Agricultural Library Thesaurus, Press release from USDA (Oct 11, 2011)

The Agricultural Thesaurus from the National Agricultural Library (US) is fully available online.

” It provides standard terms in both English and Spanish that can be used for indexing to improve the retrieval of information.”

Goverment of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus
Government of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus in SKOS/RDF format

Library and Archives Canada Canada is making its Subject Thesaurus available for download.

“The Government of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus is a bilingual thesaurus consisting of terminology that represents all the fields covered in the information resources of the Government of Canada. Library and Archives Canada is exploring the potential for linked data and the semantic web with LAC vocabularies, metadata and open content.”

From the about page: “The tool is primarily intended for content managers, librarians, indexers and metadata developers in federal departments and agencies who must select controlled subject terms to index Government of Canada Web resources.”

Thesaurus Challange

There is much to learn about creating a specialized thesaurus from this interview with Daphne Worsham – The Thesaurus Challenge – done by Cybele Elaine Werts. This was published in the March 2008 issue of the SLA magazine, Information Outlook.

Daphne Worsham has lots of experience from her work to create a special eduction thesaurus for the Western Regional Resources Center in Eugene, Oregon.

The interview covered the main questions in people’s minds – value of the thesaurus, what is controlled vocabulary, the process for building a thesaurus and amount of time needed, and the problems with user generated tagging.

One eye-opening remark on the importance of a thesaurus came from a discussion of regional differences in language. Worsham gave this example: “I learned when I worked in a restaurant, that if you order a regular coffee in certain parts of the country, that automatically means to put cream in it. If you order a regular on the West Coast, it means black. So if we use “regular” to tag something as an identified, it wouldn’t mean the same thing to everyone.” This one example show the importance of “clarity in language”.

Thesaurus of Aging Terminology

The Thesaurus of Aging Terminology 8th Edition (July 2005) is available online from AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons).

This is a good application for seeing how the thesaurus has been constructed and how it is used to assist in finding materials in the AgeLine Database of articles and studies.

Thesaurus –

“The Thesaurus of Aging Terminology is a controlled vocabulary of subject terms (also called keywords or descriptors) used to index all publications cited in AgeLine. Because AgeLine focuses on aging-related topics from a variety of disciplines, the Thesaurus can be very useful in constructing a thorough search of the database, in defining how a term is used in AgeLine, and in identifying references having a major focus on that topic.”

It is not the easiest to use. Basically, browse the PDF version of the thesaurus (272 pages), note terms you’d like to use, and do a copy and paste into the AgeLine search form.

“The Thesaurus of Aging Terminology is divided into three sections: Relational Terms, Rotated Terms, and Geographical Terms. The Relational Terms section indicates all levels of relationship among Thesaurus terms. The Rotated Terms section provides an alphabetized columnar listing of all words found within Thesaurus terms. The Geographical Terms section provides a ready reference list of state, province, country, regional, and continent names searchable as Descriptors.”

AgeLine Database –

Search Ageline – there are several options – basic keyword, subject, and multiple options. It covers a great range of aging topics related to health, living, and well being.

Watch for the Descriptors on articles that are displayed, and navigate to other topics.

ERIC Thesaurus

The thesaurus used by the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is another excellent resource that can be viewed online. ERIC updates this quarterly. Browse or search for terms.







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