Interactive Virtual Taxonomy Workshops

Taxonomy for Content Tagging

Three-week series (90 minutes/week) interactive online/virtual workshop
Organizer: Society for Technical Communication
Dates: Tuesdays, July 18, July 25, and August 1, 4:00 – 5:30 pm EDT, with assignments inbetween sessions
Format: interactive GoTo Meeting; materials on Moodle
Price: $375.00 for STC Members; $595.00 for Non-Members
Course website link and registration


Content authors understand the importance of their electronic content being easily found when needed by their users, and they might assist in the process by tagging their content. But are the tags sufficiently helpful? To support easy, comprehensive, and accurate search and retrieval of content tags should be based on controlled vocabularies or taxonomies. Creating simple taxonomies is not difficult, and most content or document management systems have built-in taxonomy management features, but creating good effective taxonomies requires understanding certain principles and best practices, which this 3-part workshop introduces. Technical communicators are often key stakeholders in the taxonomy creation process, and they could even take a leading role in taxonomy creation in the absence of a dedicated taxonomist.

Hands-on exercises include indicating the appropriate kind of controlled vocabulary, suitable alternative labels, and possible hierarchical relationships. A small group breakout session activity involves brainstorming a faceted taxonomy design.

What you will learn

This three-week course aims to provide a solid understanding of taxonomies and other controlled vocabularies, their types, usage, and features. The principles of developing taxonomy concepts based on the content and user needs and creating appropriate relationships between concepts to guide users are the focus of the instruction. Participants should learn to follow taxonomy standards or best practices and implement a governance plan.

Attendees will learn:

  • The differences and benefits of different kinds of tagging and categorizing of content
  • What different kinds of controlled vocabularies there (taxonomy, thesaurus, classification scheme, term list, name authority) are and their suitability for different purposes.
  • From where and how to come up with the concepts (terms) in a taxonomy/controlled vocabulary, including content sources, search logs, and user input
  • Best practice for taxonomy concept labels (preferred and alternative) and the creation of hierarchical and associative relationships
  • Principles of published taxonomy standards
  • What to include in a governance plan that comprises both taxonomy maintenance guidelines and tagging policies
  • The role and capabilities of taxonomy management tools


  • Week 1: Taxonomy Usage
    – Introduction: Taxonomy as Categories and Tags; Taxonomies and Metadata
    – Tagging with a Taxonomy
    – Types of Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies
  • Week 2: Taxonomy Creation
    – Sources for Taxonomy Concepts
    – Wording of Concept Labels; Preferred and Alternative Labels
    – Relationships between Taxonomy Concepts
  • Week 3: Taxonomy Management
    – Taxonomy Standards
    – Taxonomy and Tagging Governance
    – Taxonomy Creation and Management Tools

Course website link
Registration opens June 1

Taxonomy and Metadata Design

Two-day series (4 hours/day) interactive online/virtual workshop
Organizer: Technology Transfer
Dates: 8 hours over two days: Monday – Tuesday, December 11 – 12, 2023,
8:00 am – 12:00 pm ET (14:00 – 18:00 CET) each day (with breaks)
Format: interactive Zoom meeting
Price: € 650 (discounted 5% for € 617,50 if registering before November 11)
Course website link and registration


A core part of a knowledge management or content management plan is an integrated taxonomy and metadata strategy. Content that is tagged with metadata, supported by a taxonomy, becomes more manageable, findable, discoverable, and sharable. Metadata is broader than a taxonomy, but a taxonomy is deeper than metadata alone.

Taxonomies and descriptive metadata should be designed in combination. Taxonomies and metadata also need to be designed to best represent the unique content set and its particular users. A licensed taxonomy from an external source is rarely appropriate. This one-day seminar provides the basics in best practices for designing and building a taxonomy and a broader descriptive metadata schema that supports findability and discoverability.

This seminar considers all implementation of metadata and taxonomies, whether for internal/enterprise knowledge management or for customer-facing Web content management, whether for manual or auto-tagging, and whether in a content management system, document management system, digital asset management system, SharePoint, or an internally developed database.

What you will learn

  • The types, benefits, uses of taxonomies
  • How to determine what kind of taxonomy is right for your implementation
  • What resources to use in developing a taxonomy
  • How to design a set of metadata properties that will be appropriately usable and useful
  • How to develop taxonomy terms/metadata values and synonyms that best serve the users
  • How to correctly structure hierarchical relationships between taxonomy terms
  • How to design a faceted taxonomy with consideration of the user interface
  • What should be included in a taxonomy/metadata governance plan
  • What software tools are available for taxonomy management

Main Topics

  • Metadata and controlled vocabulary definitions, types, uses, and standards
  • Tagging and categorizing
  • Planning and design of metadata and taxonomy
  • Developing terms, synonyms, and hierarchical relationships
  • Taxonomy structural design: hierarchical and faceted
  • Taxonomy implementations, displays, search integration, multilingual options, and interoperability
  • Taxonomy management software

Course website link with preview video
Registration is open.