Hedden Information Management
Web Site Indexing
Indexing Specialties: Web Sites
About Heather Hedden
The Accidental Taxonomist is the most comprehensive guide available to
the art and science of building information taxonomies. Heather Hedden—one
of today’s leading writers, instructors, and consultants on indexing
and taxonomy topics—walks readers through the process, displaying
her trademark ability to present highly technical information in straightforward,
Drawing on numerous real-world examples, Hedden explains how to create
terms and relationships, select taxonomy management software, design taxonomies
for human versus automated indexing, manage enterprise taxonomy projects,
and adapt taxonomies to various user interfaces. The result is a practical
and essential guide for information professionals who need to effectively
create or manage taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and thesauri.
In The Accidental Taxonomist, Heather Hedden has taken on the
prickly challenge of setting definitions to the very terms her community
of peers has trouble agreeing on! She clearly details the conceptual and
practical notions of controlled vocabularies so that newcomers to the
field can understand what they’ve gotten themselves into and experienced
practitioners can have a common frame of reference. This work is richly
packed and will become a standard reference book in the field. Ms. Hedden
has taken on the challenge of controlling the terms of controlled vocabularies
and provided a valuable reference book in the process.
—Christine Connors, Principal, TriviumRLG LLC
From the novice taxonomist to the experienced professional, all will find
good, practical advice in The Accidental Taxonomist.
—Trish Yancey, COO Synaptica, LLC
This book squarely addresses the growing demand for and interest in taxonomy.
... Heather brings a variety of background experience, including not only
taxonomy construction but also abstracting and content categorization
and creating back-of-book indexes. These experiences serve her well by
building a broad perspective on the similarities as well as real differences
between often overlapping types of work.
—Marjorie M. K. Hlava, President and Chairman, Access Innovations,
Inc., and Chair, SLA Taxonomy Division
This book has a lighthearted title but it
is clearly not for the casual reader. It is for someone preparing to get
serious about taxonomies and building them. As the author makes clear,
one cannot dip a toe into the waters of taxonomy preparation and expect
to get great or even good results. Water is an apt metaphor because vocabulary
is highly fluid; maintaining control of its application requires great
focus, active learning, and attention to the numerous details of the project
For anyone challenged to build a business
case for launching a taxonomy project, someone who needs to lead a building
project, or is asked to participate on a taxonomy team – this book
is the resource you needed to fully understand what you are about to dive
into. Open it to begin the learning process or to refresh your understanding
of the depth and breadth of this demanding discipline.
The Accidental Taxonomist can be used as
a reference book, a text book or collection of topical essays that roll
up a web of information related to taxonomy building in a single source.
It gives good exposure to possibilities for professional growth in the
field while describing, not prescribing, the many facets of the discipline
—Lynda Moulton, Principal Consultant, LWM Technology Services,
and Analyst, Enterprise Search for the Gilbane Group a division of Outsell,