IWMW2004

Taxonomy: The Science of Classification
- using the library as a metaphor to demystify the process of portal taxonomy development.
Slide 1 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Why A Taxonomy?: Oracle
University Portal ~ Oracle10g AS
 Taxonomy: Oracle portal requirement
 Perhaps most crucial component of the portal project

 Taxonomy not understood: perception highly specialised technical mechanism
 Initial reaction buy in consultancy?

 Misconception: Taxonomy silo
 Taxonomy only required for portal
Slide 2 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Why A Taxonomy?: Issues
Taxonomy concepts not understood by colleagues – “We need one, how to we design and build?”. The late realisation that a taxonomy was required to service other institutional requirements like the FOI publication scheme and ‘Records Management’. Folly to build taxonomy focusing on Oracle portal requirements – “What happens if we change our portal platform?”.
Slide 3 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Our Backgrounds
 Chris Milne, Academic Librarian
 Information Retrieval / Classic texts
Sayers, W. C. B. 1975. Sayers’ manual of classification for librarians. 5th ed. London: Deutsch Rowley, J. E. 1987. Organising knowledge: an introduction to information retrieval. Aldershot: Gower. Hunter, E. J. and Bakewell, K. G. B. 1983. Cataloguing. 2nd ed. London: Bingley.
Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

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Our Backgrounds  Dave MacCabe. IT Specialist      User requirements analysis Business analysis Software development Web development Database design Slide 5 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Blended Approach Taxonomy development at UAD will  Use combination of Librarianship & IT skills sets Librarianship skills sets  Information retrieval: designed to support users information seeking behaviour IT skills sets  What can be achieved with technology? Slide 6 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Workshop Outline Generate a more rounded view. clearer perspective of taxonomy development Looking to share our experiences and gather the experiences of others We don’t have all the answers! Slide 7 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Workshop Elements (1)  x 2 Surveys to ascertain:  Range of skills sets available to portal / taxonomy teams  Business drivers for developing / deploying taxonomies  x 2 Presentations  Taxonomy: theoretical background  Information retrieval techniques related to taxonomy development Slide 8 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Workshop Elements (2)  x 3 Activities  Discussion of survey results (x 2)  Applying a taxonomy and meta-data to fixed-term contract example materials  General / concluding discussion on project team skills sets and the use of Library staff Slide 9 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

our teams and our institutions.IWMW2004 Skill Sets: Ourselves. Slide 10 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Useful Questions? What skills to we have? Do we think they are appropriate? What are the institutional perceptions of the skills required? Is it a converged service project? Will the team be supplemented by external consultancy? Slide 11 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

IWMW2004 Presentation: The theoretical background to taxonomies and metadata Slide 12 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Aim To set the scene for the key activity. I’m going to try to sprint down the road from basic theoretical constructs to a concrete portal example. Slide 13 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

formal construct acting as a symbolic model of an information domain Examples Linnaeus’ plant taxonomy Organic compounds Slide 14 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .What is a Taxonomy ? A systematic way of classifying knowledge A structure of concepts (hierarchical?) A common language for sharing knowledge An artificial.

” Ravid. Y. (2002) Slide 15 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Dictionary Break TAXONOMY “[Taxonomy is] the science of classification according to a predetermined system used to provide a conceptual framework for discussion. analysis or information retrieval.

Dictionary Break ONTOLOGIES Descriptions of the meaning and nature of things. a superset of taxonomies – “a formal explicit specification of a shared conceptualization” KNOWLEDGE MAPS Used for knowledge representation – both visual and conceptual Slide 16 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

for us… Content management for institutional portals Slide 17 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . of course.Why have a Taxonomy ? Essential for knowledge management Coping with “infoglut” Faster information retrieval and improved productivity Sharing of knowledge and comparison of knowledge bases and.

” Slide 18 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .In fact … “A good taxonomy helps to inject order into the chaos and anarchy of a typical intranet or website.

both financial and organizational. of poor access to information The requirement for ‘regulatory’ compliance (for example Freedom of Information. Higher levels of productivity in knowledge workers Slide 19 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Organisational Drivers The costs. Records Management) The requirement to manage the organization effectively.

In fact … “[taxonomies are] a strategic imperative for any organization looking to manage and exploit its knowledge more effectively” Slide 20 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Taxonomic Issues …  “Hierarchical”  “Key concepts” Slide 21 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

3 How the institution is organized 1.2 Governance Structure 1.1 Legal Framework 1. GOVERNANCE 2.4 Information on the Institutional Context 1.The FOI Scheme: A Hierarchy Class Groups 1. STUDENT ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPORT 6.5 Management Structure Slide 22 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . HUMAN RESOURCES 4. TEACHING AND LEARNING 8. GOVERNANCE Class 1. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 9. INFORMATION SERVICES 7. FINANCIAL RESOURCES 3. PHYSICAL RESOURCES 5. EXTERNAL RELATIONS Class Group 1.

depth  Seeking behaviour  Don’t forget publishing behaviour! Slide 23 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .v. Oracle “pages”.Issues with Hierarchies Hierarchy classification limitations  Enforced Classification  Scattering  Matches “information seeking” behaviour? Implicit navigation  Drives development (e. “tabs”)  Matches “information seeking” behaviour? Width .g.

