The Taxobook

Written by Access Innovations founder Marjorie M.K. Hlava, 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

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

Introduces the foundations of classification, starting with Plato and Aristotle, moving through the centuries of Western philosophy, before focusing in on the contributions of ShivaliRamamrita, 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 the historical discussion, includes a glossary that covers all three books in the series. Helps 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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Part 2: Principles and Practices of Taxonomy Construction

Outlines the basic principles of creating and maintaining taxonomies and thesauri, provides step-by-step instructions for building a taxonomy, and discusses ways to get started on a taxonomy construction project. An introduction to the basics of taxonomies, discusses how indexing and tagging relate to taxonomies, a few types of tagging, and indexing. The concept of a hierarchical structure for vocabularies is introduces and the differences among various kinds of controlled vocabularies  are explored, including taxonomies, thesauri, authority files, and ontologies. Also reviewed are metadata and markup languages, presenting options for beginning a taxonomy project and the steps required to seeing it through to its completion.

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Part 3: Application and Implementation

The final volume brings everything from the first two volumes together, discussing how to put a taxonomy to use to maximize search retrieval for users.  Research items are suggested before starting the implementation and integration process, including different pieces of software needed and the features to look for in each. How to use taxonomy terms within a workflow, how to connect multiple taxonomies, and intelligent coordination of platforms are also discussed, along with semantic integration and the relationship between indexing and the hierarchy of a taxonomy.

This volume provides examples of taxonomies in practical applications and how to display content based on search. Also examined are how to measure quality in search and provide enough information for readers to see how everything fits into the overall scheme.  The taxonomic journey concludes with discussing where a taxonomy in a database or on a website really starts: the authors and content creators.

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