Searching and exploring controlled vocabularies

  • Gray A
  • Gray N
  • Ounis I
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Within most domains of discourse, there exists different terminology used by distinct sub-groups. Often the terms used can be, or have already been, organised into controlled vocabularies which can be encoded into SKOS, a W3C standard for representing vocabularies. This terminology can then be used to help users to search for and discover resources. This requires a search mechanism to go from a user-supplied string to a vocabulary concept. In this paper, we discuss the issues encountered in developing a web service for searching and exploring the concepts in SKOS encoded astronomical vocabularies. Our prototype service takes in a query and responds with the concepts which are the "best match". It then supports the user in exploring the concepts' formal definition and alternative forms, as well as their relationship to other concepts. When we add mappings between the concepts in different vocabularies (where available), these further enrich the explorations of vocabulary concepts.

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  • Alasdair J. G. Gray

  • Norman Gray

  • Iadh Ounis

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