General Issues  “Push” .  Management by exception  Role-specific delivery Slide 24 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .  “Google thinking”.v “Pull”.

Dictionary Break
METADATA “meta-data (or "meta data") Data about data. In data processing, meta-data is definitional data that provides information about, or documentation of, other data managed within an application or environment.”
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © 1993-2004 Denis Howe
Slide 25 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Metadata & Key Words

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Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Dictionary Break
THESAURUS “Labelling and relating objects and groups of objects with appropriate words and concepts” as an aid to “knowledge indexing and retrieval”

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Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Student Coursework (1)

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Taxonomy: The Science of Classification

Student Coursework (2) Slide 29 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

MUST READ – Wyllie. Obtain practical advice from portal development environment documentation. D. J and Skyrme. 2003. Slide 30 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . “Taxonomies: Frameworks for Corporate Knowledge”.Key References ? Many texts – very few offer any practical advice just theoretical perspectives on the knowledge management area. J. London: Ark Group.

IWMW2004 Taxonomy Project Drivers: Or. “What are we trying to achieve. and why?” Slide 31 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

special interest bodies)? What are the real information needs and how do they arise? What technical infrastructure is being considered and/or used: does this place limitations on. staff. general public. local business. or help the process of taxonomy development? Slide 32 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Useful Questions? Why do commercial organizations develop taxonomies. and are there similarities are there with HE? Who are the information consumers (students.

IWMW2004 Presentation: Applying classification. cataloguing and indexing techniques to organise and retrieve information within portals Slide 33 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

using the analogy of classification. cataloguing and indexing techniques as deployed in libraries to manage information Slide 34 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Aim Provide a clearer perspective on the processes surrounding the development of a portal taxonomy.

how to we design and build? Reference document outlining “rules” for taxonomy development  Use Oracle9iAS Portal as Your Knowledge Exchange Slide 35 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .The Problem Taxonomy concepts initially not understood by colleagues  We need one.

be designed in such a way to support institutional objectives? e. and protect goods Slide 36 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . and retrieve information?  How can the organisation of information.g. two ‘primary’ concerns  How do we expect users to find.Core Themes Identified Primary Taxonomy: concerned with  Visual presentation of information and services to users  Navigation  Logical arrangement. developing deeper engagement with the University  Supermarket Taxonomy: designed to create zones.

describing information and services  Creation of an alternative approach to finding and retrieving information. not supported by any ‘natural’ limitations within the Primary Taxonomy Slide 37 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Core Themes Identified Virtual Taxonomy: concerned with  Development of meta-data to support retrieval via search-engine  Building indexes.

Core Themes Identified Imperative: develop an understanding of users information requirements and information seeking behaviour How will people look for content?  How will people use content to support their jobs?  How to people expect content to be organised and described?  What is the structure of the organisation? Slide 38 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

e.Role of Organising Content? Organising on-line information attributed to IT solutions  Parallels with the role of a “Web Master” i. technical skills set Role of Librarianship incorporating “established” Information Retrieval techniques used for hundreds of years to organise the complexities of library collections worldwide frequently overlooked Slide 39 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Classic Information Retrieval Faceted / Non-faceted Classification Pre-coordinate & Post-coordinate Indexing Citation Order Principle of Inversion Cataloguing Thesauri / Subject Headings Automatic Indexing Slide 40 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Slide 41 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .R. If the scheme has rounds of facets. the implementation of the Principle of Increasing Concreteness requires that the facets in the facet formula of a basic class should be in the decreasing sequence of concreteness.A Taster: Principle of Inversion “In an analytico-synthetic classification. Ranganathan's Prolegomena to Library Classification (2e) (1957). the facets in each round should be in the decreasing sequence of concreteness” S.

users have a predefined path to follow to find and retrieve information by virtue of what clicks they have to make and [hypertext] links to follow Slide 42 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Taxonomy & Information Retrieval Equivalents Primary Taxonomy (equivalent to)  Pre coordinated indexing  Example: Dewey Decimal Classification  Within portal: Predefined grouping of content and services.

applied to a search engine Slide 43 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Taxonomy & Information Retrieval Equivalents Virtual Taxonomy (equivalent to)  Post coordinated indexing  Example: Library Catalogue (OPAC not card)  Within portal: User decides how to find and retrieve information via the selection of keywords and index terms.

