Facilitating Information Sharing and Collaboration through Taxonomy at the Federal Reserve Board

Jennifer Gilbert, Alison Raab Labonte, Franz Osorio


The Research Library at the Federal Reserve Board developed the Board Subject Taxonomy (BST) by organizing and standardizing key concepts in a vocabulary of subject terms that describe research and policy work conducted at the Board. The goal was not just to have a taxonomy; rather, we sought a way to better facilitate sharing, collaboration, and discovery across information systems. To that end, the Library staff has developed several tools to make the taxonomy bridge across systems to build new relationships and connections across disparate sources. The BST acts as a critical semantic link to bring together data, researchers, and publications that were previously isolated from each other. The BST is currently deployed in a data inventory (DataFinder), research publication repository (OneBoard Research), an expert directory (Board Expert Finder), and a researcher index (Economist Similarity Index). The significance of the Board Subject Taxonomy is that it brings together research and interests using the Federal Reserve vernacular, to help transcend the silos of information in our agency. The BST is central to metadata quality as it helps keep all the different tools we developed in line with each other and makes interoperability possible.