Astronomy Thesaurus To Help Improve Future Information Discovery
January 25, 2013

New Astronomy Thesaurus Could Help Future Research Projects

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

A new astronomy thesaurus called the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT) will help improve future information discovery for researchers.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) and IOP Publishing (IOP) collaborated on the new thesaurus, making it a gift to the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

AAS will be making the UAT freely available for development and use within the astronomy community, while ensuring the thesaurus remains relevant and useful.

Further development of the thesaurus will be done by the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in collaboration with the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). The collaborative effect by these institutions will help to enhance and extend the thesaurus to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the astronomy community.

Adopting the UAT within the ADS will result better linking with the astronomer research journal articles through a common vocabulary, helping to improve the accuracy of information discovery.

Creating the UAT is a result of the combination of two separate initiatives to develop thesauri as part of semantic enrichment projects by AIP and IOP.

Thousands of resources are being published each year in the field of astronomy, and these kinds of tools can be vital for researchers to continue finding relevant information quickly and helping to improve the discoverability of research.

Access Innovations Inc, a privately held company that specializes in information management and database creation products, is working to combine the thesauri.

“It´s both generous and foresighted for AIP and IOP to donate this work to the community, at a time when so much attention is focused on enabling semantic capabilities in scholarly research and communication," Chris Biemesderfer, Director of Publishing at AAS said of the gift.

"The AAS is grateful to the publishers for the timely contribution. It´s exciting for the development team to receive a product that is as well thought through as this thesaurus, and the Society is proud to support the research community through partnerships like the UAT," Biemesderfer added.