Participants in Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (as of December 1, 1998)
(back to Workshop page)

Ardoe, Anders
Babamov, Vasil
Bartolo, Laura M.
Bechhofer, Sean
Bedford, Denise A. D.
Betz, Anne
Blum,  Stan
Busch, Joseph A.
Chipman, Alison
Davies, Ron
DiPietro, Deanne
Doerr, Martin
Eliasen, Karen
Futornick, Michelle
Geber,  Ecaterina
Goble, Carole
Hammond, Joel
Hart, Quinn
Hill, Linda
Hodge, Gail
Hower, Paul
Koch, Traugott
Maguire, Marsha
Méndez. Eva
Milstead, Jessica
Nair, Gopi
Nolting, Daniel
Ostergren, Marilyn
Prescott, Leah
Raugh, Michael
Soergel, Dagobert
Spasser, Mark
Spencer, Linda Hill
Starr, Lori J.
Thomas,  Judith
Treesh, Erica
Tudhope, Douglas
Vizine-Goetz, Diane
Vogel, Ron
Weland, Madi
Zeng, Marcia Lei

Anders Ardoe has a background in Computer Systems with a Ph.D. 1986 from Lund University. He has been working with networked computers since 1980 and during 1986 - 1994 as Ass. Professor in Computer Engineering at Lund University. The last years he has been involved in introducing the concept of networked information in libraries. Since 1992 he is working with developing electronic library services first at Lund University Library, Development Department (LUB NetLab) were he was department head from 1994 - 1996. From 1996 he is head of development at the Technical Knowledge Center & Library of Denmark. The European Union projects he is currently involved in are: DESIRE II, UNIverse, GAIA and EULER. (See statement with Traugott Koch).


Vasil Babamov is the Editor of the Chemical Abstracts Thesaurus.  He oversees the development of the Thesaurus, which currently has about 15,000 preferred terms, and its integration into the building of the CA database.  A particularly concern is the implications that the expanded networked applications of thesauri will have on the development of the thesaurus structure and content to ensure that the thesaurus remains a useful tool for purposes beyond its traditional implementation.  Another concern is with providing networked thesaurus access to the analysts involved in building the database and maximizing the benefits of using the thesaurus in the database building process.  The CA Thesaurus is presently fully accessible only internally: on STN via the existing STN thesaurus software; via an Intranet web-based hypertext thesaurus tool; and via a couple of internally developed tools that partially integrate the thesaurus into the database building process.  We are anticipating incorporating the thesaurus into the public access to the CA database on STN, the web-based STN-easy and Scifinder that provide access to multiple databases, and into other planned CAS products. Additional work needs to be done on the thesaurus to enable automatic backfile search in light of the major changes our vocabulary has undergone. The only public assess to the thesaurus is a restricted version of the internal web thesaurus hypertext tool that provides only a listing of the thesaurus terms. This listing can be accessed at: .  Dr. Babamov received a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Illinois in 1977 and was engaged in research and teaching in that field at several universities before joining Chemical Abstracts as a Scientific Information Analyst in 1986.


Laura M. Bartolo is an Associate Professor in Libraries and Media Services at Kent State University. Her primary focus in the ALCOM/NIST Heterogeneous Structures Project is network-accessible information description and retrieval. Specific groups of terms in related areas have been developed among the scientists with the growth of the Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) subject domain. A next step in the project is to develop a knowledge organization structure related to liquid crystal research building upon the thesaurus and classification tools in place.  The knowledge structure will incorporate the multiple domains represented within the project, the interests and needs of applied and basic research, and will capitalize on distributed information services.


Sean Bechhofer is a Research Fellow in the Information Management Group at the University of Manchester. He received a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics from Bristol University in 1988 and has been a researcher in the University of Manchester Department of Computer Science since 1993, working initially with the Medical Informatics Group on the GALEN project ( His main research interests are in the applications of description logics, particularly as a delivery mechanism for terminologies and semantic metadata, and their use in indexing and retrieval. He is currently involved with the STARCH ( and TAMBIS ( projects. STARCH is concerned with using DL models to support querying over picture archives, while TAMBIS uses a conceptual model to provide unified access to multiple biological information sources. [added 11/20/98]


Denise A. D. Bedford is currently Thesaurus Manager/Developer for The World Bank in Washington, DC.   She is responsible for the development of the forthcoming 1998 edition of The World Bank Group's Thesaurus.  The Thesaurus takes the form of electronic and print editions, as well as serving as the intelligence behind the "smart" RetrievalWare search engine. She has earned Ph.D. (Information Science, UC Berkeley), MS (Librarianship, Western Michigan University), MA and BA (Russian;  German;  History, University of Michigan).  Other employment highlights include:   Catholic University of America (Adjunct Faculty), Intel Corporation, NASA GSFC and STI Program, Stanford University, University of California Systemwide Administration, University of Michigan, as well as consulting projects for International Monetary Fund, and federal agencies.

Objectives for the workshop:   (1) learn which of the NISO-defined thesaurus relationships other organizations and researchers are using in mapping thesaurus content to semantic network structures, as well as relationships in use beyond this set;  (2) determine whether there is practical consistency in the naming conventions for semantic relationships, and (3) learn how other organizations have "packaged" semantic network relationships to search strategies for end-users.


Anne Betz graduated in Library and Information Studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, Department of Library and Information Studies (LIS), in September 1997. From October 1997 on she is working half-time at DEUTERM, the recently founded German Information and Documentation Centre for Terminology. DEUTERM is to represent the German node in a European Terminology Documentation Centre Network (TDC-net) being established in the course of a European Union project which started in August this year. The TDC-net Project is an activity within the framework of the European MLIS Programme (MultiLingual Information Society).

