Monday, July 18, 2005

Keywords, keywords, keywords

After months of debate the time has come to code all of our research projects with the new key word list. I have approximately 650 projects to code and even with an easy to use access form, it's taking a ton of time. I'm also finding that navigating the keyword structure still isn't that intuitive for all projects and I'd love to go in and modify the list some more. Now I see why most organizations only use the keyword search function instead of taking the up front effort to prepare a guided or parametric search.

The team spent a lot of effort making sure items go into proper buckets. This may mean that popular search term may get buried down in the hierarchy. For example, if you're looking for information on arsenic, you need to search level 1 water quality, level 2 inorganic chemicals, level 3 arsenic. This approach makes sense in classifying documents, but maybe not from a users perspective.

In the future, I'd like to try a wiki approach to classification. Wouldn't it be great to have the classification system emerge from those using it and then changing as appropriate?


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