DCMI Global Meetings & Conferences, DC-2017, Washington, D.C.

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Facilitating Information Sharing and Collaboration through Taxonomy at the Federal Reserve Board
Jennifer Gilbert, Alison Raab Labonte, Franz Osorio

Last modified: 2017-10-26


The Research Library at the Federal Reserve Board developed the Board Subject Taxonomy (BST) by organizing and standardizing key concepts in a vocabulary of subject terms that describe research and policy work conducted at the Board. The goal was not just to have a taxonomy; rather, we sought a way to better facilitate sharing, collaboration, and discovery across information systems. To that end, the Library staff has developed several tools to make the taxonomy bridge across systems to build new relationships and connections across disparate sources. The BST acts as a critical semantic link to bring together data, researchers, and publications that were previously isolated from each other. The BST is currently deployed in a data inventory (DataFinder), research publication repository (OneBoard Research), an expert directory (Board Expert Finder), and a researcher index (Economist Similarity Index). The significance of the Board Subject Taxonomy is that it brings together research and interests using the Federal Reserve vernacular, to help transcend the silos of information in our agency. The BST is central to metadata quality as it helps keep all the different tools we developed in line with each other and makes interoperability possible.

Our key accomplishment has been to exploit the power of robust metadata, to use it to repurpose information in diverse systems (library catalogs/inventories, research repositories) and make that information live in new, dynamic search tools that meet user needs.

Future efforts will be based on user demands and have strong connections to business needs at the Federal Reserve Board. These efforts are to include: expansion of vocabulary and facets to include terms relevant to collected data; development of user-specific vocabularies for Board Information Technology specialists; etc.