From Lee Romero via TaxoCop, this very nice set of guidelines for deciding whether to add a term to a taxonomy facet (in this case one for “Item Type” ) – guidelines have Lee’s comments added marked LR, and I have commented thrice, marked PL.
- The value must have a definition – provided by the proposer of the new value [LR: You’d be surprised how often this requirement actually stops someone – “I can’t define this, people just know what a
- It should be a term someone would recognize even if they have no background within our company’s workings; use of industry standard terminology is preferred [LR: trying to avoid marketing-ese and also improve usability]
- Values should be mutually exclusive from other values; overlap leads to confusion for those who submit content and from those who retrieve. [LR: I think this is self-explanatory for this audience!]
- Values that can be derived using a combination of other facet values will not be added; for example, values that imply a particular target (which can be expressed using the Audience facet) would not be added. Use appropriate combinations of existing facets [PL: assumes you are using a facetted taxonomy]
- The value should not be a “temporary” term – it should have some expectation to have a long lifespan. More specifically, a term that’s been in common use for some time already is a better candidate then some term newly coined to catch the eye of users. [LR: Another attempt to avoid ‘marketing-ese’.]
- We should expect that there would be a significant volume of content that could be assigned the value – otherwise, use of a more general Item Type and clarification through the Title on items is preferred; if enough items are titled with the new term over time to warrant reconsideration, it will be reconsidered.
- For higher-level values in the Item Type hierarchy, the relationship between parents and children (or further down the hierarchy) is always “is a kind of”. Other relationships are not supported. [PL: This is for a specific facet in Lee’s taxonomy where the relationship is consistently “is a kind of” – substitute your organising principle/relationship as appropriate]
- Item Type values should not reflect the underlying technology used to capture the content and should not reflect the format of the content directly [PL: I read this as not confusing Item Type with “file type”]
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