Exploring ontologies and their value to information professionals.

Author:Van Artsdalen, Amy
Position:Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals - Book review

Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals

Author: David Stuart

Publisher: ALA Neal-Schuman

Publication Date: 2016

Length: 224 pages

Price: $88

ISBN: 978-0-8389-1511-0

Source: www.alastore.ala.com

Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals, according to author David Stuart, is useful reading for information professionals in libraries and other institutions who work with digitization projects, cataloging, classification, and information retrieval. The book explores the use of ontology as a means to represent knowledge and information through semantic relationships. The book moves the reader from concept to concept, each laying the foundation for the next, within its seven chapters.

Understanding Ontologies

Chapter one begins with a comparison between two common definitions of ontology. Stuart cites P. Harpring and T. R. Gruber, the co-founder of Siri, as "... a formal representation of knowledge with rich semantic relationships between terms." By defining ontology in the first chapter a foundation is laid, making sure the reader understands the use of the term and discussing how ontologies can be used to successfully manage the voluminous amounts of data and information generated today.

In chapter two, the book delves deeply into ontology, the semantic web, and linked data. Stuart provides a great example of the semantic web by including a link to the Google Knowledge Graph. The Google Knowledge graph provides a way of understanding the functions of the Google search engine and its ontology, assisting users in their search and providing related information to enhance research.

Chapter three addresses semantic web ontologies that are widely used today and points out that more are being developed. Much of this chapter is written using acronyms, which, for the most part, are listed and defined in the index. A useful table in this chapter provides a list of Dublin Core Terms properties and provides information governance professionals an organized view of Dublin Core as a quick reference.

Adopting, Building, Using Ontologies

Adopting ontologies, discussed in chapter four, considers the reuse of well-established ontologies, which integrate systems, saving costs and ensuring interoperability. Stuart includes a link to Getty's Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) www.getty. edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat as an example of a readily available vocabulary tool. Exploration of existing ontologies may prove useful for those seeking...

To continue reading