José Antonio Moreiro
 Incorporated contributions
Jorge Morato (11/2009)
 Usage domain
Knowledge Management, Knowledge organization, semiotics
 German Taxonomie

[Understandable but with some grammatical missteps]

Taxonomy is a classification or categorization of a set of objects in a hierarchical way. A generic-specific relationship is established between pairs of terms. This hierarchical arrangement is present in every Knowledge Organization System (SKOS): thesaurus, concept model, or ontology.

The main components of taxonomies are:

  • Hierarchical structure (specific context) with different levels of specificity.
  • Labels (names that label each concept). They are the elements in the structure, grouped in thematic sets.
  • Faceted. Every concept might belong to a different facet. These facets enable handling sets of terms grouped by attributes. This approach facilitates indexing and retrieval tasks.

Taxonomies are used in companies and organizations to manage and organize their information resources. This facilitates searching, browsing and navigation in the hierarchy. Some applications allow:

  1. Arrangement of the company vocabulary in domains that are not important enough to have their own public controlled vocabulary.
  2. Representation of the terms that the organization employs every day.
  3. Completion of terms with definitions about their specific use.
  4. User orientation.
  5. Navigation through the hierarchical structure. 
  6. Specification of the query, thus narrowing the used terms. 
  7. Organisation on internal business needs. Users arrange terms in a meaningful way.
  8. Development and updating of the structure, according to changing business requirements. 

Taxonomy organizes not only the vocabulary of an organization, but also its output and resources, including its know-how. Taxonomies inherit  the hierarchical classification from SKOS  and the descriptors from the thesaurus. They are used to organize large amounts of data, with the help of a controlled vocabulary.

In short, a taxonomy arranges its hierarchical structure in accordance with a context and a group of users. This resource merges an indexing language with a specific vocabulary, reflecting in its structure both the domain and information needs of an organization.

  • DACONTA, M.; OBRST, L; y SMITH, K. (2003). The Semantic Web. A guide to the future of XML, Web services, and Knowledge management. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing

  • CONWAY, S. y SLIGAR C. (2002). Building taxonomies, en su Unlocking knowledge assets. Redmont: Microsoft Press, pp. 105-124.

  • GILCHRIST, A. (2003). "Thesauri, taxonomies and ontologies: an etymological note", en Journal of Documentation, Vol. 59, n 1, pp. 7-18.

  • MOREIRO GONZALEZ, J. A.; MORATO, J.; SANCHEZ-CUADRADO, S.; RODRIGUEZ BARQUIN, B.A. (2006) "Categorización de los conceptos en el análisis de contenid2o: su señalamiento desde la Retórica clásica hasta los Topic Maps", Revista Investigación Bibliotecológica: archivonomía, bibliotecología e información , Vol. 20, n. 40, pp. 13-31.

  • WZHONGONG, W., CHAUDRY, A. S., y KHOO, C. (2006). "Potential and prospects of taxonomies for content organization", Knowledge Organization, Vol. 33, n. 3, pp. 160-169.

New entry. Before doing a new entry, please, copy this line and the following ones and paste them at the column bottom. Next fill out the fields: 'name', 'date' and 'text', and delete this upper blue paragraph.
Name (date)
[Entry text]

Incorporated entries
Jorge Morato (5/11/2009)
[It corresponds with the first version of the article, which is now showed in the left column.]