On-Demand Video Recording Course

Controlled Vocabularies and Taxonomies

Education series of four 75-minute video recordings
Organizer: Henry Stewart Events
Date Produced: March 2024
Price: $299
Course website link


Controlled vocabularies and taxonomies are essential for optimizing the efficacy of metadata, the nuances of which are not so widely understood. Controlled vocabularies are the values that populate many metadata properties. Determining which properties should have controlled rather than uncontrolled terms, and how term lists should be designed and controlled are important parts of metadata management. Controlled vocabularies provide metadata governance, but they do need to be governed.

Taxonomies determine how controlled vocabularies are structured in a hierarchy. Hierarchies may seem intuitive, but there are challenges in selecting the optimum choice. This course covers both the challenges and potential solutions. Standards and best practices do exist, but there is a difference between taxonomy creation guidelines and rules.

This course provides guidance on when, why and how to design a taxonomy, its term relations, and its term labels. It also addresses the question ‘Where does AI fit into what should be done?’

This is a beginner/intermediate course for content managers, digital asset managers, and others who are familiar with taxonomies and controlled vocabularies, as users, but have little experience in designing and creating them. Less time will be spent discussing taxonomy benefits and uses, and more time will be spent on how to create a good taxonomy.

Course Agenda

Session 1: Introduction to Metadata and Controlled Vocabularies and their Use

      • Definitions of metadata and controlled vocabularies

      • Types, examples, and uses of metadata, controlled vocabularies and taxonomies

      • Standards and models for metadata and controlled vocabularies

      • Tagging with controlled vocabularies

      • Categories vs. tags

      • Auto-tagging and AI

    Session 2: Planning and Development of Controlled Vocabularies

        • Building vs. Buying a Taxonomy

        • Identifying Candidate Metadata and Vocabularies

        • Determining Controlled Vocabulary Types

        • Determining Metadata Rules and Governance

      Session 3: Creating Taxonomy Terms and Relationships

          • Creating and wording of terms

          • Creating alternative labels/synonyms

          • Sources for terms

          • Creating taxonomy hierarchical relationships

          • Using generative AI for creating terms and relationships

        Session 4: Taxonomy Design and Implementation

            • Hierarchical taxonomy design

            • Faceted taxonomy design

            • Combinations of controlled vocabularies and search, queries, and Semantic AI

            • Tools for taxonomies

            • Advanced taxonomy topics: multilingual taxonomies, linking taxonomies, ontologies

          Registration link