"In general, my interest in the NKOS initiative is exchanging professional information on a high level and learning more about the methodical and technical aspects of realizing multilingual access to databases and Web sites by means of controlled vocabulary systems.  As DEUTERM offers a list of thesauri, thesaurus maintenance software and classification schedules browsable by languages and by subject ( which is to be represented by means of systematic categories one day, I am especially interested in the discussion about and the development of the Thesaurus Registry."  (added 10/23/98)


Stan Blum is the Research Information Manager at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. By academic training he is a systematic ichthyologist (the classification of fishes; Ph.D. Zoology, University of Hawaii, 1988). Since 1990, however, he has been working full-time in biodiversity and natural history collections informatics. The two most important themes in his work have been: 1) designing integrated information systems for natural history museums (i.e., systems that support a wide variety of collection disciplines, collection management practices, and uses of collection information), and 2) developing data standards and software architectures that will enable data to be integrated across distributed and heterogeneous collection databases. He recently organized "A Workshop on the Compilation, Maintenance, and Dissemination of Taxonomic Authority Files." The purpose of the workshop was to provide an initial forum for members of the systematics and library/information science communities to discuss concepts, practices, and technologies that will promote consistency in the cataloging, indexing, and retrieval of biological information. Workshop results indicated that biological taxonomy and classification would provide a challenging test bed for cross-discipline work involving thesaurus development, authority control, cooperative cataloging, and multi-thesaurus integration. Participants recommended that the dialog between the communities continue, particularly under the framework of DL research. (Added 8/3/98; updated 3/4/99.)

Taxonomic Authority Files Workshop website:
California Academy of Sciences website:

Joseph A. Buschis currently the Vice President for Information Product Development at DATAFUSION, a start-up software company developing knowledge management products that integrate metathesaurus, metadata, and systems modeling technologies. Prior to joining DATAFUSION in January, Mr. Busch was the Getty Information Institute's program manager for standards and resources projects including the Art & Architecture Thesaurus and Thesaurus of Geographic Names. His domain experience ranges from the arts and humanities to business and law. Over the past 25 years as an information professional, he has worked in a wide variety of institutional settings including academic, private, and public libraries, as well as management consulting organizations. Mr. Busch organized and led the DL 97 workshop on Metadata and Thesauri.

DATAFUSION is working to operationalize cross-domain metathesaurus technology as an incremental distributed resource. As such, DATAFUSION aims to be a leader in the development of standards to support this objective, and an early implementor of them. To support this goal, DATAFUSION recently joined the W3C, and has a particular interest in developing XML architectures.


Alison Chipman is an editor at the Getty Information Institute Vocabulary Program. Specifically she is the editor primarily (not solely) responsible for the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). Discussions at the scholarly/professional level (or any for that matter) on topics relating to the creation, distribution, and use of thesauri are of vital interest to her and her Program. In particular, they are concerned with the topic of online, Internet, and other electronic applications of thesauri, and how the unique and powerful features of their semantic structure can be fully utilized in information retrieval. The NKOS list offers a chance to listen in and participate in just such discussions. (added July 13, 1998)


Ron Davies is a consultant with Bibliomatics, Inc., a Canadian information systems consulting firm. He has designed and developed thesaurus management systems for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and led a project to create a subject classification system for United Nation's information available over the Internet. He is currently developing Java-based software for distributed thesaurus management and use.

"My personal goal has always been to get some agreement on an interoperable way to connect to thesauri over network, so that I could access a thesaurus at one site, and use it to index or search resources at another site. This would mean development of standards in terms of the semantics of thesaual relations as well as the syntax of consulting a thesaurus. This effort could build on other standards (e.g. Z39.50, XML) but there's a lot of specific work that still has to be done."


Deanne DiPietro is Technical Projects Coordinator for the California Resources Agency's CERES Program, the California Environmental Resources Evaluation System. The goal of CERES is to facilitate access to environmental data and information, and one of the major efforts toward this goal is the development of information cataloging and indexing technology for use on the World Wide Web. Deanne's role with CERES is in user interface design and partnership project coordination, as well as assisting in directing the efforts of the web development and programming team. She is co-lead with Quinn Hart in CERES' partnership with the USGS Biological Resource Division to develop an environmental theme thesaurus for linking distributed thesauri, and an application programming interface for accessing and manipulating descriptors from the distributed thesauri.

CERES Thesaurus page:
CERES Catalog page:

Martin Doerr is a Senior Application Scientist with the Centre for Cultural Informatics and Documentation Systems, Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (FORTH), Heraklion, Crete, Greece. He works on thesaurus management, ontologies and heterogeneous data access in close cooperation with cultural bodies and library organisations.

"Based on my experience from classification methods in software repositories, and with semantic network-based cultural documentation systems, I have led the development of a proof-of-concept prototype for a new vocabulary management system for the Getty Information Institute (former AHIP) in Los Angeles. This system demonstrated the capability of the Semantic Index System, product of ICS-FORTH, to manage effectively amounts of hundreds of thousands of terminological records in various schemata. With the AQUARELLE project as test bed, we have developed this prototype into a competitive thesaurus management system for multilingual thesauri, the "SIS-TMS". Its novel features is a partitioning and versioning mechanism, which allows for consistent cooperative development by semi-autonomous groups and integration of distributed "terminology servers" into heterogeneous
information environments. It is on product level since summer 1998, and has already found vivid interest in Greece, France, England, and Italy and at the European Commission.

