Terminology services and technology: JISC state of the art review

Douglas Tudhope, Traugott Koch, Rachel Heery

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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    Abstract

    Executive Summary

    Purpose
    Over the next two years, as part of its Capital Funding Programme, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is supporting further work to realize a rich information environment within the learning and research communities. This review is intended to inform JISC’s planning for future work related to Terminology Services and Technology, as well as to provide useful background information for participants in future calls, whether specifically featuring terminology or where terminology can be used to underpin other services.
    Overview of report contents
    This report reviews vocabularies of different types, best practice guidelines, research on terminology services and related projects. It discusses possibilities for terminology services within the JISC Information Environment and eFramework.

    Terminology Services (TS) are a set of services that present and apply vocabularies, both controlled and uncontrolled, including their member terms, concepts and relationships. This is done for purposes of searching, browsing, discovery, translation, mapping, semantic reasoning, subject indexing and classification, harvesting, alerting etc. Indicative use cases are discussed.

    One type of TS attempts to increase consistency and improve access to digital collections and Web navigation systems via vocabulary control. Vocabulary control aims to reduce the ambiguity of natural language when describing and retrieving items for purposes of information searching. Another type of TS is not concerned with consistency but with making it easier for end-users to describe information items and to have access to other users’ descriptions. This results in vocabularies (folksonomies) that may not be controlled, at least initially. The report reviews different kinds of vocabularies, according to their structure and their intended purpose. Potential benefits and return on investment are discussed. Named entity authority and social tagging services are discussed in some detail. Pointers are given on best practice guidelines and networked access to vocabularies, including key issues for future terminology registries.

    The wider context of TS is considered. Relevant literature on user studies is reviewed. TS are located within an information lifecycle and within the JISC IE. Suggestions are made towards a more specific definition of Terminology Web Services within the JISC IE. Current work on Terminology Web Services is reviewed, along with work on mapping, automatic classification/indexing and repositories. Current projects that involve TS activity (JISC, UK, and international) are briefly reviewed.

    Relevant standards are discussed, particularly for vocabulary representation; identification of concepts, terms and vocabularies; protocols and APIs.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherJISC
    Commissioning bodyJISC
    Number of pages96
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2006

    Keywords

    • knowledge organization systems
    • KOS
    • terminology services
    • controlled vocabularies
    • folksonomies

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