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Fwd: EXT: Taxonomy Times issue 50

  • 1.  Fwd: EXT: Taxonomy Times issue 50

    Posted 05-03-2022 10:18

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    Issue 50     |    April 2022

    Letter from the President

    The author Lucy Maude Montgomery said, "That is one good thing about this world... there are always sure to be more springs." I hope that, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, some aspect of spring -- the colors, warmth, and longer days – has arrived, and that for all of our readers, wherever you find yourself, something has energized you. For me, the last few months were a bit of a slog (don't tell my boss), but now I'm all about getting outside, heading out on my bike, and planning for the summer ahead.

    And planning for the months ahead – specifically the 2022 SLA Conference Source Forward in Charlotte, NC from July 31st – August 3rd – is exactly what we've been working on. We currently have 7 separate taxonomy sessions in the works: 4 educational sessions (sneak peek at a few titles: Metadata Governance; The Role of DEI in Taxonomy Development, Maintenance, Search, and Retrieval; and Research Sources and Methodologies for Taxonomy Development), two social events, and an in-person panel discussion (to join our panel, find more information below). If you would like further information about anything conference related, please reach out to Julie Vittengl, our Conference Coordinator.

    If you can't make it to the conference but you're interested in getting involved in other ways, we've got you! Consider contributing content to the Taxonomy Times (we welcome blogs, interesting features, book reviews, and, of course, new ideas!), or volunteering for the currently empty Membership Committee position. For more information on either of these opportunities, please contact me through SLA Connect or e-mail.

    Within the next few months, you will be receiving a member survey, which will help us determine in what ways the Taxonomy Division can best contribute to your career and professional development. We will send this out via e-mail as well as through SLA Connect, so please take a few minutes to provide your input.

    Finally, we can't let a current milestone go by without a shout-out – this is the 50th edition of the Taxonomy Times, with Issue #1 published in January 2010, following the establishment of the Taxonomy Division in September 2009. In that inaugural edition, Division Chair, Margie Hlava, wrote:

    "We are dedicated to the proven potential of taxonomy tools for increasing productivity-personal and organizational. We intend to offer high quality information resources and a network of professionals working with controlled vocabularies."

    Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has delivered on that promise over the past 12 years, and especially those who have made the newsletter happen! I look forward to working with all of you, and seeing what the months ahead will bring!

    Marisa Hughes

    Marisa is the Taxonomist in APA Publishing at the American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC. She began her career at APA as an indexer in 1987, and has worked as a Senior Information Analyst, Technical Information Specialist, and Consultant. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, and an M.A. in Psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Her favorite things are bicycling, volunteering at an animal rescue, and hanging out with her 16 year old daughter.

    Community Updates

    Bulletin Committee

    As we mark the 50th Issue of the Taxonomy Times – the 2nd in our new format – we are grateful to all of the volunteers who have given their time and energy to create and edit content, with special thanks to our current team. The Bulletin Committee helps our community members feel connected and keeps them updated by providing four quarterly issues of Taxonomy Times every year. With the introduction of our new format, we are able to bring more varied content, such as blogs and linked features, as well as provide a more flexible delivery system.

    We welcome your feedback on improvements, content areas you would like us to add, or ways we can better use the newsletter to connect with our members. To provide input, contribute features, or join the Bulletin community, please reach out to Marisa Hughes.

    Networking Committee Report

    Ashley Hamblin

    With in-person events still limited this past year, the Taxonomy Community has continued to hold virtual networking events. This has included virtual game nights, virtual happy hours, and informal professional development discussions. Since we were unable to have our usual no-host dinner after KMWorld, we also held a virtual meet up after the conference where we were able to network and discuss Taxonomy Bootcamp. We will continue to have virtual happy hours and game nights, but I am looking forward to being able to also add in person events after conferences. Keep an eye out on Connect for announcements about upcoming networking activities.