"Recently, I have initiated and participate in the European Term-IT project in the Language Engineering Sector of TELEMATICS, which aims at combining language engineering and human processes for the more efficient production of terminological resources in the cultural domain. My interest in thesauri is complementary to my work on conceptual structures with respect to the general problem of information mediation in heterogenuous distributed environments. I do research and have published on questions of knowledge representation, cooperative development of thesauri and knowledge resources, effective information access and architectures for heterogeneous distributed information environments.

"I am member of ICOM-CIDOC and involved in the development of a domain ontology for the museums community, the oo CIDOC Reference Model, going to be presented in October in Melbourne." (added 9/9/98)

Some references:

P.Constantopoulos, M.Doerr, "Component Classification in the Software Information Base", appeared in : O.Nierstrasz, D.Tsichritzis, "Object-Oriented Software Composition", Prentice Hall, England, 1996

M. Doerr, "Reference Information Acquisition and Coordination", in: "ASIS'97 -Digital Collections: Implications for Users, Funders, Developers and Maintainers", Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Sciences, "
November 1-6 '97, Washington, Vol.34. Information Today Inc.: Medford, New Jersey, 1997. ISBN 1-57387-048-X.

M. Doerr, I. Fundulaki, "SIS-TMS, A Thesaurus Management System for Distributed Digital Collections", Second European Conference on Digital Libraries, Heraklion, Sept. 1998, to be published.

I.Dionissiadou, M.Doerr, "Mapping of material culture to a semantic network", in : Automating Museums in the Americas and Beyond, Sourcebook, ICOM-MCN Joint Annual Meeting, August 28-September 3, 1994

Doerr M. (1996). "Authority services in global information spaces". Heraklion - Crete, Greece: FORTH, Institute of Computer Science - Technical Report FORTH-ICS/TR-163. also on: Workshop for Networked Information Retrieval, SIGIR '96, Zurich, August 1996  (

Martin Doerr, Irini Fundulaki "The Aquarelle Terminology Service", ERCIM News Number 33, April1998, p14-15

M. Doerr and I. Fundulaki. "A proposal on extended interthesaurus links" Technical Report ICS-FORT/TR-215, March 1998.


Karen Eliasen is the collection management archivist for the Microsoft corporate archives where she is currently working on integrating access to a number of tools that deliver an ever-increasing variety of full-text, bibliographic, graphical, and other information resources.  To that end she has become involved in developing and maintaining a controlled vocabulary appropriate to a dynamic, shared classification model.  I am interested in combining the strengths of meta-information, traditional classification systems, thesauri, and emerging technology-based solutions.

From 1994-97 she was an Access Services / Reference Librarian at the University of Washington where she participated in the creation of the UW's Digital Library Initiative. She received an MS in Engineering/Technical Communication in 1996. Her research focused on interface design and evaluative methodologies.  She received an MA in Library and Information Science in 1994 from the University of Washington. She has published research examining the effects of terminology selection on interface navigation and has conducted both quantitative and qualitative studies related to the effective organization of information.


Michelle Futornick is an editor in the Getty Information Institute's Vocabulary Program, which produces three thesauri that are widely used in the documentation and retrieval of networked cultural heritage information.  Michelle has extensive experience with thesaurus development, and is involved in the design of a new thesaurus maintenance system for the Getty thesauri.  Before coming to the Getty, Michelle worked on a specialized thesaurus for an oral history collection.  Michelle has a Master's in Library and Information Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

Current thesaurus development activities at the Getty Information Institute:

Workshop goals: Email: (will be changing to

Ecaterina Geber is carrying out research in the area of Intellectual Access to Cultural Information at CHIN. Her work at ARTEXPO Foundation and the Information Center for Culture and Heritage Romania, for over 15 years, focused on three main areas: definition of communication and information sharing procedures, data modeling and development of standards, access to and integration of resources in a distributed multicultural environment. Ecaterina was responsible for the design implementation, administration and evolution of the Romanian National Cultural Heritage Information System from over 300 cultural institutions in Romania. Ecaterina initiated and managed the development of a series of CD-ROMs and imaging projects focusing on cultural topics.

The launch of ARTEFACTS CANADA in April, 1998 by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) signaled the first step towards integrated access to information about objects held in Canadian museum collections. Artefacts Canada, formerly the National Inventories, is the product of decades of collaboration between the Canadian museum community and CHIN, and contains millions of records describing objects, natural science specimens and archaeological sites. Effective access into an information environment containing a diversity of resources and over twenty million of information items strongly revealed the necessity of terminology and classification tools to support both description and retrieval.

The integration of The Art & Architecture Thesaurus with Artefacts Canada is one of the most significant improvements to access and retrieval. The thesaurus, used as a behind-the-scenes retrieval tool, enables access to objects through hierarchies. This integration has permitted a conceptual structure, that embeds art history knowledge, to be applied to the terminology used in the existing information collections, without the need to modify the resource itself or to impose vocabulary or category structures on those participating in the building of this collective resource. The architecture enables the potential addition of other authorities and organized information resources, including geographical or temporal perspectives, or offering alternative views for search results categorization.

To enable access in both French and English, a multilingual thesaurus was developed using The Art & Architecture Thesaurus as a base. The most frequently used terms in the Humanities database were identified and a French equivalent term was defined. Currently, there are 2,600 French terms available and active during the retrieval process.


Carole Goble  is affiliated with the University of Manchester U.K. Her work over the last eight years has been in clinical technologies and controlled vocabularies and in the last two years on terminologies for works of art. They use Descriptor Logics and terminological reasoning to build self-organizing compositional schemes. She is just starting to work on a funded project in collaboration with the Getty Images to classify the subjects of the Hulton-Getty Picture Archive.


