Knowledge Management


Terminology and taxonomy – a nice alliterative pair, or something more?

Both are terms used in connection with managing and organizing knowledge. Both are products featuring more or less structured collections of terms (controlled vocabularies, taxonomies) and concepts (terminology, thesaurus, ontology). And although they might seem different at first glance, a closer examination reveals numerous similarities and especially synergies.

Controlled vocabularies in various forms are a representation of organizational structures with different goals. We encounter them unknowingly in many day-to-day situations: from simple drop-down menus to catalogue structures, navigation structures on the Intranet and Internet, subject catalogues and indices, etc. The layout of a supermarket and its grouping of goods is usually based on a structure that can be represented by a taxonomy. Ontologies based on controlled vocabularies are the most complex expression of this kind of organizational structure.

And what do all these products have in common? They arrange or organize knowledge, thereby helping to prepare it so that users can find specific details more easily, thus making the knowledge more readily accessible and useable. The methods used by taxonomy developers and terminologists are similar.

As service providers we combine the two worlds. We would be happy to offer you consultation and support for creating and developing all kinds of taxonomies. We make use of already existing terminology inventories if they are available and develop them for taxonomies or ontologies. On the other hand we can also make use of controlled vocabularies to develop inventories for terminology work.