The Taxobook

It is with great excitement that we announce the publication of Marjorie M.K. Hlava’s The Taxobook. This three-volume journey takes readers through the history and implementation of taxonomies and their use in search systems.

“Her love of language and organizational structure comes through in every chapter of the work.”-Gary Marchionini, Dean of the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“[A] much needed addition to our publishing program, and to the community at large.”-Diane Cerra, Morgan & Claypool Publishers


9C cropped“A labor of love.”-Marjorie M.K. Hlava




The Taxobook Part 1: History, Theories, and Concepts of Knowledge Organization

Taxobook Pt1

In Book 1, she introduces the foundations of classification, starting with Plato and Aristotle, moving through the centuries of Western philosophy, before focusing in on the contributions of Shivali Ramamrita Ranganathan, often considered the “father of modern library science.” His concept of faceted vocabularies have become integral – if not well understood – to many e-commerce websites.

Following this historical discussion, Margie has included a glossary that covers all three books in the series. It is included here so it can be referenced as one works their way through the second and third books. She believes that it is important to understand the history of knowledge organization and the differing viewpoints will help answer these fundamental questions: Why do we want to build taxonomies? How do we build them to serve multiple points of view?

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The Taxobook Part 2: Principles and Practices of Taxonomy Construction

Taxobook Pt2

In volume 2, Margie Hlava outlines the basic principles of creation and maintenance of taxonomies and thesauri. She also provides step-by-step instructions for building a taxonomy  and discusses ways to get started on a taxonomy construction project.

This volume is an introduction to the basics of taxonomies. She discusses how indexing and tagging relate to taxonomies, a few of the types of tagging, and a discussion of post- and pre-coordinate indexing. Following that, Margie presents the concept of a hierarchical structure for vocabularies and discusses the differences among various kinds of controlled vocabularies, such as taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, and ontologies.

Finally, Margie discusses metadata and markup languages, while presenting options for beginning a taxonomy project and the steps required to seeing it through to its completion. After working through the steps outlined in this book, readers will be ready to move on to the integration of a taxonomy into the workflow of your organization.

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The Taxobook Part 3: Application and Implementation

Taxobook Pt3

The final volume brings everything from the first two volumes together. Here, she discusses putting a taxonomy to use  to maximize search retrieval for users.  First, she suggests research items to consider before starting the implementation and integration process and explores the different pieces of software needed and the features to look for in each.

After that, Margie discusses how to use taxonomy terms within a workflow, how to connect multiple taxonomies, and intelligent coordination of platforms. She discusses taxonomies and semantic integration, as well as the relationship between indexing and the hierarchy of a taxonomy.

Margie provides examples of taxonomies in practical applications and  displaying content based on search. She also examines how to measure quality in search and provides enough information for readers to see how everything fits into the overall scheme.

Margie finishes her taxonomic journey discussing where a taxonomy in a database or on a website really starts: the authors and content creators.

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