The Accidental Taxonomist, 3rd edition
by Heather Hedden 

Order from the publisher

Published by Information Today Inc.
November 2022
502 pages/softbound
ISBN 978-1-57387-586-8
Price: $47.50 (current 10% discount price $42.75)

Order ebook versions at $33.00:
epub or pdf
Amazon Kindle
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Table of Contents
Foreword to the 3rd Edition by Stephanie Lemieux
Foreword to the 2nd Edition by Joseph Busch
Foreword to the 1st Edition by Patrick Lambe
Index (PDF)

Book resources:
Websites from the book
Taxonomist survey
(available for purchase)

More information:
Book signing events

Summary & Endorsements

Publisher’s Summary

The Accidental Taxonomist is the most comprehensive guide available to the art and science of building information taxonomies. Heather Hedden—a leading taxonomy expert and instructor—walks readers through the process, displaying her trademark ability to present highly technical information in straightforward, comprehensible English.

In this fully revised third edition, Hedden adds an entirely new chapter on ontologies, emphasizes the SKOS model of concepts over the traditional thesaurus model of terms, and provides new insights into taxonomy development techniques. She presents fresh survey data; new screenshots and examples; and updated information on software, career opportunities, and resources for taxonomists. Drawing on numerous real-world examples, she explains how to create concepts and relationships, design taxonomy structures, select taxonomy management software, create taxonomies for manual vs. automated tagging, plan and manage taxonomy projects, adapt taxonomies to various user interfaces, and more.

Endorsements to the Third Edition

“This book has been a big help throughout my career, and I am delighted to see this fully updated edition, which takes account of how far the taxonomy field has come in just a few years. Everyone who works with taxonomies will find indispensable knowledge and guidance in this terrific resource.”
—Helen Lippell, author, Taxonomies: Practical Approaches to Developing and Managing Vocabularies for Digital Information, and Program Chair, Taxonomy Boot Camp London

“Hedden’s Accidental Taxonomist is the go-to source for new taxonomists and an essential reference for experienced professionals. The field of taxonomy continues to benefit from the distillation of her comprehensive experience in this third edition.”
—Gary Carlson, Principal, Factor

“The Accidental Taxonomist is the formative book for the study and application of taxonomy in business, and Hedden’s continued leadership in this edition is essential for professionals and practitioners of all things data, information, and knowledge.”
—John Horodyski, Executive Director, Salt Flats, Adjunct Professor, and author, Metadata Matters

“With the fields of knowledge, information, and data management colliding, Hedden’s book is more important than ever. Taxonomies are a key foundational element for the most exciting solutions in the field, all the way up to artificial intelligence, and The Accidental Taxonomist will help you understand how.”
—Zach Wahl, Founder and CEO, Enterprise Knowledge

Endorsement to the Second Edition

Hedden’s book has quickly established itself as a comprehensive and indispensable resource in the field. In covering numerous important new directions (and software offerings!) this second edition should appeal to wide-eyed newcomers and experienced taxonomists alike.
—Marjorie M. K. Hlava, President, Access Innovations, Inc., and Author, The TaxoBook Series

Taxonomy has finally gone mainstream and I hold The Accidental Taxonomist at least partially responsible. Hedden mashes together practical applications with librarian-quality standards, bleeding-edge technologies with practitioner lifestyles. …Read this book.
—Seth Maislin, Principle Consultant, Earley Information Science

A well-written, well-structured book. … highly recommended to all involved in building taxonomies and on the verge of entering this field. It is also highly recommended to faculty teaching about taxonomies—both as a resource to develop their own teaching material and as recommended material for students.
—Ina Fourie, The Electronic Library

Endorsements to the First Edition

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, Access Innovations, Inc., and Chair, SLA Taxonomy Division

A wealth of descriptive reference content is balanced with expert guidance. … Open The Accidental Taxonomist to begin the learning process or to refresh your understanding of the depth and breadth of this demanding discipline.
—Lynda Moulton, Principal Consultant, LWM Technology Services

This book is an excellent resource for librarians and non-librarians working with taxonomies, library students, and for librarians who wish to learn more about information structure and organization.
—Rebeca Befus, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship

Discussion of Topics

A discussion of some of the topics that appear in The Accidental Taxonomist are in a podcast interview of Heather Hedden conducted by Jorge Arango as part of his series, The Informed Life, posted July 19, 2020:
Heather Hedden on Taxonomies