Annual Meeting Report

Building and Managing a Taxonomy: How to Manage All of the Cooks in the Kitchen


MODERATOR: Susan Willner American Society of Nephrology Washington, DC SPEAKERS: Helen Atkins American Chemical Society Washington, DC Scott Dineen The Optical Society Washington, DC John Magee Gale, A Cengage Company Farmington Hills, Michigan REPORTER: Kelly Newton Society for Neuroscience Washington, DC Thoughtfully planned for and implemented taxonomies allow publishers to better sort, understand, and leverage content—which may span decades of back content and thousands of articles. However, creating or revising a subject-specific taxonomy involves several stakeholders with their own motivations and perspectives, and therefore requires coordination and a delicate balance of interests. The speakers in this session gave practical guidance on building and managing a taxonomy, defining the goals and scope of a project, evaluating success, and managing stakeholders. John Magee started the session with the question, “Where do you start when you don’t know what to do?” Though a project to create a taxonomy begins with a general desire for better content organization, the primary consideration needs to be how users interact with the taxonomy and what are the hoped-for benefits. Some examples noted by Magee are enhanced search, such as search filtering or related content, and organizing a catalog. Once the primary use case is established, publishers can consider details like the level of required or preferred granularity, language and syntax, how content will map to other taxonomies or external standards, and budget and time considerations. Though a significant factor in any project, Magee purposely noted budget and time last, advising publishers to start by focusing on the […]

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