The Taxobook: Principles and Practices of Building Taxonomies

The Taxobook: Principles and Practices of Building Taxonomies (2015) .. Marjorie M.K. Hlava


1. Building a case for building a taxonomy
1.1 Taxonomies and metadata
1.2 How are taxonomies and thesauri used?
1.3 Where are taxonomies and thesauri used?
1.4 From list to taxonomy to thesaurus
1.5 Why are taxonomies and thesauri used?
1.6 The cornerstones of information architecture
1.7 So tell me again: why build a taxonomy?

2. Taxonomy basics
2.1 Vocabulary control and why it is important
2.1.1 Synonyms in vocabulary control
2.1.2 Vocabulary control and keywords
2.2 Indexing and tagging
2.3 A few types of tagging
2.3.1 Post-coordination versus pre-coordinate indexing
2.4 Taxonomies and hierarchical structure
2.4.1 Another taxonomy example
2.5 Thesauri: taxonomies with extras
2.5.1 Equivalence relationships
2.5.2 Associative relationships
2.6 Authority files
2.7 What about ontologies?
2.8 More about metadata
2.8.1 ONIX
2.8.2 RDF
2.8.3 TEI
2.8.4 ROADS
2.8.5 RDA
2.8.6 Dublin core
2.9 A brief history of markup languages
2.10 A few details about the markup languages
2.10.1 The basic parts of SGML
2.10.2 The SGML declaration
2.10.3 The document type definition (DTD)
2.10.4 The document instance
2.11 Semantic networks and semantic webs
2.12 A taxonomy is subjective
2.13 Keeping your audience happy

3. Getting started
3.1 Defining the focus and scope
3.2 Basic approaches to creating a taxonomy
3.3 Adapting an existing taxonomy or thesaurus
3.4 Cut and paste: using parts of multiple existing vocabularies
3.5 Start from the beginning
3.6 Mix it up

4. Terms: the building blocks of a taxonomy
4.1 Gathering potential terms
4.2 Other places to look
4.3 Identifying frequently used terms
4.4 How many terms do I need?
4.5 Recording and reviewing terms
4.6 Choosing terms
4.7 Literary, user, and organizational warrant
4.7.1 Literary warrant
4.7.2 User warrant
4.7.3 Organizational warrant
4.8 Terms and their style
4.8.1 Use natural language
4.8.2 Nouns, nouns, nouns
4.8.3 Singular versus plural
4.8.4 Capitalization
4.8.5 Initialisms and acronyms
4.8.6 Spelling
4.8.7 The little things (commas, hyphens, apostrophes, and parentheses)
4.9 Clarity and clarification of term meanings
4.10 Parts of a term record
4.10.1 Scope notes, editorial notes, definitions, bibliographic references, and cross-references
4.10.2 Tracking information

5. Building the structure of your taxonomy
5.1 Organizing how we think: a bookstore example
5.2 Outlining the structure of your taxonomy
5.2.1 First steps for creating the taxonomy structure
5.2.2 Roughing out the structural relationships
5.2.3 The all-and-some test
5.2.4 Crafting the hierarchical structure
5.3 Bottom up or top down?
5.4 Hierarchical levels
5.5 Possibilities for hierarchical relationships
5.6 Adding associative relationships
5.7 Adding equivalence relationships
5.8 A day in the life of a taxonomist: working with taxonomy structure
5.9 The user’s perspective

6. Evaluation and maintenance
6.1 Editorial review
6.2 Use testing
6.3 External review
6.3.1 User level review
6.3.2 Subject matter experts
6.3.3 The dangers of subject experts and silo thinking
6.3.4 How to disagree with an expert
6.3.5 Taxonomy review guidelines for subject matter experts
6.3.6 The valuable partnership between taxonomists and subject matter experts
6.4 I collected, I sorted, I structured, I tested, when will it be finished?
6.5 Maintaining your thesaurus
6.5.1 Keep a schedule
6.5.2 Common mistakes

7. Standards and taxonomies
7.1 What do we call these things?
7.2 So who are these standards guys and why should we listen to them, anyway?
7.3 Creating standards
7.4 An abbreviated guide to the standards

End notes
Author biography