    Professional Development Committee Report

    Paula McCoy

    Since my last report in April 2021, when I reported on the Mar 25, 2021, session entitled, "Lessons Learned in Indexing Training," the Professional Development Committee has presented one webinar. That was held on Nov 17, 2021, and featured seven Senior Content Editors who work at ProQuest's Editorial office in Louisville, Kentucky. The session was presented as a panel discussion in which the  editors talked about their work in curating the social science, natural science, and technology databases while also managing the indexing vocabularies and the automated indexing program for those

    This session, entitled "Seek and Find: Combining Search with Indexing – and Finding Taxonomy Careers in the Process: A Panel Discussion," was presented on Zoom for the first time. Jaye Lapachet and I worked together to set up the session; everything went smoothly and the session was well attended. The webinar can be viewed here. (Passcode: zXz=7B7*).

    In June, Ashley Hamblin and I collaborated on a happy hour event oriented toward professional development: The Taxonomy Happy Hour Professional Development Series was a casual discussion of how we try to fit professional development into our workday. While not highly attended, the session was a
    chance for attendees to share ideas and approaches. I hope to plan another session along these lines soon-let's talk, Ashley!

    The change in our work lives since March 2020 continued into 2021, with many of us facing uncertainty and stress as our employers tried to get us back into the office in fits and starts-and sometimes not at all, as it turns out. As a result, we are now consuming conferences and even "mini" conferences online
    only. The SLA Annual Conference, while offering varied and often excellent choices, required me to set aside a lot of time watching mostly recorded sessions on my laptop at home. Yes, they were good, but I had no one to discuss them with! Consequently, my goal is no longer four professional development webinars per year, but rather one or two, supplemented by ongoing Happy Hours that give us opportunities to not only socialize, but to share our experiences as taxonomists, ontologists, catalogers, and whatever else we are.

    I encourage everyone to pay attention to the webinar offerings of other SLA communities, to the taxonomy-oriented postings in LinkedIn and elsewhere (of which there are many), and to the offerings of conferences like Taxonomy Boot Camp and Taxonomy Boot Camp London, not to mention the Taxonomy
    Community's sessions at SLA Annual. If you find something valuable, share it in SLA Connect.

    In the past six months, I have been consumed with the acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate, in part because of my role as site leader for the Louisville office of ProQuest and its nearly 60 associates. We are now settled in, and I am committed to spending more time now on my taxonomy professional
    development. I hope all of you are doing well, settling in to your roles and your physical and emotional spaces, and ready to engage with the Taxonomy Community to continue your professional development!

    As always, send professional development webinar topic and speaker suggestions to Paula McCoy ( or Jaye Lapachet (

    If you haven't already signed up for the new email version of this newsletter, click on the button below.
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    Latest Blog Post

    Animated picture of data storage provided by Radiant.

    A Look Inside Digital Asset Management: Data Storage

    Sereen Suleiman

    April 2022 has been an opportune time to share another blog, as I am currently enrolled in a digital asset management (DAM) course. For that course, I am required to read three blog posts from sources covering DAM news. Being a contributor for Taxonomy Times, I see this publication as the ideal place to share recent news I discovered over the past three months.
    After scrolling through CMSWire, I discovered a link to a blog post published by Brian Carlson entitled "How to Prepare Data for Ingestion and Integration" One of the main reasons why I chose this article is because I was interested to learn more about ingestion, a process that plays a role in "digital asset repositories" in addition to archiving and publishing (Austerberry, 2006, p. 21).

    The blog starts with the enticing acronym of GIGO, which stands for "garbage in, garbage out" (Carlson, 2022). I saw this as a clever way of representing how DAM professionals must work vigorously to find useful information in a sea of unrelated information.
    Read More
    Programming & Event Updates

    2022 Conference


    We are looking for panelists for the following in-person session:

    Panel: Current challenges and advanced taxonomy topics

    This is a great opportunity to share your experience and to network and learn from others in the field. As an added bonus, panel participants will receive a discounted registration rate of $400 (instead of $650). For more details, please contact Julie Vittengl or Marisa Hughes.

    Conference Info

    SLA's 2022 Annual Conference: Source Forward is the premier industry event for librarians in business, legal, medical, military, government, academic and other "specialized" information environments. Featuring 100-plus education sessions, business meetings, and social events as well as opportunities to learn about the newest information products and services, the conference will provide you with-

    • fresh perspectives on core information management topics;
    • a better understanding of developing trends and hot topics;
    • ideas and insights you can put to immediate use in your job;
    • new and stronger connections with key industry colleagues; and
    • greater awareness of the latest information resources on the market.
    There will be in-person and virtual options.