Joel Hammond is in the Abstracting and Indexing Department for BIOSIS. He was instrumental in the design of the new BIOSIS relational indexing system.


Quinn Hart is a Technical Researcher for the California Resources Agency's CERES Program, the California Environmental Resources Evaluation System.  Quinn is responsible for review and implementation of standards and applications relating to metadata, indexing, and cataloging issues. CERES' thesaurus project  is part of an effort to standardize the language used when indexing, and searching for environmental data products in California.  In addition to the generation of a thesaurus of environmental terms, CERES is developing a toolkit that will allow for distributed access to thesauri in a consistent manner for application development.  This toolkit is based on an object-oriented paradigm, abstracting a thesaurus into a set of objects and methods. A toolkit in PERL has been developed and one for JAVA is underway.

CERES Thesaurus page:

Linda L. Hill is a Research Specialist with the Alexandria Digital Library Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has worked extensively with thesaurus and metadata development and digital library projects. She has worked extensively with gazetteer design and implementation as interactive digital library services. Part of the gazetteer work has included the development of a Thesaurus of Feature Types.

"My personal goal in relation to this workshop is to get thesaurus principles and practices enabled within digital libraries so that existing thesauri can be more known and accessible, so that developing projects will recognize the value of the thesaurus approach and will develop and use thesauri according to established standards. Also, to evaluate the usefulness of thesauri and classification systems for networked information discovery."

Alexandria Digital Library website:

Gail Hodge, Information International Associates (IIa), has been involved with production systems for abstracting/indexing services for 20 years. She's currently working as a consultant to USGS on a biodiversity vocabulary for the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). She previously held positions with the NASA Center for AeroSpace Information and with Biosis.

"My main goal is to promote this discussion at a high level so that what we do within the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division (BRD) context is based on where we are within the technical community. We know that we can't wait until all the problems are solved, but we want to be in synch as much as possible. We need an understanding of the issues involved in using distributed thesauri: How do we handle rights management, authentication, etc. and charging for commercial databases? What will users want to do with these distributed thesauri?  This effects navigation, searching, "transfer," etc. What do we need to know about other thesauri and vocabularies in order to use them in a distributed fashion? Is a registry both of thesaurus elements and of particular thesauri necessary to this effort? Where does this effort intersect with the efforts of others: RDF, XML, metadata schema, metadata registries, Z39.19, Z39.50, search engine vendors, etc.? I would like to come out of this with at least a start toward a way to deal with the architecture so that we can move forward and integrate this effort with other metadata and Internet efforts."

National Biological Information Infrastructure website:

Paul Hower is with Intermedia Marketing & Production, Inc. in Atlanta. He says: "My first brush with information science was when I took courses at the UC Berkeley School of Library and Information Studies in 1977. After turning down a generous offer by Dr. Maron to stay at Berkeley, I went on to get a Masters degree in something called "Interactive Telecommunications" at NYU. The philosophy of that program was to provide students with the requisite tools and knowledge to understand all aspects of interactive services, from the technical and social to the legal and economic. This background has served me well as an IT consultant, corporate manager and in my own businesses.

I have enjoyed something of a retirement for the past few years, but have continued to consult at the request of associates and referrals. IMP's latest client is Consumers Union - the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports - who hired us to help them understand "post Web site" Internet opportunities. We are urging them to keep an eye on developments affecting the "semantic interoperability" of the Internet, and have described how metadata, vocabulary control and personal 'bots' may change the way people shop over the next 5 years - and the way information providers like CU distribute their wares.

While I am most interested in what [which] users will want to do with [what] thesauri, dictionaries, etc., my background inclines me to be curious about the other 'straw topics' as well. One topic of interest not mentioned in the workshop's advance materials is the interaction of human-generated with machine-generated vocabularies. Might strengths of the one correct weaknesses in the other? Should current work on standards consider how these discrete technologies may interoperate in the future?

I am currently a member of the ACM and SIGIR, and will be attending DL '98. I hope it is still possible to participate in the workshop, because it seems like a rare opportunity to meet with a geographically dispersed group of people face to face."

Phone: 404-256-1313

Traugott Koch is Senior librarian, Electronic Information Services at NetLab, Lund University Library Development Department, Sweden. He has developed digital library services during the last six years in European, Nordic and Swedish projects (among others the European DESIRE project and the Nordic Metadata Project). The focus in these projects is on resource discovery and retrieval, on resource description and metadata, knowledge organization, indexing and search services. During 1998 he is visiting scholar at OCLC Office of Research, Dublin, OH, working on problems in the intersection between metadata production, automatic classification and the retrievability of highly qualified subject information from heterogeneous Internet and metadata databases. He is a member of the Dublin Core Policy Advisory Committee.

We (Traugott and Anders Ardoe) expect the workshop to start an initial discussion on what vocabulary related operations have to be agreed upon as a basis for standards for using (distributed) vocabulary support over the Internet. In addition an orientation would be valuable what syntaxes and formats are promising for the task to encode and exchange the data. We hope a working group will be started to further this and related tasks.

Digital library research description:  dl98ws-applfinal.html

Marsha Maguire is the Collections Librarian at the Experience Music Project, The Experience Music Project is an interactive, music-related museum opening next year at Seattle Center.  We (specifically, a team consisting of EMP librarians, programmers, and digitization and web technologists) are in the early stages of designing a digital library consisting of still images of our collections artifacts, and audio and moving image files made from our sound recordings and videos.  We hope to link these digital reproductions to our catalog records as well as to additional information prepared by the staff (interactive exhibit labels, kiosk presentations, web pages, etc.) and maybe OCR-scanned text such as notes, clippings, and the like.

