Forgot password? | Forgot username? | Register

Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

This post is for EMu User community discussion of an EMu development proposal for enhancements to the Thesaurus module and its interaction with other EMu modules.

KE would appreciate if comments could be made by 30 November 2013.

A Thesaurus module has been part of the EMu system since the July 2001 release of EMu 2.0.001. A number of EMu customers have made extensive use of the EMu Thesaurus capabilities.
Through discussions with various EMu customers in recent years it has been apparent to KE there is strong support for enhancements to the Thesaurus offering within EMu. This impetus has come from a variety of customers but in particular:
•    Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa)
•    Powerhouse Museum (PHM)
•    University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (UPMAA)
•    The Henry Ford (THF)

Will Scott, a museum consultant involved in a number of EMu implementations in North America, prepared a Thesaurus discussion paper on behalf of UPMAA which was submitted to KE in 2011.
In October 2012, at the North American EMu Users Conference at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Thesaurus discussions took place between KE staff and conference attendees from UPMAA, THF and other museums. KE undertook to prepare this Thesaurus development proposal for consideration by the EMu community. KE apologises that it has taken so long for this development discussion paper to be released. The many competing development possibilities for EMu, driven by many customers, have made it harder than anticipated to get this proposal progressed in 2013.

The proposal incorporates a fundamental structural change to the way that Thesaurus records are linked to other records. The result is that Thesaurus records will be linked using the same IRN based linking method used elsewhere in EMu. The IRN is the Internal Record Number (an integer value) assigned automatically to each record in an EMu module when it is created. An IRN is unique amongst all records within an EMu module. For EMu customers who have Thesaurus data embedded in other EMu modules this proposed change has data migration considerations. It is important that EMu customers understand these considerations.

Thanks,

Ian Turnbull
Chief Operating Officer
KE Software.


EMu-Thesaurus-Enhancements-IE-20131007.pdf

Ian Turnbull
Chief Operating Officer
KE Software.

Ian Turnbull (Axiell Melbourne)
useravatar
Offline
6 Posts
Website 
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

I have a couple of thoughts about Related Terms based on the proposed enhancements. I am hoping that someone who is very familiar with AAT or other standard thesauri will comment on the use of "Related Terms" for querying. My initial notes on the subject, of course, were never intended to be a full specification, but a description of certain missing functionality. Upon review, I wonder if simply offering Related Term queries, across the board as a toggled option, may not be sufficient for some clients. I am also interested to know the impact that symmetric relationships will have on ARGUS conversion clients who had the additional option of "See Also"/"See From" relationships.

Do We Need Separate Fields for Queried and Non-Queried Related Terms?
In some thesauri, RT is intended to designate an associated concept for reference only; and those terms are not always closely enough related to merit inclusion in a query. In the current proposal, such cases could be handled by turning off the "search related terms" option. However, there may be cases in which an authority or institutional thesaurus requires both the recording of broadly-related concepts (not intended to be included in EMu queries) and the creation of more direct "search also" relationships (that are to be included in queries). The "search also" relationship would allow the person organizing a Thesaurus term record to instruct EMu to always search some other term (Term B) and its narrower terms when a user queries for Term A.

Should One-Way "See Also" Relationships Be Available?
In Penn Museum's previous database/software (ARGUS), "search also" was labeled "See Also," with a reverse relationship term, "See From" or "See Also From." If Term A was queried using a Thesaurus tree search, the results included matches for Term A, Term A Alternate Terms, and Term A Narrower Terms as well as Term B, Term B Alternate Terms, and Term B Narrower Terms. This organization had a clear direction, meaning that a query for Term B would not also search Term A.

The proposal indicates that "Related Term" relationships will be symmetric (A is related to B in exactly the same way that B is related to A). Users will also be able to include them in EMu Thesaurus Queries, similarly to how narrower terms may be included in the search for a broader term. A search for related Term A (using the new feature that includes "related terms" in queries) would return matches for Term A and Term B. And, as a result of the symmetric relationship, a search for Term B would likewise return matches for Term B and Term A. There are some cases in which this type of relationship makes sense, such as for near synonyms that require separate records.

In other cases, however, it may be desirable to structure these relationships so that one term also search another term, but the other term does not also search the first term--a directional (or asymmetric) relationship as I described in the above paragraph about ARGUS. For example, the term, "cross," (organized under one branch of the Thesaurus) may be set up so that a query for "cross" also returns matches for the term, "crucifix," (organized under a different branch). It would not be desirable, in that case, to have queries for "crucifix" also return matches for "cross." What may be needed is a one-way (asymmetric, reciprocal) relationship, that is not BT/NT, but that behaves in queries like it is.