                   Book Review  

    Think Again: The Power of Knowing What you Don't Know

    by Adam Grant

    Reviewed by Erin Fleak

    We have all written, seen and adopted at times "best practices" but what if those "best practices" are not the best practice anymore? Perhaps a new and innovative approach to a problem or solution is a better practice than what was previously in place? This is the type of encouragement and thinking behind the New York Times Bestseller, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What you Don't Know by Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist at The Wharton School. 
    Think Again explores the importance of adopting a rethinking mindset rather than a thinking skill set. Grant argues that our tendency to cling to our beliefs is ineffective because the world is ever changing. If we are not willing to change with our world, we will fall behind. The best way to adapt to a dynamic environment is to embrace rethinking, and encourage others to rethink and adopt a rethinking mindset as well. 
    If you are looking for a great read, encouragement to embrace being wrong and grow your mental flexibility and wisdom, be sure to check out Adam Grant's Think Again. Grant is also on social media channels and hosts a podcast. His social channels frequently share little "nuggets" of thought and ideas to embrace or ponder. Think Again was refreshing, inspiring, and the right motivation to be bolder, take more risks, and grow professionally.

    Welcome to the members who recently joined
    the Taxonomy Community!

    • Marcia Stock

    • Amy Stern
    • Erin Richter-Welkum
    • Hallam Pope
    • Michelle Urberg
    • Jan Sheppard
    • Leslie Oberhaus
    Interested in writing an article for the newsletter or joining our team?
    Contact Shelly Ray or Marisa Hughes

                   In the Loop  

    Investigating Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabularies

    Sereen Suleiman

    As I was wandering around the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) website, I saw a news article about how the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), a DCMI task group, wants to improve its controlled vocabulary schema. I chose to read further into the article because it correlates with my current studies on taxonomies. A taxonomy is a "classification of information into groups or classes that share similar characteristics" (Horodyski, 2016, p. 56). Taxonomies are often used to organize metadata elements. However, an efficient taxonomy is one that contains controlled vocabulary, a structured word system that provides consistency in describing metadata elements (Horodyski, 2016). This is where the news post for LRMI  comes into play.

    LRMI is seeking input from the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative community about their new high-level vocabulary for "categorizing Learning Resources by type" (Thalhath, 2022). The LRMI consists of collections of classes, properties, and concept schemes for educational resources. Moreover, the initiative hopes to complement its metadata standards with those of the DCMI so that users can describe and access learning resources with either standard (Thalhath, 2022). However, the new proposed concept scheme only deals with the form or genre of a resource, neither the medium, media type, nor encoding format. Most likely for this reason, LRMI published their controlled vocabulary list as a draft, as they would love to hear from others how to improve their list before finalizing everything. This demonstrates how the LRMI is taking an important step in developing their taxonomy in that they are seeking advice from their users. With any taxonomy, just like with any digital asset management system, in order for it to be successful, it must appeal to users and the target audience.

    Horodyski, J. (2016). Inform, transform, and Outperform: Digital content strategies to optimize your business for growth (pp. 57-66). Advantage, Charleston, SC.

    Thalhath, N. (2022, April 4). Learning resource type vocabulary draft. DCMI.
    Something Interesting

    United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - Taxonomy Opportunity!

    Paula McCoy

    I don't know about you, but I've been hearing a lot about the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.  Through ProQuest's partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., I've seen some of the ways in which the aquatic science community is addressing these goals through research and action. Meanwhile, ProQuest's new owner, Clarivate, has committed itself to sustainability at the strategy level, aligning product solutions directly to the UN SDGs.  

    When it comes to the information industry, publishers and other entities are starting to create taxonomies, mappings, and other solutions allowing researchers to find content directly related to each of the Sustainable Development Goals. I have mapped ProQuest Thesaurus terms to each goal as a starting point toward devising searches to find articles in our databases. Here are some interesting resources for further reading:


    Elsevier SDG Research Mapping Initiative

    University of Aukland SDG Keywords Mapping

    Sustainable Development Goals Taxonomy: United Nations

    NISO Presentation: Embedding SDGs in strategies and products: CABI case study


    From Clarivate: Navigating the Structure of Research on Sustainable Development Goals (report from the Institute for Scientific Information)

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