EMP is developing an in-house thesaurus based on the Art & Architecture Thesaurus and incorporating ANSI thesaurus construction standards, although we have not yet linked the thesaurus database (which utilizes Liu Palmer's commercial thesaurus construction software) to our collections catalog database (an in-house, networked SQL Server database with Microsoft Access input forms and reporting capabilities} -- although we expect to redesign that database soon.  Work on the creation of name authority records has begun; these will be based on, but not always adhere to, AACR2/MARC.  Name authority records will be structured hierarchically to an extent, since we'll be creating authority records for, say, rock bands and the individual members of those bands, and providing links to other bands in which those musicians have performed. We have not developed a search interface yet, but are hoping to develop a very user-friendly searching/browsing/linking system to offer visitors to the museum, serious researchers, and users of the World Wide Web. We're interested in how Z39.50, XML, and other emerging standards might improve access not only to our digital resources, but to the vast store of cultural information held by institutions throughout the world.


Eva Méndez has a Bachelor of Librarianship and Information Science and was in the first class of librarianship specialists graduated in Spain. She is working toward a PH.D. in Information Science from the Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain). She has been working on various Information Services.

She has been a teacher and researcher at the Carlos III University since March 1997. She teaches Information Technologies, Thesaurus Construction, Special Materials Cataloging, and Information Policies in the Information Science Department of that University. Currently, she is working on her theses about "Metadata and Information Retrieval" and she is very interested in all the topics that could be discussed on the "Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services" list.

Web page:

Jessica Milstead is Principal of The JELEM Company, a consulting firm specializing in index and thesaurus design, and in development of machine-aided indexing systems.  She took her masters and doctorate in information science and librarianship from Columbia University.  She taught cataloging, indexing and information science on library school faculties for a number of years before going into industry, where she was developer and editor of a number of indexes to newspapers and scholarly works.  In 1986 she founded The JELEM Company, and has served clients as an independent consultant since then.  She has been active in NISO standards work, has published extensively in the field, and offers workshops on vocabulary management.

Interest statement:  The environment within which vocabularies for providing access to information are developed and used is undergoing dramatic change. The old pattern of development by a single organization for its own use, with application by specially trained experts, is no longer viable. Creator-applied metadata and machine-aided and automatic indexing are just two developments which are having a major impact on vocabulary development -- and of course the use of natural language processing sometimes replaces
use of any indexing vocabulary at all.  I am concerned with all of these developments; I wish both to remain current with this rapidly changing area and to contribute to its growth. (added July 16, 1998).

Web page:

Gopi Nair is with Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) and is responsible for their new electronic document management system for processing government reports and other defense documents.


Daniel Nolting, Visual Resources Curator at the University of Pittsburgh, and am active in many aspects of establishing digital and data standards to be applied to retrievable images. I am formerly an LC cataloger, and have also worked as an indexer for the Getty Information Institute. I am in the beginning stages of setting up policies and procedures for utilizing the AAT, LCTGM, ICONCLASS, and other useful controlled vocabulary enhancers. I am also in charge of 2 servers, both  networked and running many images through the ethernet and the internet.  ImageAXS Pro and File Maker Pro are the two databases that I am working with, and I eventually hope to link up and/or export to a larger database.  I have been in this position for almost one year (being the first professional librarian) having inherited one of the largest slide collections in the country (650,000) that has evolved without any classification standards. I am currently working with Ph.D. candidates who are performing studies on "content" vs. "concept"-based image bases.

Slide Library:

Marilyn Ostergren is a Field Director for the NPS (National Park Service) Natural Resource Bibliography Project. She oversees the development of bibliographic databases of natural resource management and research documents for Park Service units. This includes creating and maintaining a thesaurus of relevant terminology. She has also helped create a web interface for this thesaurus (

"My goal is to coordinate the process of  thesaurus development in the area of natural sciences with others involved with similar projects. I'm particularly interested in joint efforts to create a system of verifying terminology with existing authoritative sources and subject specialists and make the results of that work accessible and available to all interested parties without copyright restrictions." (added 8/20/98)


Leah Prescott works at Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.  as Collections Information Technology Coordinator and is responsible for the coordination and implementation of data standards across all library and curatorial divisions. She is the chief authority within the museum for controlled vocabulary and terminology issues.  She is currently chairman of the Controlled Vocabulary Special Interest Group for the Museum Computer Network and will be leading a conference session concerning term research for thesaurus construction.  For several years she has collaborated with the Getty Information Institute's Art and Architecture Thesaurus on term research needed to incorporate maritime vocabulary into the AAT and more recently the Thesaurus of Geographic Names.

Mystic Seaport is currently involved in an ambitious project to create an integrated information system which will effectively tie together at least two major databases, a library system (VOYAGER by Endeavor) and a collections maintenance system (MULTIMIMSY by Willoughby Associates).  As our goal is to provide effective access for a broad range of users, we have spent considerable time over the past several years defining and refining our controlled vocabulary both for internal use and to contribute to standards within the domain of maritime history.  We are currently struggling with finding effective ways to enable our component systems to access shared authority files as well as thesauri so that we can offer high precision/controlled vocabulary information retrieval, as well as more effective keyword search strategies.  This workshop will be highly relevant to our efforts as well as of great interest to me.


Michael Raugh is vice president and chief technology officer at Interconnect Technologies Corporation, Mountain View, CA.  He has worked in advanced technology at Stanford University and HP Labs.  Before joining Interconnect, he served as chief scientist at the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science where he developed innovative methods for organizing online information.  He leads Interconnect's products and services for information organization and analysis.

