Networked Knowledge Organization Systems (NKOS)

From Traditional Knowledge Organization Systems to
New Semantic Tools

The 6th NKOS Workshop at ACM-IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL)

May 31, 2003 Houston, TX

JCDL Website:
NKOS Website:

Objectives | Workshop Description | Agenda | Expected Participants | Workshop Leaders


The primary aim of the workshop is to bring together two often disparate communities - developers of traditional KOS tools such as classification schemes and thesauri and developers of newer semantic tools such as ontologies and topic maps. The objective is to determine how newer KOS development can take advantage of the vast body of knowledge from more traditional systems and how the practices for traditional KOS structures can benefit from the technological advances being developed to improve semantic access to Web content.

The workshop will provide a forum for researchers and developers who are implementing the use of both traditional and newer semantic tools in digital libraries to present current projects. The object is to encourage sharing of lessons learned and identifying collaborative development opportunities.

The objectives of this workshop reflect the goal of NKOS to develop a community of those who are working toward creating interactive KOSs accessible over the Web. A description of previous activities and participants can be found at


This workshop will focus on the transformation of traditional knowledge organization systems(KOSs), such as classification schemes and thesauri, to new forms of knowledge representation such as ontologies, topic maps, and semantic Web components, where relationships between and among concepts are richer and more extensive and in which the requirements of computer processing are met. The session will include discussion of the contribution of principles from more traditional practices to the design of new knowledge organization systems and exploitation of the extensive intellectual capital available in traditional KOSs in the development of new forms of KOSs.


8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:30 am Welcome and Introduction to NKOS (Gail Hodge, Information International Associates, Inc. ) (PPT)
Brief Reports on Projects and R&D Interests (All participants)
9:15 am From Legacy Knowledge Organization Systems to Full-Fledged Ontologies (Dagobert Soergel, University of Maryland) (PPT)
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Transforming Traditional KOSs into New Semantic Tools
  • Frehiwot Fisseha, FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) (PPT)
  • Marcos Goncalves, Virginia Tech (PPT)
12:00 Lunch
12:45 pm Transforming Traditional KOSs into New Semantic Tools(contd).
  • Gail Hodge & Janet Ormes, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (PPT)
  • Terence Smith, UC Santa Barbara; Marcia Lei Zeng, Kent State Univ. (to be presented by Marcia Zeng) (PPT)
1:30 pm Semantic Network Services, Adam Farquhar, SchlumbergerSema GmbH (PPT)
2:15 pm Standards and Principles for Developing Search and Browse Vocabularies (Amy Warner, Lexonomy, Inc./consultant to NISO) (PPT)
2:45 pm. Break
3:00 pm Open discussion (Moderator: Gail Hodge)
4:00 pm Adjourn

Expected Participants

Workshop Leaders

Gail Hodge, Sr. Project Manager at Information International Associates, Inc. has been involved in the development and implementation of knowledge organization systems for the last 25 years. She has worked on numerous thesauri and classification schemes and more recently on taxonomies for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the interagency Web site. She has written and presented numerous papers on related topics. Ms. Hodge has been on the organizing committee for NKOS for the last 5 years.

Marcia Lei Zeng is Professor of Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Her major research interests include knowledge organization and representation, electronic publishing, indexing and abstracting, and database quality control. Her scholarly publications include over 50 papers and two books, as well as many national and international conference presentations. She has been involved in the development of KOS as well as teaching and research of KOS for over 20 years. Currently, she is working on a NSF-funded National Science Digital Library project which include the development of a taxonomy, a thesaurus, and a terminology database. Dr. Zeng serves on a number of KOS-related standards working groups for organizations such as IFLA, SLA and NISO.

Dagobert Soergel is Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, since 1970. He has been working in the area of classification (taxonomy, ontologies) and thesauri both practically and theoretically for over 40 years. He is the author of two books on indexing languages and thesauri and numerous papers and presentations on the theory and practice of thesaurus construction. He has developed a number of thesauri, including the Alcohol and Other Drug Thesaurus. He is currently chief consultant on the Harvard Business Thesaurus. In addition he has developed thesaurus management software and proposed systems for integrating access to knowledge about concepts and terminology.

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last updated: May 16, 2003