The Accidental Taxonomist Blog

A Taxonomist Community

Taxonomists and others whose work involves taxonomies have not been a unified professional community. Taxonomy development work is interdisciplinary, spanning different specializations, and different organizational functions, including the following: Information services taxonomies and thesauri, developed by those with a background in library/information science, thesauri, and cataloging, and possibly indexing Product/ecommerce…

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Polyhierarchy in Taxonomies

A defining characteristic of taxonomies is that terms/concepts are arranged in broader-narrower hierarchies, which may resemble tree structures. A limited number of top concepts each have narrower concepts, which in turn may have narrower concepts, etc., and the narrowest concepts at the bottom of the hierarchy are sometimes referred to…

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Named Entities in Taxonomies

I have long felt that there is some uncertainty as to where named entities (names of specific people, places, organizations, products, etc.) fit into taxonomies. Standards suggest one way, and practice tends to follow different way in dealing with these proper nouns. As taxonomy trends evolve so does the position…

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Attributes in Taxonomies

When I had done consulting for ecommerce taxonomy clients years ago, and they would refer to the taxonomy facets for products as “attributes,” I felt that might be confusing, because I considered “attributes” something else: a characteristic like metadata of a taxonomy term or a feature of an ontology. I…

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Taxonomies and Sitemaps

I was recently asked if a website’s sitemap of company’s website could serve as the start of a taxonomy for an organization. The sitemap, after all, includes all the relevant topics pertaining to an organization’s business offerings, and they are arranged in a hierarchy.  I have previously blogged on the…

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Taxonomies for Human Resources

I just attended the HR Technology Conference this week, my first time at an industry or functional specialty conference, so it was interesting to learn how taxonomies could be positioned within this specialized sector. I usually speak or write about taxonomies as useful in general knowledge and information management, with the only specialization discussed in ecommerce. Human resources…

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