Do other Thesaurus clients, especially former ARGUS users, desire or need these one-way See Also relationships in the revised module?

Labels, Language, and Z39.19-2005:
1. The label "Related Terms" makes sense for Associative Relationships (8.4) that are not to be automatically searched. "Related Terms" should be retained as the label for this field/function.

2. When the "Related Terms" are included automatically in queries, it more closely resembles "Near Synonym" relationships (8.2.3). In that case, two terms that do not exactly express the same thing (in separate records) are treated as equivalent for the purposes of the thesaurus and querying. Use of Alternate and Preferred terms in the same record, of course, is ideal, but not always viable. This is a symmetric relationship (8.1.1) where the affiliation of A to B is the same as B to A--Term A is a "Near Synonym" of Term B and Term B is also a "Near Synonym" of Term A. If a second field is created to distinguish search-able lateral relationships from associated relationships, another label will need to be selected (perhaps, "Search Also" or "Near Synonym").

3. "See Also"/"See From" is an asymmetric relationship (8.1.1) that extends BT/NT hierarchical relationships to allow for special cases. If fields are added to handle this relationship, labels will need to be selected for an attachment and reverse attachment field. I envision these as being "See Also" and "See From" respectively.

Will Scott
Museum & Database Consulting
www.willscottconsulting.com

Will Scott (Museum & Database Consultant)
Museum & Database Consultant
useravatar
Offline
37 Posts
Male  Website 
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Hello,

I've looked at the proposals and believe that an IRN-based approach makes a lot of sense and acknowledge that we will be required to prepare the data, test and implement the changes in consultation with our local KE staff.

We utilise the module for subjects and keywords and have never been in a position to compare our local terms to the one thesaurus we source externally, namely the Australian Pictorial Thesaurus (APT). The APT is a collection of topic terms for indexing images and uses contemporary Australian terminology to describe objects, people, places and structures, activities and concepts depicted in an image. More at Australian Pictorial Thesaurus

We have discussed customising the Thesaurus module to use it more fully as a Pictionary to enable us to document materials similar to CAMEO by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. See CAMEO

In thinking about this I question why the Lookup Lists module cannot be changed in a similar way?

I am not sure if this a useful response but I am supportive of the suggestions.

Nancy

Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Denver Museum of Nature & Science comments and questions on the Thesaurus Enhancements proposal are attached (seemed too long to just put in a regular post).  We welcome any questions and comments!

Melissa Bechhoefer
Anthropology Collections Manager, DMNS


DMNS-response-to-EMu-Thesaurus-Enhancements-FINAL-11-22-13.docx

Edited by: Melissa Bechhoefer - 23-Nov-13 07:34:01

Melissa Stoltz Bechhoefer
Anthropology Collections Manager and
NAGPRA Coordinator
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Melissa Bechhoefer
Anthro Collections Manager
useravatar
Offline
5 Posts
Website 
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Hi Ian,

Thanks for providing a detailed specification of the proposed changes and how they will affect existing Thesaurus users. 

We have relatively recently started using the module with Getty Thesauri, APT and our own custom Performing Arts specific hierarchy.

In setting this up I found the current dissociation between the hierarchy tree view and the term itself very cumbersome to work with, so I'd be delighted to see the implementation of the Archive Viewer which would solve this issue. Anything that standardises or provides more uniform and intuitive operation the user interface is a plus for us.   

I think the IRN attachment would also contribute to this streamlining of UI functionality and is preferable to the current data transfer / LUT method - which as pointed out can result in ambiguous data unless the full hierarchy string is included. The IRN attachment concept is definitely preferred - as it will support entity awareness online, and provides the specific context for the attached term.

Currently our Thesaurus fields (Subjects, and Media Category) are combined with a LUT, and contain additional non-thesauri terms. Can you confirm if these columns would need to be split into a thesaurus attachment field, and any legacy data that is not derived from a thesaurus migrated to a column with a LUT (such as keywords or similar)? 

Recognising these changes will require some manual work to identify and link non-unique values and non-thesauri terms, I'm certain the resulting benefits in the way the module functions will be worthwhile.

With regard to the user options to set default search types - as with any function in EMu, the ability to configure and adjust from the client side is always welcome feature.

Thanks to the institutions above for leading the development efforts and to KE for being prepared to roll these developments out to the rest of the user base - much appreciated!

