Thesauri Interoperability

Thesauri Interoperability

Mapping between Vocabularies


ISO 25964 Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies. Part 1 (Thesauri for information retrieval published 2011; Part 2 (Interoperability with other vocabularies) published 2013.

The most clearly visible trend across this history of thesaurus development has been from the context of small-scale isolation to a networked world.[4] Access to information was notably enhanced when thesauri crossed the divide between monolingual and multilingual applications. More recently, as can be seen from the titles of the latest ISO and NISO standards, there is a recognition that thesauri need to work in harness with other forms of vocabulary or knowledge organization system, such as subject heading schemes, classification schemes, taxonomies and ontologies. The official website for ISO 25964 gives more information, including a reading list

ISO 25964 Part 2

ISO 25964-2 deals with the challenges of using one thesaurus in combination with another, and/or with some other type of controlled vocabulary or knowledge organization system (KOS). The types covered include classification schemes, taxonomies, subject heading schemes, ontologies, name authority lists, terminologies and synonym rings. Within a single organization it is common to find several different such KOSs used in contexts such as the records management system, the library catalogue, the corporate intranet, the research lab, etc. To help users with the challenge of running a single search across all the available collections, ISO 25964-2 provides guidance on mapping between the terms and concepts of one thesaurus and those of the other KOSs. Where mapping is not a sensible option, the standard recommends other forms of complementary vocabulary use.

Similarly on the Internet there is an opportunity to make a simultaneous search of repositories and databases that have been indexed with different KOSs, on an even wider scale. Interoperability between the different networks, platforms, software applications, and languages (both natural and artificial) is reliant on the adoption of numerous protocols and standards. ISO 25964-2 is the one to address interoperability between structured vocabularies, especially where a thesaurus is involved.


Note: this information is extracted from

GINCO is a free software developped by the Ministry of Culture and Communication (France) and is dedicated to the management of vocabularies. It implements the principles defined in the ISO standard 25964-1:2011 Information and documentation — Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies — Part 1 : Thesauri for information retrieval.

GINCO is released under the terms of the CeCiLL v2 license.

Main features include:

•the design and the management of multiple lists of authorities, taxonomies, thesauruses ;
•the management of terms: status, language, unique identifier of type URI, notes of different types associated with the terms, assigment of terms to concepts, equivalence relationships between terms;
•the management of concepts: status, unique identifier of type URI, notes of different types associated with concepts, hierarchical ans associative relationships between concepts ;
•the management of thesaurus arrays (virtual relays, facets) and their exploitation in hierarchical editions ;
•the management of groups of concepts (microthesaurus, theme, domain);
•the alphabetical and hierarchical editions ;
•the import and export of thesaurus in SKOS / RDF format ;
•the consultation through web services.

The first version of the software is under development according to the SCRUM agile methodology. The “backlog” presents the prioritized list of developed or planned features. It is made available to the community, which can provide us with suggestions and proposals.

The developments envisaged in version 2 of the application focus on :
•collaborative features ;
•alignments between vocabularies and to external ressources ;
•the implementation of a reference terminology, in order to provide users with unified access to all vocabularies (terminologies server)


Add Other Vocabularies



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