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Re: Real world examples for documents

From: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 17:26:42 +0000
Message-ID: <h2qB1XNSHnhBFAQi@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
To: public-esw-thes@w3.org

In message 
<350DC7048372D31197F200902773DF4C05DE335F@exchange11.rl.ac.uk> on Mon, 1 
Nov 2004, "Miles, AJ (Alistair)" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk> wrote
>Feedback from the SWBPD-WG is that the SKOS docs would benefit greatly 
>from quoting SKOS RDF descriptions of prominent real world thesauri ...
>So do you have any suggestions about thesauri that could be used for 
>examples in documentation ... preferably prominent and well-used, also 
>publicly available and with friendly administrators :)

A few suggestions. Unfortunately most "real world" thesauri have quirks 
that will cause problems if you try to import them into software that 
assumes that they are strictly logical and consistent. I have added some 
notes about problems that you may wish to address if your encoding 
structure is to cope with such widely used existing schemes.

AAT (Art and archaeology thesaurus>
Large and detailed thesaurus constructed on faceted principles. Take 
care in interpreting their "guide terms" which are a mixture of two 
quite different things: node labels (e.g. <chairs by form>) and terms 
which could have been available for indexing but which they have decided 
should not be (e.g. <folding chairs>). Their use of angle brackets for 
these terms may also confuse XML structures.

BSI ROOT thesaurus. - 3rd ed. - Milton Keynes : British Standards 
Institution, 1988. - 2v ; 30cm. - ISBN 058016991x.
Not available on-line, unfortunately, but an example of a structured 
systematic display in the form of a faceted classification. It would be 
good to have modern software to support this kind of display.

MeSH (Medical subject headings)
Not quite a thesaurus, but widely used and should be accommodated. 
Divides concepts into "main headings", "qualifiers" and "supplementary 

UNESCO thesaurus
Consider how to deal with their "microthesauri" structures.

UKAT (UK archival thesaurus)
Based on the UNESCO thesaurus but expanded and adapted. Likely to be 
widely used by UK archive collections.

English Heritage. National Monuments Record thesauri
Several thesauri, mostly covering physical "things" such as monuments 
and objects. Uses singular rather than plural terms even when describing 
categories of objects. Descriptors can occur with different 
relationships, although the same scope note, if they occur in more than 
one subject class. Difficult to know whether to treat them as single or 
multiple concepts. This may be due to limitations of the software used 
to generate these thesauri, but it causes problems when importing to 
software that does not have these limitations.

LCSH (Library of Congress subject headings)
Not properly structured as a thesaurus (though they are working towards 
this) but uses some thesaurus terminology and relationship symbols. Very 
widely used, so it would be good if it could be accommodated. Need to 
provide for subsidiary or common concepts structured as "subdivisions"
with specific rules for where they can be used.

TGN (Getty thesaurus of geographical names)
Useful to see whether you can accommodate the different relationships in 
a geographical thesaurus structure, including named political entities 
and physical features. Do you want to get into the complexity of 
relationships that change with time and need their historical values to 
be preserved?

ASIS thesaurus of information science
Top-level faceted structure. Expandable hierarchy display.

The alcohol and other drug thesaurus
A systematically structured thesaurus with a notation, some extensive 
scope notes, a full introduction and examples of synthesis of compound 
concepts. Dagobert Soergel is chair of the advisory committee.

Have fun!


Willpower Information       (Partners: Dr Leonard D Will, Sheena E Will)
Information Management Consultants              Tel: +44 (0)20 8372 0092
27 Calshot Way, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 7BQ, UK. Fax: +44 (0)870 051 7276
L.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk               Sheena.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk
---------------- <URL:http://www.willpowerinfo.co.uk/> -----------------
Received on Monday, 1 November 2004 17:32:21 UTC

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