Finding a Common Language: Bringing Complex and Disparate Vocabularies Together

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This case study addresses the challenges ProQuest faced in managing multilingual controlled vocabularies using multiple Word documents and authority files maintained in an Oracle database. Speakers …

This case study addresses the challenges ProQuest faced in managing multilingual controlled vocabularies using multiple Word documents and authority files maintained in an Oracle database. Speakers describe how implementing a thesaurus management tool helped ProQuest simplify and standardize its business semantic management to create a common language and connect disparate information assets as well as handling large and varied vocabularies and authority files, linking new and existing editorial systems and enabling hierarchical views, and automating thesaurus management tasks.

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  • 1. Paula R. McCoy Manager, Taxonomy Development ProQuest [email_address] Finding a Common Language: Bringing Complex and Disparate Vocabularies Together
  • 2.
    • Part of Cambridge Information Group & CSA
    • Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • Editorial offices in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 3. Access to over 125 billion digital pages of content from magazine, trade, & scholarly publications, current & historical newspapers, original materials such as annual reports & civil war pamphlets, and daily wire feeds Subscription-based ProQuest® online information service available in academic and public libraries
  • 4.
    • Louisville editors abstract & index 4,000+
    • periodicals & newspapers
    • ProQuest Controlled Vocabulary used to index
    • subjects; Authority Files used to index
    • company, geographic, personal, product names
    • CV applied to non-periodical & third-party
    • content via mapping, to allow cross-searching
    • of multiple DBs with one vocabulary
  • 5.
    • Description of ProQuest Controlled
    • Vocabulary & Authority Files
    • Taxonomy Management -- Overview
    • Life Before Synaptica
    • Thesaurus Management System Purchase
    • Implementing Synaptica
    • Life With Synaptica
    Topics of Discussion
    • Q&A
  • 6. ProQuest Controlled Vocabulary PQ CV
    • Created in 1970s for ABI/INFORM business database
    • Based on Library of Congress Subject Headings
    • Natural language, hierarchical vocabulary complying
    • with ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.19 (Guidelines for
    • the Construction, Format, and Management of
    • Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies)
  • 7. ProQuest Controlled Vocabulary
    • Thesaurus subjects:
    Business, economics & trade – 4300 terms Science, math & technology – 1600 terms Medicine – 1150 terms Humanities – 960 terms Government & policy – 850 terms Education – 400 terms
    • Merged with general reference vocabulary in 1980s
    • Major development effort in past 4 years to boost
    • science, education & medical terms
    PQ CV
  • 8. ProQuest CV: Statistics
    • Preferred terms: 11,046
    • Non-preferred terms: 5631
    • Scope Notes: 3194 (29%)
    • Cross-references (Broader,
    • Narrower, Related terms): 67,700
    • Terms added in 2007: 77
    • Terms added in 2008: 58+
    PQ CV
  • 9. Authority Files: Statistics
    • Corporate/Organization Names: 438,098
    • Names added in 2008: 5489
    • Personal Names: 416,239
    • Names added in 2008: 1526
    • Geographic (Location) Names: 34,331
    • Names added in 2008: 144
    • Product Names: 38,210
    • Names added in 2008: 54
    PQ CV
  • 10. The Taxonomy Manager’s Job
    • Add subject terms as dictated by new
    • concepts & new content to index
    • Maintain hierarchies & Scope Notes
    • Load updated Thesaurus to ProQuest interface
    • Manage authority files to maintain standards
    • & control file size
    Taxonomy Management
  • 11. The Taxonomy Manager’s Job Taxonomy Management To ensure that indexers and searchers alike have access to a complete and accurate Thesaurus that they can use to maximize the discoverability of documents in ProQuest OBJECTIVE :
  • 12. Thesaurus on ProQuest® Taxonomy Management