"It appears to us at Interconnect that the use of metadata standards in combination with thesauri to help describe and control the vocabulary used for indexing Internet resources would go a long way towards simplifying and accurately focusing searches.  As the Internet continues to expand, and the resources become more varied, the need for such focusing tools will probably increase.  To better understand how to create and make good use of a thesaurus, Interconnect is researching the use of a thesaurus for indexing computer system vulnerabilities for NIST.  In related earlier work, Interconnect, with the cooperation of Linda Hill, developed a prototype thesaurus directory.  If there is sufficient interest in that work, we would like to make it available for wider inspection and use."


Dagobert Soergel has been working in the area of thesauri both practically and theoretically for over 30 years. He is the author of the still standard text- and handbook Indexing Languages and Thesauri. Construction and Maintenance (Wiley 1974) and of Organizing Information (Academic Press 1985), which received the American Society of Information Science Best Book Award, and numerous papers and presentation on the theory and practice of thesaurus construction. He has taught courses in thesaurus development at several universities in the U.S. and Germany and he offers a tutorial on Thesauri for knowledge based assistance in searching digital libraries, which will be offered again at the European Digital Library Conference in Crete in September 1998. He has developed a number of thesauri. From 1989 to the present, he has guided the development of the Alcohol and Other Drug Thesaurus. He also chairs NIAAA's Thesaurus Advisory committee. He has developed TermMaster, a thesaurus management software package that can handle an integrated database of multiple thesauri and that is used in the development and maintenance of the AOD Thesaurus. He has proposed SemWeb, an open, multifunctional, multilingual, system for integrated access to knowledge about concepts and terminology (ISKO proceedings 1996). In 1997, Dr. Soergel received the highest award of the American Society for Information Science, the Award of Merit.


Mark Spasser is currently a research scientist at the Center for Botanical Informatics (CBI) at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He has a background in the organization of knowledge with a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois. Given that much work in botany presupposes diverse taxonomic viewpoints that structure existing information about plants in different ways, CBI is developing computer-based tools to help represent differing taxonomic viewpoints to provide orienting taxonomic feedback to users navigating floristic digital libraries.  Moreover, CBI is exploring collaborative research arrangements with various institutions, such as the Center for Tele-Information in Denmark whose research involves studying the construction and use of "natural" classification schemes in order to develop multimedia technologies that provide novel means of creating classification systems that evolve through highly distributed processes. (added 10/13/98)


Linda Hill Spencer
Dr. Spencer is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Project Manager for the development of the U.S. English portion of the General European Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus (GEMET) System.  As a representative on the GEMET Expert Work Group and on the Work Group of the Asian and Pacific Economic Cooperation' s Virtual Center, she is involved in the development of the GEMET system beyond its current European context into a truly international environmental terminological system.  On behalf of U.S. EPA, Dr. Spencer also chairs the Ontology Work Group for the Environmental Data Exchange Network (EDEN).  EDEN is a collaborative endeavor with the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and European Environmental Agency to pilot new technology that will enable users to query across heterogeneous databases.  From 1992-1996, Dr. Spencer was the Director of the United Nations Environment Programme's Environmental Information Exchange Network (INFOTERRA).  At UNEP she supervised the development of a multilingual environmental thesaurus which served as the backbone for the GEMET system.  Prior to her work at UNEP, Dr. Spencer supervised environmental information exchange activities at U.S. EPA.

"I would like to understand how to bring together a multilingual thesaurus and the newest and best in technology to retrieve information in a way that is targeted, reliable and efficient.  How can search engines employ specialized thesauri? Can/should thesauri be deconstructed into topics functions? How can a thesaurus assist in the better organization of metadata inventories/registries?  How can a thesaurus assist in the construction of ontology agents employed in data base integration?"


Lori J. Starr serves as Head of the Thesaurus Section of the Indexing Branch at the National Agricultural Library.  The Thesaurus Section works cooperatively with CAB International to develop and maintain the CAB Thesaurus, which is the controlled vocabulary for indexing records contained in NAL's bibliographic database, AGRICOLA (Agriculture OnLine Access). The Thesaurus Section maintains an internal thesaurus file for NAL staff.  Additionally, Lori serves as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for maintenance of the English version of AGROVOC, which is the controlled vocabulary of the multilingual AGRIS database.  NAL, in partnership with FAO and CAB International, initiated a Unified Agricultural Thesaurus Project in 1989 which resulted in (1) a classified version of AGROVOC and (2) an overall UAT Classification that encompasses the subject areas of both AGROVOC and CAB Thesaurus.  Lori's next challenge is to provide a classification structure for AgNIC (Agriculture Network Information Center).  NAL is anticipating the release of AGRICOLA on the Internet.

"With the introduction of NAL's database, AGRICOLA, on the Internet, this raises questions of how NAL can most effectively aid retrieval in this large (3 million+ records) database to a variety of users.  I believe that thesauri are generally undervalued and they are usually seen as monsters that slow database production, are not used by searchers, and eat up staff resources to maintain.  My personal goal is to bring the positive aspects of thesauri "out of the closet" and demonstrate how the hierarchical structure and relationships contained in the thesaurus can positively enhance retrieval in an Internet environment.  Other databases on the Internet are already doing this.  How can a network of thesauri further
enable retrieval?  What structure needs to be in place at NAL for data exchange?  Listening to what others envision for the future and how I can apply this to the AGRICOLA database are my goals at the workshop."


