Do Controlled Vocabularies Matter?

The results of our survey about controlled vocabularies are published on Issuu.

The most interesting part of the results for me in a few words:

In August 2009 the W3C consortium announced the new SKOS standard – developed by the SWDWG – for bridging between the world of knowledge organization systems and the linked data community. Now, nearly two years after, it looks like this standard has well arrived. 48.7% stated that standards like SKOS are very important and 29.1% voted for “relevant”.

We also asked for other standards that are important for the participant’s daily work. From 250 nominations we decided to focus on those that had a score of at least 7. The big three are OWL, RDF and Dublin Core. Others were a variety of ISO terminologies, RSS, SPIN. Remarkable in this context is that SPARQL made it just to 5 mentions.

A couple of additional insights:
– most of our participants do have a clear awareness about controlled vocabularies and 85,4% are using them in their organization
– the bigger the organization the longer controlled vocabularies are used
– taxonomies and ontologies seem to be the preferred knowledge models
– semantic search, data integration and structure for content navigation are the main application areas for controlled vocabularies
– application areas like recommender systems, autocomplete suggestions and support for multilingual search are not seen as very relevant
– linked data is valued very positively as a future topic
– thesauri will support search engines in the near future to improve search results
– experience with controlled vocabularies is varying considerably among the branches
– there is a high awareness for standards like SKOS; the web-paradigm has entered the world of controlled vocabularies
– controlled vocabularies are no more locked in academic frames, they have also arrived in enterprise areas

Enjoy reading the full report!

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