Notes from Ashleigh Faith

ISO 25964 part 1- 2011 and ISO 25964 Part 2 – 2013 are very well rounded standards on construction, maintenance, and validation of terminologies with special attention paid to interoperability. Both are difficult to get through Pitt but Judy Brink got me a copy of both. Since its copyright is licensed to Pitt I could share them with you if you would like to take a look.┬áThere are a lot of rich sections to look at that I think participants of the workshop would be interested in. One in particular is section 16.4 on crosswalks.

For anyone new to vocabularies, Part 1 would be the best to read first to get the groundings and for anyone who has an extensive vocabulary already in place Part 2 would be beneficial. ANSI/NISO Z39.19 is open source. It can be found here: http://www.niso.org/kst/reports/standards?step=2&gid=&project_key=7cc9b583cb5a62e8c15d3099e0bb46bbae9cf38a.

Portions of this were directly pulled into the ISO standards. This is THE resource for anyone working with a controlled vocabulary. Unlike the ISO standards, Z39 was written for non-information professionals to understand more about what they are trying to do. The caveat is it doesn’t cover the digital aspect of vocabularies very well so the other standards should probably be consulted if the vocabulary will be used digitally.

All the information I heard from the workshop points to polyhierarchies and not monohierarchies -meaning there is not one tree structure but many that converge in the broader parent terms. I mention this because it seems that the structures highlighted in the presentations were built as mono- but are trying to act like poly-. This may be one cause for complications. Polyhierarchies are great resources for digital collections because they facilitate machine learning and processing better. Poly-structures gives context for assignment/identification disambiguation and normalization. The standards indicate as such. Ontology reasoners, i.e. the rule-based inheritance schemes built into ontology structures, can be automated using tools. I was incredibly surprised folks at the workshop are either not using maintenance tools or are using painstakingly crafted home-grown tools. There are so many options out there that offer best practice solutions such as Protege, FreeMind, FreePlane, and the TemaTres Vocaulary Server. These are all free and open source vocabulary maintenance and storage tools with ontology capabilities. A new one I just found is called GINCO (its hard to find so here is the link) but it’s so new I cant speculate on its functions. Radial Nexus, Smart Logic Ontology Manager, Synaptica, A.K.A by Synercon, wordmap, TopBraid and Poolparty are all commercial tools for ontology if anyone wants to go that route, but why would you if there are better, open, options…