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Accidental Series
American Society for Indexing
Plexus Publishing




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The Accidental Taxonomist
By Heather Hedden
Foreword by Patrick Lambe
Publication Date: May, 2010
Price: $27.65

“Clearly details the conceptual and practical notions of controlled vocabularies. … provides a crash course for newcomers and offers experienced practitioners a common frame of reference. A valuable book.”

— Christine Connors, TriviumRLG LLC 

The Accidental Taxonomist is the most comprehensive guide available to the art and science of building information taxonomies. Heather Hedden—one of today’s leading writers, instructors, and consultants on indexing and taxonomy topics—walks readers through the process, displaying her trademark ability to present highly technical information in straightforward, comprehensible English.

Drawing on numerous real-world examples, Hedden explains how to create terms and relationships, select taxonomy management software, design taxonomies for human versus automated indexing, manage enterprise taxonomy projects, and adapt taxonomies to various user interfaces. The result is a practical and essential guide for information professionals who need to effectively create or manage taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and thesauri.


“A wealth of descriptive reference content is balanced with expert guidance. … Open The Accidental Taxonomist to begin the learning process or to refresh your understanding of the depth and breadth of this demanding discipline.”

— Lynda Moulton, Principal Consultant, LWM Technology Services

“From the novice taxonomist to the experienced professional, all will find helpful, practical advice in The Accidental Taxonomist.

— Trish Yancey, TCOO, Synaptica, LLC

"This book squarely addresses the growing demand for and interest in taxonomy. ...Hedden brings a variety of background experience, including not only taxonomy construction but also abstracting and content categorization and creating back-of-the-book indexes. These experiences serve her well by building a broad perspective on the similarities as well as real differences between often overlapping types of work."

— Marjorie M. K. Hlava, President and Chairman, Access Innovations, Inc.,
and Chair, SLA Taxonomy Division

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