. . Navigation
. . Editing
. . Terms
. . Relationships
. . Import/export
. . Collaboration
INF440: Introduction to Information Architecture
Student no 11348115
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Welcome to Taxonomy Trifecta, the site where taxonomy tools are put through the hoops for the Golden Beagle Award 2007.
Using our proprietary Taxonomy Dog virtual search and evaluation engine, the team at Taxonomy Trifecta have been busy helping the Dog evaluate taxonomy management software available on the web.
After a long series of failed downloads and installations, the Taxonomy Dog has managed to sniff out three of the best thesaurus management tools available online. These are:
Term Tree 2000 v2.3 Evaluation version
Multites Pro 2007.09.2 Evaluation version
Webchoir TCS-10 version 2.26 Evaluation version
Before getting to our evaluations, you might have some questions:
What is a thesaurus?
According to the US National Information Standards Organisation, a thesaurus is “a controlled vocabulary arranged in a known order and structured so that the various relationships among terms are displayed clearly and identified by standardized relationship indicators.” (NISO 2005). Thesauruses differ from taxonomies, classification schemes and controlled vocabularies in having strictly defined relationships between terms.
Ernst (2003) described the differences between thesauruses, taxonomies and controlled vocabularies. Controlled vocabularies are simply a list of terms which are strictly defined to avoid ambiguity, sometimes identifying preferred terms from a list of terms with similar meanings. Taxonomies go a step further and define terms in a hierarchical structure involving parent-child relationships. Thesauruses are more detailed again, containing associative references relationships (such as SEE ALSO and RT related term references).
How are taxonomies and thesauruses used?
Thesauruses have traditionally been used to classify and index documents and records. Morville and Rosenfeld (2006) identify three kinds of thesaurus: classic thesauruses used to indexing documents by indexers at the point of entry into a system, indexing thesauruses which are used to assign terms to document metadata and guide users towards using preferred terms in searches for more consistent retrieval, and searching thesauruses which exploit term relationships in search engine software to improve the recall of user searches.
Thesaurus building software can be used to develop all three kinds of thesaurus, as well as controlled vocabularies and taxonomies.
For information on how we evaluated the three software packages, please click here.
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