  • 13. Sample Subject Term Taxonomy Management Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease SN: Any lung disease, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema, causing obstruction of bronchial airflow    UF  COPD    BT  Disease    BT  Respiratory diseases    NT  Asthma    NT  Bronchitis    NT  Emphysema    RT  Airway management    RT  Lungs Preferred, or main term Scope note defining term and how it is used Non-preferred term: points to term used to index Terms broader in nature to main term: COPD is a disease, and specifically, a respiratory disease Terms narrower in nature to main term: these are chronic lung diseases Terms related to main term that might be used to narrow the search
  • 14. Before Synaptica Managing terms meant: Multiple files  Duplicate entries  Errors = less than ideal thesaurus management
  • 15. MS Word Document Before Synaptica Academic degrees SN: A title conferred on students upon graduating from a program of study at a college or university UF: Associates degree Bachelors degree Doctoral degree Masters degree BT: Academic achievement RT: Colleges & universities Graduate studies Graduation requirements Higher education MBA programs & graduates   Academic failure SN: The failure of a student to meet academic standards, including failure to be promoted or to graduate UF: Student failure RT: Academic achievement Academic grading Academic probation Academic underachievement At risk students Grade repetition Graduation requirements School dropouts Social promotion Academic freedom SN: Educators’ freedom to teach and research what they choose BT: Education RT: Colleges & universities Curricula Research Teachers Teaching Academic grading UF: Grading of students BT: Academic achievement RT: Academic failure Academic probation Achievement tests Cheating Education portfolios Educational evaluation Tests Version 2004 ProQuest Controlled Vocabulary of Subject Terms Page 3 Academic guidance counseling UF: Guidance counseling Student counseling BT: Counseling Education RT: Career preparation Counselor client relationships Counselor education School counseling   Academic libraries UF: College libraries School libraries BT: Libraries RT: Librarians Library resources   Academic marketing SN: Efforts of educational institutions to attract students and funding BT: Marketing NT: Student recruitment RT: Admissions policies College admissions College choice Colleges & universities Enrollment management Enrollments Academic probation RT: Academic failure Academic grading Academic underachievement Academic standards SN: Standards for performance in defined academic areas set at the local, state, or federal levels BT: Standards RT: Academic achievement Academic achievement gaps Academic underachievement Achievement tests Core curriculum Education policy Educational evaluation No Child Left Behind Act 2001-US Quality of education School effectiveness Standardized tests Academic underachievement SN: Student performance that is below standards or below potential RT: Academic achievement Academic achievement gaps Academic failure Academic standards At risk students Grade repetition Social promotion   Academy awards UF: Oscars (Motion picture awards) BT: Awards & honors Motion picture industry RT: Actors   Acadian culture UF: Cajuns BT: Minority & ethnic groups Accelerated cost recovery system CC: 4210 UF: ACRS BT: Cost recovery Depreciation Depreciation methods NT: Modified accelerated cost recovery system RT: Capital cost recovery allowances Declining balance method Depreciable assets Tax basis   Accelerated death benefits CC: 4220 CC: 8210 UF: Living benefits Viatical settlement BT: Death benefits RT: Estate planning Hardship distributions Insurance policies Life insurance Riders Terminal illnesses Accelerated depreciation methods USE: Depreciation methods Key: SN=Scope note CC=Classification code UF=Use for BT=Broader term NT=Narrower term RT=Related term
  • 16. Vocabulary Documents in Word
    • ProQuest controlled vocabulary
    • French-language controlled vocabulary
    • German-language controlled vocabulary
    • Spanish-language controlled vocabulary
    • Combined PQ-CBCA controlled vocabulary
    • Ethnic database vocabulary, English
    • Ethnic database vocabulary, Spanish
    Before Synaptica
  • 17. Oracle Database Forms Before Synaptica
  • 18. Authority Files in Oracle
    • Class codes (related to subjects)
    • CORP names (391,665+ terms)
    • GEOG names (32,000+ terms)
    • PERS names (350,000+ terms)
    • PROD names (38,000+ terms)
    • NAIC codes (related to companies)
    Before Synaptica
  • 19. Foreign-Language Vocabularies French German Spanish Before Synaptica
  • 20. Adding New Terms 1. Enter full term hierarchy into new Word doc 2. Copy term into main Word-based vocabulary & enter reciprocal relationships 3. Enter term & relationships into Oracle 4. Review next-day report on Oracle activity 5. Send new term doc to editors via e-mail 6. Print new vocabulary (at least every two years) Before Synaptica
  • 21. Thesaurus Management Systems TMS Purchase
  • 22. Buying Criteria TMS Purchase
    • Up to 40 admin & 100 read-only users in multiple
    • locations
    • Ability to load vocabs from multiple Word docs &
    • Oracle authority files
    • Support for foreign language vocabularies
    • Ability to add new vocabularies
    • Vendor onsite installation & training
    • Software upgrades & tech support
    Buying Criteria
  • 23. 1. Ability to interact in real time with editorial system 2. Ability to accommodate authority files of 400,000+ names TMS Purchase Buying Criteria
  • 24. Implementing Synaptica
    • Contract signed and work begun in August 2004
    • PQ sent to Synaptica all the Word & Oracle files for
    • analysis
    Implementing Synaptica
    • Decision points: how to load & structure data;
    • how to handle “suspect” or erroneous
    • relationships
  • 25. Synaptica Data Analysis
    • Term Uniqueness
    • Use Violations
    • Self-Referencing Relationships
    • One Relationship per Term Pair
    • Relationship Unique
    • Circular References
    • Relationship Reciprocates
    Relationship Validation Tests: Exception Reports delivered to PQ; Errors fixed before production Implementing Synaptica
  • 26. Use Validation Error Marine resources Implementing Synaptica Underwater resources UF: Marine resources BT: Natural resources RT: Marine conservation Marine ecology Marine pollution Marine pollution BT: Pollution Water pollution RT: Marine conservation Marine ecology Ocean dumping Marine resources Marine ecology SN: The ecology of the seas and oceans UF: Benthic ecology BT: Ecology RT: Marine conservation Marine pollution Marine resources Oceans Marine resources USE: Underwater resources
  • 27.
    • Terms with no language equivalent (LEQ), e.g., no translation
    • In all 3 languages, multiple English terms with the same
    • translation, e.g.:
    Foreign-Language Errors Implementing Synaptica English term Purchasing Shopping Buyers Purchasing agents French term Achats Achats Acheteurs Acheteurs French term-revised Shopping Agents d'achat
  • 28. Solution: Issue: Different editorial systems = 2x data entry: once for Synaptica, once for Oracle Final Challenge Implementing Synaptica Overnight synchronization process to copy Synaptica work into Oracle every night Synch process discontinued April 2008
  • 29. Putting Synaptica Into Production
    • Deal with people resistant to change
    • Train users — provide documentation & hands-on
    • demonstrative training
    • Encourage written feedback on system functionality
    • Send feedback to Synaptica – many of our suggestions
    • implemented in later versions
    Nov 2004 Implementing Synaptica
  • 30. Life With Synaptica Word – Old, Bad  Synaptica – New, Good  Life With Synaptica
  • 31. 2. Export report of new terms into Word 1. Enter term and relationships into Synaptica “ Item Details” window 3. Send Word document to editors Life With Synaptica Adding Terms Today: 3 Easy Steps
  • 32.
    • Synaptica version 6.0 released in early 2006
    Life With Synaptica Synaptica Updates
    • Synaptica version 7.0 is being implemented now:
    • Enhanced user interface
    • Semantic Web standardization (RDF, OWL, SKOS) and
    • Web Services integration
    • Expanded Reporting functionality
    • Enhanced adding and editing of term relationships
    • including “rapid-fire” simple drag-and-drop editing
    • Improved global term editing
    • Online help and user guides
  • 33. Benefits of Synaptica Life With Synaptica
    • Greater awareness of thesaurus standards and
    • terminology, e.g.: “preferred” and “non-preferred”
    • instead of Use and Used For
    • Long-needed updating and improvement in term
    • hierarchies; ability to provide thesaurus statistics
    • Increase in Company name NPTs — from 1935 to
    • 8952 today
    • Immediate responsiveness to indexer needs —
    • real-time term additions, esp. NPTs and SNs
    • Easier loading of updated Thesaurus on PQ interface