Taxonomies & Folksonomies at MITA presentation at the Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting, 29 May 2008 Robert Wolfe Metadata Specialist, MIT Libraries
Introduction Metadata Services, MIT Librares Information Organization Consulting Services Supporting Educational Technology Projects on a Cost Recovery Basis
Taxonomy Services Small Controlled vocabularies for our clients (OCW, DSpace, Wesleyan University ) Mostly genre lists Rarely subject taxonomies
Ontologies & theSemantic Web Ontologies vs. Taxonomies URIs vs. literal strings SKOS Some projects: MIT Course Catalog Picker, DWELL, FACADE
Lessons Learned Findability Taxonomies have limited effectiveness vs. full-text indexing in traditional search and browse interfaces Taxonomies really reach their full potential in Semantic Web applications like faceted browsers, timelines and other tools (see SIMILE projects)
Folksonomies Our efforts aren’t strictly confined to building tools to let users tag items in our collections with “keywords” There is a lot more information that users can provide (and for which it makes a lot more sense for them to provide). For example: content evaluations, ratings, and annotations.
MIT Libraries Efforts The Virtual Browsery MIT Libraries Virtual Reference MIT Libraries Facebook and iGoogle Apps Citation Mangement integration with Catalog Search and Course Reading List Management For more see MIT Libraries Betas
Metadata Services Efforts Metamedia Content Annotation Thalia Image Repository Tagging DSpace Rating and Recommendation Systems
Lessons learned (so far) Know why and when folksonomies work, build tools that create supportive environments (communities) There are multiple factors to achieving findability of your information resources, taxonomies and folksonomies often support different factors. Our role as librarians is to build communities and facilitate the use of best practices in tagging.