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Astronomy thesaurus promises galaxy of information

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Access Innovations, a specialist in semantic enrichment, has teamed up with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and IOP Publishing (IOP) to create a new astronomy thesaurus.

The publication, called the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT), was created for the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and is aimed at  helping to improve future information discovery for researchers.

The AAS will make the UAT freely available for development and use within the astronomy community, while ensuring the thesaurus remains relevant and useful.

Further development of the UAT will be undertaken by the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in collaboration with the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) to enhance and extend the thesaurus to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the astronomy community.

Adoption of the thesaurus within the ADS will result in better linking with the majority of astronomy research journal articles through a common vocabulary, thereby greatly improving the accuracy of information discovery.

Jack Bruce, project manager at Access Innovations, said: 'The immersion within the astrophysics and astronomy vernacular within the past few months has been a thrilling experience. The molding and blending of multiple controlled vocabularies, each with their own variations of scope and goal, proved to be challenging and rewarding.

'We wish for astronomy and astrophysical communities to take full advantage of Unified Astronomy Thesaurus in order to streamline scientific research and publishing processes.'