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Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals


Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals provides an accessible introduction and exploration of ontologies and demonstrates their value to information professionals.
More data and information is being created than ever before. Ontologies, formal representations of knowledge with rich semantic relationships, have become increasingly important in the context of today's information overload and data deluge. The publishing and sharing of explicit explanations for a wide variety of conceptualizations, in a machine readable format, has the power to both improve information retrieval and discover new knowledge. Information professionals are key contributors to the development of new, and increasingly useful, ontologies.
Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals provides an accessible introduction to the following:

  • defining the concept of ontologies and why they are increasingly important to information professionals
  • ontologies and the semantic web
  • existing ontologies, such as RDF, RDFS, SKOS, and OWL2
  • adopting and building ontologies, showing how to avoid repetition of work and how to build a simple ontology
  • interrogating ontologies for reuse
  • the future of ontologies and the role of the information professional in their development and use.

This book will be useful reading for information professionals in libraries and other cultural heritage institutions who work with digitalization projects, cataloguing and classification and information retrieval. It will also be useful to LIS students who are new to the field.

1. What is an ontology? 2. Ontologies and the Semantic Web 3. Existing ontologies 4. Adopting ontologies 5. Building ontologies 6. Interrogating ontologies 7. The future of ontologies and the role of the information professional

David Stuart is an independent information professional and an honorary research fellow at the University of Wolverhampton, and was previously a research fellow at King's College London and the University of Wolverhampton. He regularly publishes in peer-reviewed academic journals and professional journals on information science, metrics, and semantic web technologies, and in 2015 began writing a regular column for the journal Online Information Review called 'Taming Metrics'. He has previously published Web Metrics for Library and Information Professionals (Facet Publishing, 2014) and Facilitating Access to the Web of Data (Facet Publishing, 2011).

" ... an impressive and comprehensive study. Of special note are the chapters on 'Ontologies and Information Professions'; 'Alternative Semantic Visions'; and 'Ontological Documentation'. Impressively well written, organized, and presented, "Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals" will prove to be an enduringly valued and appreciated addition to professional, community, and academic library Information Science reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists."

Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch

Practical Ontologies for Information Professionals offers insight into the evolution of classification of digital data and knowledge. This book will be useful to archivists, domain experts, LIS students, and library and information professionals.Recommended.


As a relative novice, I was still able to come away from this book with a good idea of how exactly the linked data models are made manifest. I would recommend this book for experienced information professionals interested in concrete examples of an often nebulous subject.

Technical Services Quarterly

The generous provision of definitions, insights on the development of contemporary tools, and identification of theoretical concerns provide a sound introduction ... This guide has potential as an textbook for those focusing on library information systems careers.

Library Journal (University of Nevada Library)

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