Toward core subject vocabularies for community-oriented subject gateways

Wonsook Lee, Shigeo Sugimoto


Subject classification schemes and vocabularies for subject indexing, i.e. subject vocabularies, have a crucial role in the development of subject gateways. From our experiences on a few subject gateway projects which are designed for regional and domainspecific communities, we learned that the subject gateways require a subject vocabulary which is reasonably small and tailored in accordance with the resources in the domain and the audience. The goal of this paper is to discuss underlying issues for the small "core" subject vocabularies defined as a subject description/classification scheme for community oriented resources. First, this paper describes some basic aspects for metadata schema and requirements for the region/domain-specific subject gateways. Second, we show three subject gateway projects which are resources designed primarily for libraries and public library users. And then, we show a few examples of small vocabularies designed for regional resources. This paper compares some vocabularies designed for regional resources and discusses issues for the core subject vocabularies. Costs to develop and maintain the vocabularies can not be neglected even if they are small. We consider the Semantic Web technologies will help develop software tools to support development and maintenance of the subject vocabularies and to enhance their interoperability and reusability.

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