Becta Vms

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Presentation on Becta Vocabulary management systems by Mike Taylor at the CETIS MDR SIG meeting on 2008-02-12

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Becta Vms

  1. 1. Using standards to make vocabularies available. The Becta VMS (Vocabulary Management Service)‏ Mike Taylor <mike@miketaylor.org.uk> Giraffatitan brancai reconstruction from Paul (1988)‏
  2. 2. Contents Vocabularies Becta The Becta Vocabulary Management Service The Zthes XML format The Zthes web service
  3. 3. Contents Vocabularies Becta The Becta Vocabulary Management Service The Zthes XML format The Zthes web service So what? What now?
  4. 4. Vocabularies Vocabularies are sets of terms used to tag documents. Their use increases both recall and precision of searching. At the simplest level, all Flickr tags form a vocabulary. Richer vocabularies have semantics and structure . Thesauri, taxonomies, ontologies, authority lists and control lists are all more or less the same thing as vocabularies. (Purists will hate me for saying that.)‏
  5. 5. Semantics and structure Terms may carry scope notes. Terms may be listed with synonyms. Links may exist between terms: BT (broader term) e.g. cat BT vehicle NT (narrower term) e.g. animal NT dog UF (use for, preferred term) e.g. dog UF hound USE (non-preferred term) e.g. hound USE dog RT (related term) e.g. vehicle RT travel Mappings to other languages are possible. (Some semantics and structure can be induced by usage patterns in unstructured vocabularies.)‏
  6. 6. Sample terms from a vocabulary dog : UF hound, canine BT animal NT dachsund, dalmatian, poodle Scope note: includes domestic dogs only; wolves and African hunting dogs are listed separately. animal : UF creature, beast, brute BT organism NT dog, cat, Brachiosaurus altithorax , slug RT life
  7. 7. Searching with a vocabulary Two main ways to use a vocabulary: 1. Visible to the user. Can be browsed to find suitable search terms. 2. Behind the scenes: non-preferred terms mapped to preferred terms or synonyms expanded. Expansion of query terms can include expansion to broader and narrower terms, or translated terms. Relevance ranking can take term-closeness into account.
  8. 8. Becta B ritish E ducational C ommunications and T echnology A gency. An agency of the Department of Education and Skills. Oversees procurement of IT equipment for schools. In charge of e-learning strategy.
  9. 9. Becta VMS Creating vocabularies is a pain. Tools are expensive. Becta needed to facilitate vocabulary creation for Curriculum Online. Created the Vocabulary Management System (VMS)‏ -- Studio (not available without training)‏ -- Bank: http://bank.vocman.com/ -- Spine
  10. 10. Vocabulary bank
  11. 11. Vocabulary bank
  12. 12. Downloaded XML <Zthes xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1'> <thes> <dc:title>Early Years Foundation Stage</dc:title> <dc:description>Curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage in England</dc:description> <dc:date>22/10/2007</dc:date> <dc:identifier>eyfs</dc:identifier> <dc:language>En-GB</dc:language> <thesNote label='version'>1.0</thesNote> <thesNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-eyfs</thesNote> <thesNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</thesNote> </thes> <term> <termId>000639</termId> <termName>Early Support</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> <termSortKey>3</termSortKey> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-000639</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='source'>1001-eyfs</termNote> <termNote label='curriculumType' vocab='0001-CurriculumType'>category2</termNote> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>000635</termId> <termName>Inclusive Practice</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> </relation> [...] </term> [...]
  13. 13. Downloaded XML: the vocabulary <Zthes xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1'> <thes> <dc:title>Early Years Foundation Stage</dc:title> <dc:description>Curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage in England</dc:description> <dc:date>22/10/2007</dc:date> <dc:identifier>eyfs</dc:identifier> <dc:language>En-GB</dc:language> <thesNote label='version'>1.0</thesNote> <thesNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-eyfs</thesNote> <thesNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</thesNote> </thes> <term> <termId>000639</termId> <termName>Early Support</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> <termSortKey>3</termSortKey> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-000639</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='source'>1001-eyfs</termNote> <termNote label='curriculumType' vocab='0001-CurriculumType'>category2</termNote> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>000635</termId> <termName>Inclusive Practice</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> </relation> [...] </term> [...]
  14. 14. Downloaded XML: a term <Zthes xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1'> <thes> <dc:title>Early Years Foundation Stage</dc:title> <dc:description>Curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage in England</dc:description> <dc:date>22/10/2007</dc:date> <dc:identifier>eyfs</dc:identifier> <dc:language>En-GB</dc:language> <thesNote label='version'>1.0</thesNote> <thesNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-eyfs</thesNote> <thesNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</thesNote> </thes> <term> <termId>000639</termId> <termName>Early Support</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> <termSortKey>3</termSortKey> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-000639</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='source'>1001-eyfs</termNote> <termNote label='curriculumType' vocab='0001-CurriculumType'>category2</termNote> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>000635</termId> <termName>Inclusive Practice</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> </relation> [...] </term> [...]
