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Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval

Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabulariesISO Logo (Red square).svgStatusPublishedFirst publishedpart1: August 15, 2011; 9 years ago (2011-08-15)
part2: March 15, 2013; 7 years ago (2013-03-15)Latest versionpart1: First Edition
part2: First EditionOrganizationInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO)CommitteeISO/TC 46/SC 9Base standardsISO 2788, ISO 5964, BS 8723Related standardsANSI/NISO Z39.19
SKOSDomainSemantics, ThesaurusLicenseISOCopyrightYesWebsitepart1: www.iso.org/standard/53657.html
part2:www.iso.org/standard/53658.html

ISO 25964 is the international standard for thesauri, published in two parts as follows:

    ISO 25964  Information and documentation - Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies
         Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval     [published August 2011]
         Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies     [published March 2013]

It was issued by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and its official website [1] is maintained by its secretariat in NISO, the USA National Information Standards Organization. Each part of the standard can be purchased separately from ISO or from any of its national member bodies (such as ANSI, BSI, AFNOR, DIN, etc.). Some parts of it are available free of charge from the official website.

History

The first international standard for thesauri was ISO 2788, Guidelines for the establishment and development of monolingual thesauri, originally published in 1974 and updated in 1986. In 1985 it was joined by the complementary standard ISO 5964, Guidelines for the establishment and development of multilingual thesauri. Over the years ISO 2788 and ISO 5964 were adopted as national standards in several countries, for example Canada, France and UK. In the UK they were given alias numbers BS 5723 and BS 6723 respectively. And it was in the UK around the turn of the century that work began to revise them for the networking needs of the new millennium. This resulted during 2005 - 2008 in publication of the 5-part British Standard BS 8723, as follows:

    BS 8723 Structured vocabularies for information retrieval - Guide
         Part 1: Definitions, symbols and abbreviations
         Part 2: Thesauri
         Part 3: Vocabularies other than thesauri
         Part 4: Interoperability between vocabularies
         Part 5: Exchange formats and protocols for interoperability

Even before the last part of BS 8723 was published, work began to adopt and adapt it as an international standard to replace ISO 2788 and ISO 5964. The project was led by a Working Group of ISO's Technical Committee 46 (Information and documentation) Subcommittee 9 (Identification and description) known as “ISO TC46/SC9/WG8 Structured Vocabularies”.

ISO 2788 and ISO 5964 were withdrawn in 2011, when they were replaced by the first part of ISO 25964. The second part of ISO 25964 was issued in March 2013, completing the project.

Aims and Scope

ISO 25964 is for thesauri intended to support information retrieval, and specifically to guide the choice of terms used in indexing, tagging and search queries.

The primary objective is thus summarised in the introduction to the standard as:

"If both the indexer and the searcher are guided to choose the same term for the same concept, then relevant documents will be retrieved."

Whereas most of the applications envisaged for ISO 2788 and ISO 5964 were databases in a single domain, often in-house or for paper-based systems, ISO 25964 provides additional guidance for the new context of networked applications, including the Semantic Web. A thesaurus is one among several types of controlled vocabulary used in this context.

ISO 25964 Part 1

A thesaurus compliant with ISO 25964-1 (as Part 1 is known) lists all the concepts available for indexing in a given context, and labels each of them with a preferred term, as well as any synonyms that apply. Relationships between the concepts and between the terms are shown, making it easy to navigate around the field while building up a search query. The main types of relationship include:

  • equivalence (between synonyms and near-synonyms e.g. motor-bikes, motor-cycles and motorcycles)
  • hierarchical (between broader and narrower concepts e.g. flowers and roses)
  • associative (between concepts that are closely related in some non-hierarchical way, e.g. between a disease and the virus that causes that disease)

In multilingual thesauri

ISO 25964 is the international standard for thesauri, published in two parts as follows:

    ISO 25964  Information and documentation - Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies
         Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval     [published August 2011]
         Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies     [published March 2013]

It was issued by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and its official website [1] is maintained by its secretariat in NISO, the USA National Information Standards Organization. Each part of the standard can be purchased separately from ISO or from any of its national member bodies (such as ANSI, BSI, AFNOR, DIN, etc.). Some parts of it are available free of charge from the official website.

ISO 25964 Information and documentation - Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval [published August 2011] Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies [published March 2013]

It was issued by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and its official website [1] is maintained by its secretariat in NISO, the USA National Information Standards Organization. Each part of the standard can be purchased separately from ISO or from any of its national member bodies (such as ANSI, BSI, AFNOR, DIN, etc.). Some parts of it are available free of charge from the official website.

The first international standard for thesauri was ISO 2788, Guidelines for the establishment and development of monolingual thesauri, originally published in 1974 and updated in 1986. In 1985 it was joined by the complementary standard ISO 5964, Guidelines for the establishment and development of multilingual thesauri. Over the years ISO 2788 and ISO 5964 were adopted as national standards in several countries, for example Canada, France and UK. In the UK they were given alias numbers BS 5723 and BS 6723 respectively. And it was in the UK around the turn of the century that work began to revise them for the networking needs of the new millennium. This resulted during 2005 - 2008 in publication of the 5-part British Standard BS 8723, as follows:

    BS 8723 Structured vocabularies for information retrieval - Guide
         Part 1: Definitions, symbols and abbreviations
         Part 2: Thesauri
         Part 3: Vocabularies other than thesauri
         Part 4: Interoperability between vocabularies
         Part 5: Exchange formats and protocols for interoperability

Even before the last part of BS 8723 was published, work began to adopt and adapt it as an international standard to replace ISO 2788 and ISO 5964. The project was led by a Working Group of ISO's Technical Committee 46 (Information and documentation) Subcommittee 9 (Identification and description) known as “ISO TC46/SC9/WG8 Structured Vocabularies”.

ISO 2788 and ISO 5964 were withdrawn in 2011, when they were replaced by the first part of ISO 25964. The second part of ISO 25964 was issued in March 2013, completing the project.

Aims and Scope

ISO 25964 is for thesauri intended to support information retrieval, and specifically to guide the choice of terms used in indexing, tagging and search queries.

The primary objective is thus summarised in the introduction to the standard as: