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The Accidental Taxonomist [Paperback]

Heather Hedden
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: 23.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Accidental Taxonomist + Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness (Chandos Knowledge Management) + Building Enterprise Taxonomies
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Product details

  • Paperback: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Information Today (10 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573873977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573873970
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 708,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful 13 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a web content professional who is often asked to work on 'taxonomy' projects, this book is a godsend. There is often confusion over the definition of the word, the types of work involved, and the possible outputs. Even the author acknowledges the fluid definition of the word, but still managed a clear explanation of the concept.

After reading I am much more equipped to understand the need (or often lack of need) for a taxonomy on a project and the best way to approach it. Some tools are also recommend which I have yet to explore. Next time I am asked to work on a taxonomy I will be much more equipped to succeed.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly right for the target audience 10 April 2011
By David L Tappan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This "accidental taxonomist" fell into this work via SharePoint design projects. I've often found that the best designed SharePoint architecture and user interface nonetheless fails due to a poorly-planned taxonomy. Heather Hedden's book is an ideal handbook on taxonomy for those coming into it, as I did, as an "add-on" to SharePoint projects. Ms. Hedden's book starts with the basics, and drills into the finer points, while maintaining a pragmatic approach that doesn't get bogged down in academic disputes. The result is an indispensible handbook for someone who needs to put taxonomy knowledge to use immediately and effectively.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" for all Taxonomists 22 Jan 2011
By Madame Librarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a student transitioning from a Library & Information Science graduate program to the real world, this book was amazingly helpful, both in its breadth of information and the way in which it is delivered. Taxonomy is complicated! Many people think they know what it means, and most are wrong. Beyond the navigational application of a taxonomy is its conceptual implications, which, when applied correctly, provides a structure and organizational framework that empowers the entity for which it was built. The approach, organization,and delivery of information that this book reflects, is a perfect example of the content it aims to communicate. What better way to illustrate this complex practice of creating a visual system of classification and order? Ms. Hedden is known as an expert in the field of taxonomy and classification, and this comes through in what I, a now employed taxonomist, refer to as my "bible".
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical content, excellent value 4 Jun 2010
By C. Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Accidental Taxonomist provides a highly practical description of taxonomy jobs, the skills required, and the opportunities out there for employment and freelancing. For anyone considering entering the field, this book is an excellent place to start. It introduces the basic concepts and techniques as well as resources for further learning. It also does a great job of summarizing the different types of work that fall under the taxonomy umbrella. For those who currently do some form of taxonomy work, this "big picture" is especially helpful in communicating to prospects and clients what taxonomists do and the benefits they can deliver.

As a small-business owner, I always look for professional development resources that will pay for themselves in one way or another. I consider this book an excellent value and recommend it without hesitation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best in class taxonomy book 22 Jan 2011
By johnqpublic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I like the book for the following reasons:
Captures industry standards and best practices in comprehensive and understandable manner
Suitable for all(students, taxonomists, those who support taxonomists, managers of all levels, etc.)
Table of contents that does great job of capturing essence of book
Appendix that includes glossary, recommended reading and websites

From an organizational perspective, I recommend comparing existing practices with the industry
standards and best practices captured in the book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer on building taxonomies. 1 April 2012
By George D. Everitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This very readable book starts with a nice story of how the author became a taxonomist, and then dives right in to the technical details. Well, not too deep - but certainly deep enough for aspiring taxonomists to get a great overview of the skills and techniques required to build, maintain and apply good taxonomies.

The Accidental Taxonomist contains life lessons and practical advice about taxonomies, ontologies, vocabularies, entities, relationships and all manner of other semantic tools.

The thing about taxonomies is that they really are simple for humans to understand. We all think in terms of hierarchies of knowledge whether we are conscious of it or not. The human cerebral cortex is even organized physically as a hierarchy of layers. Along with pattern matching and the four F's - feeding, fighting, fleeing and reproduction - implicit taxonomies inform how we perceive just about every object and concept around us.

This book makes these concepts accessible as either a primer or a refresher for seasoned readers. As CEO of a company that makes taxonomy software (not featured in this edition of the book, lest you smell some astroturf), I can tell you that it really represents much of our philosophy of the best way to use taxonomies in the enterprise.
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