  15. 15. Downloaded XML: a relation <Zthes xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1'> <thes> <dc:title>Early Years Foundation Stage</dc:title> <dc:description>Curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage in England</dc:description> <dc:date>22/10/2007</dc:date> <dc:identifier>eyfs</dc:identifier> <dc:language>En-GB</dc:language> <thesNote label='version'>1.0</thesNote> <thesNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-eyfs</thesNote> <thesNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</thesNote> </thes> <term> <termId>000639</termId> <termName>Early Support</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> <termSortKey>3</termSortKey> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1001-000639</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='source'>1001-eyfs</termNote> <termNote label='curriculumType' vocab='0001-CurriculumType'>category2</termNote> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>000635</termId> <termName>Inclusive Practice</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termLanguage>En-GB</termLanguage> </relation> [...] </term> [...]
  16. 16. The Zthes format An open, freely available, specification: http://zthes.z3950.org/ Very simple – no attempt to generalise. In use by various organisations in different domains: Becta (education)‏ Synapse/Factiva (business intelligence)‏ ELVIS/Decomate II/Elise II (European projects)‏ Natural History Museum (biological taxonomy)‏ OCLC (libraries)‏ Was considered (along with SKOS and MARC authorities)‏ by the BS 8723-5:2007 part 5 committee. Defeated by NIH syndrome.
  17. 17. The Z in Zthes ... some history Zthes started life as a Z39.50 profile in 1999. (ANSI/NISO Z39.50 is a venerable search/retrieve standard.)‏ Zthes was quickly expanded by the addition of an XML format. An SRU profile for Zthes followed in 2003. (SRU is Search/Retrieve via URL.)‏ XML format and SRU profile are currently at v1.0 (2006). Some small additions on the way to support OCLC's use.
  18. 18. Zthes SRU in the Becta VMS Requests are REST-like URLs: http://bank.vocman.com/bank-webapp/sru/CurrentTerms operation=SearchRetrieve maximumRecords=10 recordSchema=zthes query=zthes.relType=&quot;BT&quot; and zthes.termGuid=&quot;1000-KSWO-0005&quot; Search for records related by “BT” (broader term) to the term with identified “1000-KSWO-0005”, and return the first ten. query contains a CQL query: simple but powerful. (This URL omits SRU's version parameter – naughty!)‏
  19. 19. Zthes SRU response <srw:searchRetrieveResponse xmlns:srw='http://www.loc.gov/zing/srw/'> <srw:version>1.1</srw:version> <srw:numberOfRecords>1</srw:numberOfRecords> <srw:records> <srw:record> <term xmlns:k-int='http://www.k-int.com/' xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/'> <termId>KSWO-0005</termId> <termName>Working in groups</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termNote label='source'>1000-QCA Metadata Standard: XTags</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1000-KSWO-0005</termNote> <k-int:termRevisionNumber>0</k-int:termRevisionNumber> <k-int:termInstanceId>8931</k-int:termInstanceId> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>KSWO</termId> <termName>Key Skills: working with others</termName> </relation> </term> </srw:record> </srw:records> </srw:searchRetrieveResponse>
  20. 20. Zthes SRU response: vehicle <srw:searchRetrieveResponse xmlns:srw='http://www.loc.gov/zing/srw/'> <srw:version>1.1</srw:version> <srw:numberOfRecords>1</srw:numberOfRecords> <srw:records> <srw:record> <term xmlns:k-int='http://www.k-int.com/' xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/'> <termId>KSWO-0005</termId> <termName>Working in groups</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termNote label='source'>1000-QCA Metadata Standard: XTags</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1000-KSWO-0005</termNote> <k-int:termRevisionNumber>0</k-int:termRevisionNumber> <k-int:termInstanceId>8931</k-int:termInstanceId> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>KSWO</termId> <termName>Key Skills: working with others</termName> </relation> </term> </srw:record> </srw:records> </srw:searchRetrieveResponse>
  21. 21. Zthes SRU response: payload <srw:searchRetrieveResponse xmlns:srw='http://www.loc.gov/zing/srw/'> <srw:version>1.1</srw:version> <srw:numberOfRecords>1</srw:numberOfRecords> <srw:records> <srw:record> <term xmlns:k-int='http://www.k-int.com/' xmlns:dc='http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/'> <termId>KSWO-0005</termId> <termName>Working in groups</termName> <termType>PT</termType> <termNote label='source'>1000-QCA Metadata Standard: XTags</termNote> <termNote label='authority' vocab='0001-Authority'>QCA</termNote> <termNote label='globallyUniqueId'>1000-KSWO-0005</termNote> <k-int:termRevisionNumber>0</k-int:termRevisionNumber> <k-int:termInstanceId>8931</k-int:termInstanceId> <relation> <relationType>BT</relationType> <termId>KSWO</termId> <termName>Key Skills: working with others</termName> </relation> </term> </srw:record> </srw:records> </srw:searchRetrieveResponse>
  22. 22. So what?
  23. 23. So what? The advantage that all web services bring: loose coupling. As useful as the Becta VMS Bank is, it is not the only useful application of the vocabularies. Using the Zthes/SRU web service, anyone can make applications that search and navigate vocabularies. (And they should work with other Zthes/SRU vocabularies.)‏
  24. 24. So what? The advantage that all web services bring: loose coupling. As useful as the Becta VMS Bank is, it is not the only useful application of the vocabularies. Using the Zthes/SRU web service, anyone can make applications that search and navigate vocabularies. (And they should work with other Zthes/SRU vocabularies.)‏ I will not insult your intelligence by using the word “mashup”.
  25. 25. What now? Becta has to demonstrate that its facilities are useful ... ... which means it has to make them useful. – Do these facilities help you? – If so, how might you use them? – If not, could they be made useful? – How? Feedback, please! – Talk to me. – Email me on <mike@miketaylor.org.uk> – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx ?sm=YJt7RtxHmJQEgQFvXHZSTQ%3d%3d

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