Example: Library Taxonomy Primary Taxonomy (i. with related items being found together  Supports information retrieval by browsing Slide 44 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . How users see / approach the physical library stock)  Users approach Library stock via ‘collection’     Level 1 Short Loans Level 2 Reference Materials / Law Lending stock Level 3 Lending Stock Level 4 Journals  Each collection organised by subject. using Dewey Decimal Classification  Anticipates that users need to find materials based on subject.e.

adaptable for new subject areas  e.g.Characteristics: Primary Taxonomy Supports users. logical subject approach to retrieving information Organisation by Dewey Decimal Classification stable framework. Computer Games Slide 45 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Country  Leads to scattering works of related subject  In this example items on Country will be scattered throughout the collection Slide 46 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Limitations: Primary Taxonomy Scattering Classified works can only appear in one place within a library  Works organised by citation order  i. order in which the various facets are presented in a compound subject  Medium – Period – Style .e.

Primary Taxonomy Will Influence the physical design of the Portal  Pages / Sub Pages. Regions and Tabs are the tools available in Oracle 10G to underpin a Primary Taxonomy  Virtual Taxonomies can be implemented to support user requirements not provided for in the Primary Taxonomy Slide 47 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Portal will support multiple taxonomies  This could depend on the user entering the Portal e.More than One Taxonomy? Library restricted to a single Primary Taxonomy due to nature of physical stock Electronic environment. student.g. different view for member of academic staff. support staff Slide 48 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Example: Library Taxonomy Library Catalogue (OPAC) (Virtual Taxonomy)  Supports alternative means of accessing materials in an attempt to overcome the limitations of the Primary Taxonomy i. search by:  Author(s)  Subject heading(s)  Various facets that each item represents can be included.e. whereas the Primary Taxonomy (Dewey classification) centres on primary subject area  Title  Series Slide 49 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Title. .Censorship United States.99 : CIP entry (Jun.Catalogue Search Indexes Randle. 328p. II. I.Sighting and encounters . 19cm ISBN 03807-619-6-3 (pbk) : £6.New Mexico Roswell.New York : Avon 1998. UFO crash at Roswell / -.) Unidentified flying objects.Unidentified flying objects . Donald R. Slide 50 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . Kevin D.Unidentified flying objects . Schmitt.

Virtual Taxonomy ~ Catalogue Meta-data equates to the Subject. Title.g. Author. Author search Slide 51 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . Series entries used within a library catalogues Controlled search terms (vocabulary) to improve recall  E-commerce see Electronic Commerce Alternative retrieval mechanism aiming to overcome limitations of classification scheme employed e.

similar concept to the Library catalogue Slide 52 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . providing an alternative ‘virtual’ taxonomy to supplement the ‘primary’ taxonomy Again.Virtual Taxonomy Meta-data  Describing portal content via:  Attributes  Categories  Perspectives  Creating indexes for search engines in Oracle 10G.

e. efficiently.Taxonomy Design / Content Analysis Anticipated user behaviour i. intuitively provide the desired information? Slide 53 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . how will students expect to find a past paper? If students cannot ‘click’ their way to a past paper.g. how can the Virtual taxonomy be used to quickly. who will use the Portal and how will people expect to find and use the Portal’s information and services This can be identified via “content analysis” e.

selection of meta-data?  Index under document type related to FOI publication scheme? Slide 54 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . Records Management? How will this effect index design & construction i.g.e.Taxonomy Design / Content Analysis Is your Taxonomy required to support other institutional objectives e. FOI.

deepening student engagement with the University  Efficient information retrieval(Logical groupings) Slide 55 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Suggested Steps: Designing UAD Portal Taxonomy What do we need to organise?  What is going into the Portal  Content / Document Analysis  FOI / Records Management functionality! Decide how best to organise material  Organisation will support design objective i.e.

how will your meta-data / search engine approach bridge these problems  External examiners reports may be organised in the Primary Taxonomy by School  Other users may wish to see all these reports as a single group  Meta-data element “document type” to support retrieval of all external examiner reports Slide 56 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Suggested Steps: Designing UAD Portal Taxonomy Identify gaps in the Primary Taxonomy  Starting point to think about best approach to designing the Virtual Taxonomy to support alternative paths for our users  Primary Taxonomy will scatter documents and services.

Conclusions Information retrieval techniques developed to organise complexities of human knowledge Techniques applied to libraries and specialised collections remain valid and can be successfully applied to organise knowledge within portals Slide 57 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Slide 58 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification . minimising the requirement to draw upon external consultancy.Taxonomy: the Science of Classification Opportunity to bring together the combined skills sets of ‘Information Professionals’ and ‘Web developers’ to develop a relatively inexpensive ‘inhouse’ solution to taxonomy development.