Cheers,
Rowena Craick
Collection Systems & Documentation Registrar
Arts Centre Melbourne

Edited by: Rowena Craick - 28-Nov-13 16:00:14

Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Hi Ian,

Please find as follows the feedback from the NGA on the EMu Development Proposal Thesaurus Enhancements:

In our review of the proposal paper we are confident that all tabled developments appear to be positive changes to the capabilities of the existing module and strongly the change to an irn based structure and as such the retention of full thesaurus term hierarchy.  The inclusion of the Archive View also appears to alleviate a limitation in the existing browse function.

We support the increase in flexibility for Thesaurus terms searching and also acknowledge the value in a move toward cleaner and simpler syntax where possible.  We support this with a suggestion for any syntax and term searching options (and their possible limitations) to be clearly articulated in the EMu Help module for users to easily access. 

We also echo the position of Arts Centre Melbourne in their feedback:

“With regard to the user options to set default search types - as with any function in EMu, the ability to configure and adjust from the client side is always welcome feature.”



It is great to see such a progressive enhancement of an existing module and our thanks to the institutions and individuals who have put so much groundwork into their own Thesaurus modules and as such have paved the way for these changes.  Thank you to KE for acknowledging the importance of these developments and rolling them out to all clients.

Sincerely
Renée Joyce
Collection Systems Officer (Discoverability)
National Gallery of Australia

Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

The Henry Ford is 100% in favor of all changes. Ease of searching without having to use special syntax or codes is I'd al for all our users. Having the thesaurus as an attachment field will make it easier to control terms and correct incorrect or outdated terms.

Leslie S. Mio
Assistant Registrar / Loan Coordinator / EMu Administrative Team
The Henry Ford
Gain Perspective. Get Inspired. Make History.

Leslie Mio
Asst Registrar/EMu Admin Team
useravatar
Offline
15 Posts
Female  Website 
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

I am responding to this a bit late in the game as I just found out about it at the Global users conference. 

I would recommend that the defination appear in the 'Terms' tab vice the Notes tab as this is what the user will see first and is useful information for determining if the term is appropriate.

Edited by: Alan Hawk - 25-Oct-14 03:09:41

Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Most standard nomenclatures (Getty AAT, MESH, Unified Medical Device Nomenclature System (UMDNS), Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) and WIPO International Patent Classification (IPC) all use a concept identifier number for each term.  This allow the term to be updated as well as to allow the term to be translated into other languages.


I recommend that the proposed IRN for the Thesaurus module link to the concept identifier number then to the term.  This will facilitate updating and translating each term into a language other than that used by the museum.  IRN->concept number->term

Edited by: Alan Hawk - 25-Oct-14 03:17:19

Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Patent classification systems are a very differnt approach to classification of technology than librarian/museum model used by most museums. It would make collections accessible to a very differnt audience.

Patent classifications use numbers to build a narrative description of the catagory of an artifact.  They are broken down into Section, Class and group.  Example would be;

Section: A47 FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
Class: A47B TABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
Group: 1/00 Extensible tables
Subgroup 1/02 . with insertable leaves and fixed frames
An example of the patent would be https://www.google.com/patents/US699403 … CB0Q6AEwAA


WIPO IPC http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/
ESA http://worldwide.espacenet.com/classification
USPTO http://www.uspto.gov/

Edited by: Alan Hawk - 25-Oct-14 03:55:32

Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Hi, just wondering where this proposal is at? I have been incredibly slack and not yet commented. Is it still worth me doing so?

Cheers

Adrian Kingston
Digital Collections Senior Analyst
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Adrian Kingston
Collection Information Manager, Digital Assets and Development
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
collections.tepapa.govt.nz

Adrian Kingston
Collections Information Mngr
useravatar
Offline
24 Posts
Website 
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

Hi Adrian,
By all means please add your comments, the more input the better!
The enhancements specified in the EMu Development Proposal document sections 2 and 3 are well under way. I don't have a estimate for completion as I have a number of other concurrent commitments at the moment.

Cheers,
Luca

Luca Vari (Axiell Melbourne)
useravatar
Offline
2 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.

Re: Thesaurus Enhancements in EMu

OK thanks Luca, will do

Adrian Kingston
Collection Information Manager, Digital Assets and Development
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
collections.tepapa.govt.nz

Adrian Kingston
Collections Information Mngr
useravatar
Offline
24 Posts
Website 
Administrator has disabled public posting. Please login or register in order to proceed.
There are 0 guests and 0 other users also viewing this topic

Board Info

Board Stats
 
Total Topics:
598
Total Polls:
0
Total Posts:
1358
Posts this week:
4
User Info
 
Total Users:
830
Newest User:
Dominic Whitehead
Members Online:
3
Guests Online:
152