Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Online Workshop: Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies
Five weekly lessons, online at any time (no live component)
Workshop Description and Outline
Taxonomies are structured sets of terms used for tagging or categorizing content. They are used in a wide variety of applications ranging from document indexing, digital asset management, enterprise content management, commercial product categorization, online news service interfaces, and web site information architecture.
This course provides a basic introduction to taxonomies, discusses best practices for creating terms and relationships, and provides some practice to start working on taxonomies and thesauri. This course also includes exclusive student trial access to some taxonomy management systems.
Lesson 1: Introduction to taxonomies
Lesson 2: Software for creating taxonomies
Lesson 3: Hierarchical structure and term
Lesson 4: Wording of terms and their variants
Lesson 5: Concluding topics and issues
Lessons: Weekly lesson texts are comprised of a set of three to six web pages, one for each chapter of the lesson. Each lesson has links, and some have associated graphics of screenshots. It is not necessary to go through an entire lesson at one sitting, but each chapter page is designed to be read at one sitting. The lessons and chapters vary in length, depending on the topic. Lessons and associated information will be posted on the Simmons Moodle online course service, not at this Web site.
Exercises/Assignments: Most lessons have assignments. Although you are not required to submit the assignments, you are welcome to submit them, either as e-mail attachments to the instructor, attachments to Discussion Forum postings, or to the course site, if you would like feedback. Questions to the instructor are welcome at any time.
Discussion Forums: Discussion Forums are a part of this workshop. Each lesson has its own forum in order to group discussion topics by lesson topics. Students are encouraged to post lesson comments and questions to the appropriate lesson forum first, prior to e-mailing the instructor directly, since other students might have similar issues. You may post to the appropriate Discussion Forum any comments or questions about any lesson at any time. You do not need to post on topics related to the current lesson or the immediate past lesson. Lingering questions to lessons several weeks behind are still welcome.
Software: Special software does not need to be purchased to complete the workshop, but students are expected download a free demo version of one or more of the software tools discussed in lesson 2 for the purpose of understanding thesaurus management software. Such software may be used when completing assignments in subsequent lessons, but it is not required.
Readings: The required reading is: ANSI/NISO Z39.19 (2005) Guidelines for Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies, which will be made available as a freely downloadable pdf.
Other recommended, but not required, books are:
Links to additional articles on the Web are provided within each lesson.
Hours Expected: The number of hours put in depends on whether you choose to complete all the assignments, how many demo software packages you chose to try, the extent that you work on a taxonomy project of your own, and how much optional reading you want to do. Past students have put in from 2 to 8 hours per week, with 4-5 hours per week being the average.
Simmons Continuing Education online registration form (external link)
Please also indicate the desired session's month along with the course name in the Workshop Title field.
Cost is $250 full price, or $200 for Simmons GSLIS alumni.
If paying by check, make it out to “Simmons College” and mail it to:
All registration questions should be directed to Kris Liberman.
All enrolled attendees will receive a Certificate of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for one unit, which will be mailed to them after the workshop.
Simmons College provides Professional Development Points (PDPs) according to the Massachusetts Department of Education requirements for certification. Attendees who request PDPs for (re)certification will earn 15 PDPs for this workshop.