This glossary defines terms related to the services we provide. Under “Taxonomy” there is a link to a more detailed glossary of taxonomy-related terms.

Featured Definitions

Automated Classification

Use of technology to organize content into groups so it can be retrieved when needed. The result of automatic classification is either a content collection clustered into groups (possibly a candidate taxonomy), or content categorized according to a pre-existing taxonomy. The best results are obtained by defining a business process that combines manual and automated processing so that technology is leveraged and human editorial input is optimized.

Dublin Core

A set of 15 metadata elements (the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set) used to describe and catalog content so it can be discovered and retrieved. The Dublin Core is the de facto standard for cataloging web content.

Dublin Core metadata example:

Dublin Core Elements


A common set of attributes that contain critical information to describe and catalog content. The basic concept behind metadata has been used to organize content since the beginning of clay tablet and papyrus scroll collections 3000 years ago. Card and book catalogs and bibliographic databases have used a commonly understood metadata standard to organize large collections.


Overall scheme for organizing content to solve a business problem such as improving search, browsing for content on an enterprise-wide portal, enabling business users to syndicate content, and otherwise providing the basis for content re-use. The basic idea behind taxonomy is to provide a controlled vocabulary for metadata attributes, and to specify relationships between terms in the controlled vocabulary. The simplest relationships are broader, narrower, and related, but relationships can be much more specific and complex. Click here for a glossary of taxonomy terms.

UNSPSC Taxonomy example:

UNSPSC Taxonomy example

XML Schema

Data models expressed in XML. XML schema provide a means for defining and implementing a consistent structure or syntax, and semantics for XML documents that allow machines to carry out rules made by people. A facetted taxonomy provides the names of metadata elements and a consistent set of attribute values or vocabularies for filling the elements in an XML schema.

Additional Definitions


  • Concept

    The characteristics of a real or imaginary object expressed as terms in the taxonomy.

  • Controlled Vocabulary

    A list of terms that have been explicitly enumerated. The terms are controlled and published by a designated authority or authoritative source. If multiple terms are used to mean the same thing, one of the terms is identified as the Preferred Term in the Controlled Vocabulary and the other terms are listed as synonyms or aliases.

  • Facet

    A grouping of concepts of the same inherent category. Examples of categories that may be used for grouping concepts into facets are: Audience, Channels, Components, Content Types, Functions, Industries, Intentions, Lifecycle, Location, Organization, Products, etc.

  • Taxonomy

    The core metadata elements and the Controlled Vocabularies required to find, use, and manage content in a collection.


  • Broader Term

    A term to which another term (or multiple terms) are subordinate in a hierarchy. The relationship indicator for this type of term is BT.

  • Entry Term

    The preferred term that is used to label a concept. An entry term is also known as a Descriptor.

  • Narrower Term

    A term that is subordinate to another term or to multiple terms in a hierarchy. The relationship indicator for this type of term is NT.

  • Related Term

    A term that is associatively (but not hierarchically) linked to another term in a Controlled Vocabulary. The relationship indicator for this type of term is RT.

  • Used For Term

    Non-preferred term(s) that are equivalent to the Entry Term. Used for terms may be synonyms, aliases (such as abbreviations) and quasi-synonyms (such as more specific terms).


  • Associative Relationship

    A relationship between or among terms that leads from one term to other terms that are related to or associated with it. An Associative Relationship is a Related Term or cross-reference relationship.

  • Equivalence Relationship

    A relationship between or among terms in a Controlled Vocabulary that leads to one or more terms that are to be used instead of the term from which the Reference is made. An Equivalence Relationship is a Used For Term relationship.

  • Hierarchical Relationship

    A relationship between or among terms in a Controlled Vocabulary that depicts broader (generic) to narrower (specific) or whole-part relationships. A Hierarchical relationship is a Broader Term to Narrower Term relationship.


  • Scope Note

    A note following a term explaining its source, rationale, coverage, specialized usage, or rules for assigning it.

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