Judith Thomas is the Associate Director for Digital Media at Clemons Library at the University of Virginia. She is currently developing an on-line archive of digital images, owned by or licensed to the University of Virginia, available for use to our academic community. This archive uses metadata based on the Visual Resources Association Core and implements a variety of classifications tools (especially the thesauri developed by the Getty Information Institute ( This digital collection will be integrated with the electronic resources developed in the other electronic centers at the University Library - including SGML (TEI)-tagged texts at the Electronic Text Center and EAD-based materials at the Special Collections Digital Center - as the main focus of our Digital Library initiative. We are researching standards for metadata, descriptive terminology, and thesauri for this integrated, networked system.

Digital Image Center:
University of Virginia Library Electronic Centers:

Erica Treesh is an editor at the American Theological Library Association working on the ATLA Religion Database and associated print products.  She has fifteen years experience in database indexing/abstracting.  ATLA has recently received a grant of $216,000 from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.  This grant will enable ATLA to develop its own Internet node with full transactional capabilities.  The grant will also support the purchase of CuadraSTAR, an indexing system with authority and thesaurus capabilities that will support full MARC indexing from local and remote sites.  Our intent is to mount the ATLA Religion Database and associated authority files on our website for access by our indexers and database subscribers, as well as by partner projects (such as the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index which is currently using the ATLA Religion Indexes: Thesaurus) and by others writing religion thesauri (such as the ETHERELI project of the International Council of Theological Library Associations).  My goal in relation to this workshop is educational: to gain a fuller understanding of what I as an indexer/editor need to consider as we plan for the new software implementation and website presence.  What specifications are other thesauri employing?  What emerging standards should we be aware of?  What technical considerations might govern future thesaurus structure and format?


Douglas Tudhope is with the Computer Studies Department at the University of Glamorgan, Wales, UK and is the Editor of New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia. Six years ago the University was commissioned to build a hypermedia museum exhibit on local history from the photographic archives of the Pontypridd Historical and Cultural Centre. This inspired a University research assistantship in collaboration with PHCC that resulted in Carl Taylor's PhD work on semantic modelling and navigation in museum hypermedia systems. As part of this work, a number of research prototypes were built investigating a hypermedia architecture with a semantic index space separate from the document space (Beynon-Davies et al 1994, Taylor et al 1994). A variety of conventional hypermedia navigation techniques were implemented with this architecture (Tudhope et al 1994). Primary access routes were time, space and as subject index the Social History and Industrial Classification (SHIC). Rather than using fixed embedded links, navigation was based on queries over an underlying semantic index space, with results post-processed for expression in a particular navigation tool. Queries to the database can be simple or complex. Conventional hypermedia navigation techniques, including both local and global browsers, guided tours, and Boolean queries can be implemented by relatively simple underlying queries. More complex queries return partial matches using measures of semantic closeness between terms in a semantic index space; advanced navigation options included query expansion when a query fails to return results and navigation via similarity to current item (Cunliffe, Taylor, Tudhope 1997).  Most existing commercial museum access systems using thesauri rely on interactive approaches or limited query expansion techniques. A classification system, or thesaurus, embodies a semantic network of relationships between terms, the three main thesaurus relationships being hierarchical, associative and equivalence. Thus there is some inherent notion of distance between terms, their 'semantic closeness'. Distance measurements can be exploited to provide more advanced navigation tools. A distance measurement between terms (and between sets of terms) offers the opportunity for imprecise information requests.  Semantic term expansion lies at the heart of the measures of closeness between terms in automated term expansion and similarity measures in retrieval tools.

The intention in future research is to build on the principles underlying the semantic index space, extending the semantic model to a full set of thesaurus relationships, and investigate the potential of intelligent navigation tools in a major museum which can facilitate evaluation. We are currently implementing underlying models in both relational and semantic database systems. One issue under consideration is how these tools can be utilised in a networked environment and how the thesaurus structure and query engine parameters should be visualised to the user. Our research focus and collaborations in the museum domain, where there has been recent work on user query analysis and modelling, may enrich discussion in the workshop.

Relevant publications

Beynon-Davies P., Tudhope D., Taylor C., Jones C. 1994.  A Semantic Database Approach to Knowledge-based Hypermedia Systems, Information and Software Technology, 36(6), 323-329.

Cunliffe D., Taylor C., Tudhope D. 1997. Query-based navigation in semantically indexed hypermedia. Proceedings 8th ACM Conference on Hypertext (Hypertext'97), Southampton. April, pp 87-95.

Jones C., Taylor C., Tudhope D., Beynon-Davies P. 1996. Conceptual, Spatial and Temporal Referencing of Multimedia objects. Advances in GIS Research II, Proceedings 7th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling, (eds. Kraak and Molenaar) , August, Delf, pp 2.13-2.26.

Taylor C., Tudhope D., & Beynon-Davies P. 1994. Representation and Manipulation of Conceptual, Temporal and Geographical Knowledge in a Museum Hypermedia System. Proc. ACM European Conference on Hypermedia Technology (ECHT'94), Edinburgh, 239-244.

Tudhope D., Beynon-Davies P., Taylor C., Jones C. 1994. Virtual Architecture based on a Binary Relational Model: A Museum Hypermedia Application, Hypermedia, 6(3), 174-192.

Tudhope D., Taylor C., Beynon-Davies P. 1995. Taxonomic Distance: Classification and Navigation. Proceedings 3rd International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums: Multimedia Computing and Museums (ed. D. Bearman), San Diego,  October, pp 322-334.

