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Taxonomies: Practical Approaches to Developing and Managing Vocabularies for Digital Information


As organisations across the globe commit to digital transformation, well-managed taxonomies are more critical than ever in supporting a wide range of business applications. Amidst growing industry uptake of controlled vocabularies, ontologies and knowledge graphs, taxonomists are at the forefront of helping organisations manage content and data of unprecedented breadth, depth and variety.

Taxonomies: Practical Approaches to Developing and Managing Vocabularies for Digital Information is a comprehensive guide to building, implementing and using taxonomies. Featuring contributions and case examples from some of the world's leading experts, the book supports professional development through practical advice and real-world case studies. Readers will learn best practice for the everyday realities of working with stakeholders, sponsors and systems to ensure that taxonomies remain useful and relevant. Addressing all the key stages of the process of building and implementing a taxonomy, including scoping, user testing and validation, and the creation of governance processes, the book is invaluable for the optimisation of systems for users and stakeholders alike.

Heather Hedden

Helen Lippell

Part 1 Getting Started

1 Business Buy-in and Scoping
Maura Moran

2 Choosing Taxonomy Software
Joyce van Aalten

Part 2 Building Taxonomies

3 Taxonomy Structuring and Scaling: A Standardised Approach
Jonathan Engel

4 The Diversity of Terms: Respecting Culture and Avoiding Bias
Bharat Dayal Sharma

5 Relationships, Hierarchies and Semantics
Bob Kasenchak

6 User Testing and Validation
Tom Alexander

7 Taxonomy and Vocabulary Interoperability
Yonah Levenson

8 Everything that Will Go Wrong in your Taxonomy Project
Ed Vald

Part 3 Applications

9 Enterprise Search
Michele Jenkins

10 Taxonomy and Digital Asset Management
Sara James and Jeremy Bright

11 Powering Structured Content with Taxonomies
Rahel Anne Bailie

12 Information Architecture and E-commerce
Margaret Hanley

Part 4 Business Adoption

13 Implementing Taxonomies and Metadata: Lessons from a Busy Newsroom
Annette Feldman

14 Taxonomy Governance
Cynthia Knowles

15 Taxonomy Maintenance
Helen Challinor

16 The Taxonomist's Role in a Development Team
Jo Kent

Appendix A: Metadata Template to Capture Taxonomy Term Diversity
Bharat Dayal Sharma

Appendix B: Semantics: Some Basic Ontological Principles
Bob Kasenchak

Appendix C: Metadata Model Template
Yonah Levenson

Bob Kasenchak and Helen Lippell

Helen Lippell is a taxonomy consultant with more than 15 years' experience in the field. Her clients have included Electronic Arts, Pearson, the BBC, the Department for International Trade, the Financial Times, Philips, and the Metropolitan Police. She has been the programme chair of Taxonomy Boot Camp London since its inception in 2016, and speaks and writes regularly for taxonomy practitioners.

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