IWMW2004 Skill Sets: Can “traditional” information retrieval skills-sets be usefully applied to support taxonomy creation? Slide 59 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

would you now consider using librarians to support portal / taxonomy? Do “today’s” librarians retain these “classic” information retrieval skills? Slide 60 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Useful Questions? Have you previously considered using librarians to support portal / taxonomy development? If not.

IWMW2004 Key Activity: .Applying meta-data and recognising relevant information consumers Slide 61 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

The use of fixed-term employment contracts in higher education institutions. Slide 62 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Activity Topic Deliberately “left field” so we can focus on the process rather than the information itself.

Activity Organization Part 1 – Technical Briefing Part 2 – Background Information Part 3 – Applying a taxonomy and meta-data Slide 63 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Activity Organization Part 1 – Technical Briefing Part 2 – Background Information Part 3 – Applying a taxonomy and meta-data Slide 64 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Slide 65 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Part 1 – Technical Briefing Following on from the mini-talks already delivered. I want to pose a series of questions that we need to address in Part 3 of this activity. Actually a good. “real world” example but only because you’ll need to get involved in minutiae across the institution. Useful to have these questions in mind during the background details that follow.

Regulatory Compliance How do we manage compliance with : the Freedom of Information Act  the Data Protection Act  the Disability Discrimination Act ? Slide 66 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

”pull”)? How do these information consumers look for information? How should you best organize content to meet user requirements and institutional objectives? Slide 67 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Internal Information Consumers Who needs this content? How will they use it? How should it be delivered (”push” .v.

External Information Consumers Who will search for this content? How will they use it? How do these information seekers look for information? What will be the context of the search and what constitutes related content? Slide 68 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Information Lifecycle How frequently do you anticipate it will change? How can we ensure appropriate classification of updates? How should the updated information be delivered to internal and external seekers? Slide 69 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

the content… Our example is the use of fixed-term employment contracts. Chris will now provide the relevant background on this topic.Finally. Slide 70 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

IWMW2004 Key Activity: .Applying meta-data and recognising relevant information consumers Slide 71 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Activity Topic Deliberately “left field” so we can focus on the process rather than the information itself. The use of fixed-term employment contracts in higher education institutions. Slide 72 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Activity Organization Part 1 – Technical Briefing Part 2 – Background Information Part 3 – Applying a taxonomy and meta-data Slide 73 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Activity Organization Part 1 – Technical Briefing Part 2 – Background Information Part 3 – Applying a taxonomy and meta-data Slide 74 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Bett)  Funding Councils  Trade Unions HEIs instructed to reduce reliance of FTCs Slide 75 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Background Significant concern as to the high degree of use of FTCs within HE (40%)  Sector Reviews of HE (Dearing.

Legislation / Guidance EC Fixed-term Work Directive  1999/70/EC UK SI: 2002 no 2034 JNCHES Guidance  Agreed standard between University employers association and recognised trade unions as to use and management of FTCs within HE Slide 76 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

JNCHES guidelines and pressure from funding councils has not led to any significant reduction in use Culture of over dependence  Contract research funding  Blunt tool to avoid performance management Taxonomy: The Science of Classification Slide 77 .Issues Clear evidence to suggest that HEIs remain heavily reliant on use of FTCs Introduction of legislation.

Information Typically HEIs require to improve information flow re FTCs to improve  Awareness of obligations as employers / managers  Ensure employees aware of the protection now afforded to them under law  Remove culture of dependence  Monitor use  Demonstrate ethical HR policies to funding council Slide 78 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

IWMW2004 Key Activity: .Applying meta-data and recognising relevant information consumers Slide 79 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

The use of fixed-term employment contracts in higher education institutions. Slide 80 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Activity Topic Deliberately “left field” so we can focus on the process rather than the information itself.

Activity Organization Part 1 – Technical Briefing Part 2 – Background Information Part 3 – Applying a taxonomy and meta-data Slide 81 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Activity Organization Part 1 – Technical Briefing Part 2 – Background Information Part 3 – Applying a taxonomy and meta-data Slide 82 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Slide 83 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .Part 3 – Applying a Taxonomy Group discussion.

Slide 84 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .IWMW2004 Final Discussion: Project team skill sets and the use of library staff.

Learning Outcomes A clearer perspective on the processes surrounding the development of a portal taxonomy. using the analogy of classification. cataloguing and indexing techniques as deployed in libraries to manage information A realisation that the combined skills sets of 'information professionals' and 'Web developers' can be brought together to develop a relatively inexpensive 'in-house' solution to taxonomy development minimising the requirement to draw upon external consultancy Slide 85 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .

Useful Questions? Are we happy with the vocabulary surrounding taxonomies and portals? Are there key references? Do we have the appropriate skill sets available already in the information management professions in our institution? Slide 86 Taxonomy: The Science of Classification .