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Access Innovations helps SPIE with new taxonomy

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SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has partnered with semantic enrichment firm Access Innovations on a new taxonomy in optics and photonics. The taxonomy, which is in use on SPIE’s websites, SPIE.org and the SPIE Digital Library, is said to provide the basis for topically-focused searching and browsing the most relevant SPIE content from the society’s journals, proceedings papers, and e-books.

'We needed to build a taxonomy that will support the over 375,000 publications we have on file as well as be able to handle our rapid growth – which now totals nearly 20,000 additional new publications every year,' explained Brad Ferguson, SPIE senior director of finance and administration.

The starting point for the taxonomy was SPIE’s seven major technology segments: astronomy and astronomical optics; biomedical optics and medical imaging; communication and information technologies; defense and industrial sensing; electronic imaging and processing; micro- and nano- technologies; and optics and electro-optics.

Using all the resources provided through these technical areas, Access Innovations built a frequency list to load into its Data Harmony Thesaurus Master software. The company then created full-term records with hierarchical, equivalence and associative terms as appropriate. Site search logs from the SPIE Digital Library, the SPIE.org website, and author-supplied keywords were also used as source data for the new taxonomy.

The new optics and photonics thesaurus includes 3,830 preferred terms that are said to cover the full breadth and depth of the technologies covered by SPIE in its publications, conferences, and educational programmes. The taxonomy is a fully-formed ANSI/NISO Z39.19 thesaurus, an ontology as Owl Full as well as compliant with the ISO new controlled vocabulary standards.