Vocabulary management process
The goals of the vocabulary management process are:
To accomplish the goals of vocabulary management, the DPC (DLESE Program Center) is responsible for four primary management functions. This does not mean the DPC does all the work associated with each management function. Rather various DLESE Core Services and community input is sought throughout the process.
Each of these management functions are described in detail next.
1. Need determination
DLESE metadata frameworks generally adopt controlled vocabularies when
This part of the process may take hours to months in order to demonstrate a need.
In developing vocabulary terms, definitions, cataloging best practices, technical documentation and user interface labels, any of the following procedures, or a combination thereof, may be used:
Vocabularies should be as simple as possible while meeting user needs, promoting naturalness of language and being informed by research on user behaviors and digital library development.
An ongoing DLESE vocabulary development issue has been implementing a well-defined Earth system vocabulary. Eventually, the library will include an Earth system vocabulary and the operational framework that explicates the library scope and balance. These library capabilities should ensure high quality and consistency in accessioning, cataloging, metadata, interoperability and the user experience.
The following is an example entry of the information that is needed for each term in a vocabulary:
Table 1: Vocabulary Information to Collect
As part of the development process, terms and definitions usually go through many iterations before a final vocabulary is decided upon. This part of the process may take anywhere from 6-24 months to complete.
This part of the vocabulary management process involves implementing the decided upon vocabulary (terms only not definitions) in the appropriate DLESE metadata framework using XML schemas. Once a vocabulary is made into an XML schema, it becomes valid content for metadata records when a new version of the metadata framework is issued. The actual schema creation may take anywhere from a couple hours to a few days to complete but its implications on other DLESE systems is huge and it may take months for metadata records and DLESE systems to be in sync with the new schema.
4. Metadata/Vocabulary Manager
Once a vocabulary is in an XML schema, it is ready to be put in the Metadata/Vocabulary Manager so that it becomes available to other DLESE systems (e.g. discovery). This is a labor intensive, non-automatic process and is currently undergoing re-development. The existing system is call the Vocabulary-UI Manager and the developing system is called the Metadata-UI Manager. Before describing the process of getting information into these systems, the two manager systems are compared and contrasted below.
Table 3: Vocab Terms Versus User Interface Labels
The workflow surrounding vocabulary development is labor intensive and time consuming. But if resources are to be discoverable by a certain vocabulary, metadata records with the vocabulary must exist. This means the vocabulary must be allowed in the appropriate metadata framework and if possible supported in cataloging tools. For comparison, the timeline and process for putting the National Science Education Standards (NSES) into the DLESE ADN metadata framework and seeing resources with them in search results is described below:
DLESE tools used
These are actions within the process that need automation in order for this process to scale more effectively:
The manager tool of this process is undergoing re-development in order to streamline how vocabularies are made available to DLESE systems and services.
Last updated: 03-09-05