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LAC Group - Metadata for mere mortals (Controlled vocabularies)

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Metadata for mere mortals - Part 3: Controlled vocabularies
Presented by Erin Antognoli, Metadata Librarian

In this webinar, Erin discusses controlled vocabularies and how they fit into the use of metadata. If you haven’t yet listened to our previous discussions on metadata, you may want to take a few minutes to catch up.

Metadata and the data lifecycle: https://lac.gp/MetadataIntro
Choosing metadata standards: https://lac.gp/ChoosingStandards

Contact us: https://lac-group.com/contact-us/

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LAC Group - Metadata for mere mortals (Controlled vocabularies)

  1. 1. Metadata for mere mortals Part 3: Controlled vocabularies Erin Antognoli, Metadata Librarian
  2. 2. What is a controlled vocabulary?
  3. 3. Standardizing information Controlled vocabulary = standardization of information Benefits to record stewards and information users ● Consistent wording / spelling ● Limits on content entry ● Identical formatting ● Integration with linked data
  4. 4. How can controlled vocabularies help maximize metadata efficiency?
  5. 5. Structure and consistency Consistent representation of subject matter across records/collections Example of inconsistency: Avoid redundancy – maintain consistency
  6. 6. Organization and findability Define how information will be structured and communicated ● Within records, within the organization as a whole, and beyond. ● Hierarchy example:
  7. 7. Examples of controlled vocabularies
  8. 8. Controlled vocabularies return relevant products Amazon.com – top level categories include: • Beauty • Books • Clothing & accessories • Electronics (consumer) • Home & garden • Music • Office products • Outdoors • Sports • Toys & games • Watches
  9. 9. Controlled vocabularies return relevant products
  10. 10. Controlled vocabulary example - NALT Sloppy metadata Controlled metadata Products and commodities https://agclass.nal.usda.gov/ Commodities
  11. 11. Different types of controlled vocabularies
  12. 12. Controlled vocabularies
  13. 13. Controlled vocabularies – Complexity scale Flat term lists ● No ordering; may have definitions and attribution; no overlap. Authority files ● One term identified as the preferred term, other synonyms are variant terms; usually link back to each other. Classification schemes ● Codes that represent controlled vocabulary terms (i.e. Dewey Decimal System, LOC system). Hierarchical term lists ● List of terms grouped to imply order or organization (parent/child); may have definitions and attribution. Lesscomplex
  14. 14. Controlled vocabularies – Complexity scale Thesauri ● Controlled vocabularies networked together by relationships between terms; often indicate preferred/variant terms; definitions, and attribution. ● Equivalence, hierarchy, associative relationships defined. Ontologies ● Describe concepts and relationships in programmatic ways and enable arbitrary relationships. ● Often no preferred terms; concepts and relationships are described in machine-readable ways (supports interoperability). ● Child terms inherit properties of parent terms (enables reuse and scalability). Morecomplex
  15. 15. Controlled vocabularies LOC (Library of Congress) ● Subject headings ● Name authority file ● Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT) GCMD (Global Master Change Directory) ● Earth science ● Instruments ● Locations
  16. 16. Controlled vocabularies Crossref ● Funder Registry Getty Vocabularies ● The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) ● The Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA) ● The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) National Agricultural Library Thesaurus (NALT)
  17. 17. Decide on details Define what important information is repeatable Decide how much detail to include Quality > Quantity ● Identify stakeholders and their needs ● Consider available resources
  18. 18. Less ambiguous, more useful metadata Enhanced discovery and interoperability of information Greater efficiency and client / end-user satisfaction Why controlled vocabularies matter How can we help?
  19. 19. Thank you Presented by Erin Antognoli, Metadata Librarian For more information, contact us.

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