was accurate.


Access Innovations’ team of experts created a list of scientific terms that covered all areas of science by using AAAS’s resources. They included terms specific to their specialty journals on subjects like cell signaling and translational medicine, as well as non-research topics like science industry news and job listings. The team worked closely with AAAS experts to review and improve the list, which was then added to the AAAS platform for people to use when searching for scientific information.


Access Innovations ultimately partnered with AAAS to improve the way scientific information is organized and searched on their website. Access Innovations’ team created a thesaurus, which included about 7,100 preferred terms and 7,100 synonyms covering a wide range of scientific topics. They worked closely with AAAS experts to refine the thesaurus and ensure its accuracy. AAAS implemented the new thesaurus, which made it easier for people to find what they’re looking for on their website. Access Innovations is still helping AAAS manage the thesaurus and improve their content indexing system.