Jones C., Beynon-Davies P., Taylor C., Tudhope D. 1995. GIS, hypermedia, and historical information access. Proceedings 7th International Conference of the Museum Documentation Association, Edinburgh, Nov, pp 109-113.
Tudhope D., Taylor C. 1996. Flexible Access to Multimedia Museum Collections. Proceedings Electronic Imaging and the Visual Arts (EVA'96), London, July, pp 7.1- 7.11

Tudhope D., Taylor C. 1996. A unified similarity coefficient for navigating through multi-dimensional information. Proc. 59th Conference of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS'96), 67-70.

Tudhope D.,  Taylor C. 1997. Navigation via Similarity: automatic linking based on semantic closeness. Information Processing and Management, 33(2), 233-242.


Diane Vizine-Goetz is a Research Scientist in the OCLC Office of Research.  She is team leader of the knowledge organization research (KOR) team which has had a long-standing involvement in information organization using classification systems and controlled vocabularies. When Forest Press, publisher of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), became a division of OCLC in 1988, the KOR team prototyped classifier-assistance tools based on the electronic version of the DDC. Electronic Dewey and Dewey for Windows are OCLC products that resulted from that research.

The KOR team is currently investigating techniques for automatically associating subject-access systems like the DDC and the Library of Congress Subject Headings for the purpose of expanding the vocabulary of the DDC.  Mapping between schemes is accomplished through the application of corpus-based natural language processing techniques and statistical information retrieval techniques. Terminology mapped in this way often represents current and popular topics not represented by existing captions or Dewey index terms but within the scope of Dewey knowledge structure. These new associations (from free text and controlled indexing systems) are being used to enhance the database components of automated and semi-automated systems that automatically assign subjects to electronic documents. This work and research to transform the captions of the DDC into end-user language are aimed at improving category-based access to electronic documents and making traditional subject access systems more hospitable for use in a distributed information environment.

Recent publications:

From Book Classification to Knowledge Organization: Improving Internet Resource Description and Discovery.  ASIS Bulletin.  October/November 1997. Volume 24, No. 1.  Accessible at:

Evaluating Dewey Concepts as a Knowledge Base for Automatic Subject Assignment. Electronic version of the paper published in the Digital Libraries '97: 2nd ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries. Accessible at:

Library Classification Schemes and Access to Electronic Collections: Enhancement of the Dewey Decimal Classification with Supplemental Vocabulary.  Published in Advances in classification research Volume 7: proceedings of the 7th ASIS SIG/CR classification research workshop, 20 October 1996, Baltimore, Maryland, Paul Solomon, ed., Medford, N. J.: Information Today, Inc.  Accessible at:

Online Classification: Implications for Classifying and Document[-like Object] Retrieval. Electronic version of a paper published in Knowledge organization and change: proceedings of the 4th international ISKO conference, 15-18 July 1996, Washington, D.C., Rebecca Green, ed. Frankfurt/Main: INDEKS Verlag.  Accessible at:


Ron Vogel is an oceanographer with NASA's Global Change Master Directory, an online directory for scientists to locate data sources in the Earth and environmental sciences.  He has worked on the development of a controlled vocabulary for Earth science metadata and on interoperability of metadata between various geospatial data providers.

By restructuring various classification schemes from multiple providers into a single metadata format (keeping each classification scheme distinct through the use of a database tag), metadata documents could thus be entered into a single database and searched.  However, users still had to select one of various classification schemes when conducting a search.

In order to allow seamless searching of all metadata documents, a mapping between vocabularies could allow documents from the various providers to be found.  While all the classification schemes are environmental, they do not all cover the exact same environmental domains.  In those instances where one classification scheme cannot be mapped 100% to another classification scheme, the documents must be retrieved by other means.

Furthermore, in order to move to a distributed search environment where users may search by one classification and retrieve documents indexed with another, metadata structures with increased flexibility are necessary.  Is it possible to incorporate multiple classification schemes into single or multiple metadata formats and still allow seamless document searches?

Global Change Master Directory:

Madi Weland is currently a Project Management Assistant with the Getty Information Institute.  Her primary project for the past year has been the "Digital Experience," a room in the J. Paul Getty Museum with fourteen computer workstations dedicated to helping the museum public access cultural content on the World Wide Web <>.  Prior to joining Getty in 1997, she spent seven years as Curatorial Assistant at The Eli Broad Family Foundation, a contemporary art foundation in Santa Monica <>.   This August, she will take on a new position of Associate with the Getty Information Institute, working more closely on projects with Standards and Vocabulary. (added July 14, 1998)


Marcia Lei Zeng isan Associate Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University, with major research interests in knowledge organization and representation, thesaurus and other indexing languages, information storage and retrieval systems, indexing systems and software, and multilingual information processing.  Recently she has been working on three projects that are related to this workshop's theme: (1) the design and development of a visual terminology database for medicinal herbs which is one component of the Complementary and
Alternative Medicine Digital Library, a joint project of her and three other P.I.s in Columbia University.  In this project she also developed an online-classification scheme which is used in guided Internet searching for alternative medicine, implemented through JavaScript;  (2) a pilot digital library project for a historical fashion collection at Kent State University, where specialized thesauri and metadata have been studied under her supervision; and (3) during the last two years, she has generated various HTML-based templates for publishing thesauri and indexes on the WWW.

Her major purposes of participating in this workshop are to share with others the specific considerations about presenting thesaurus/classification systems on networked environments and to contribute to the discussions of an XML definition for a thesaurus or a general scenario for searching and navigating a networked thesaurus or classification system.  In addition, she wishes to share experiences and explore alternative approaches to vocabulary control in the networked environment for specific subject areas which have strong multi-cultural and multi-lingual aspects.

Visual terminology database for medicinal herbs: (please contact her for the password)
Templates for publishing thesauri and indexes of the WWW: