Taxonomists win the day

The winners of two awards designed to highlight the very best practitioners and organisations working with taxonomies were announced at last week’s Taxonomy Boot Camp in London.  Nominations took place over the summer in two categories: Taxonomy Practitioner of the Year and Taxonomy Success of the Year. The finalists and winners are shown below:

Taxonomy Practitioner of the Year – FINALISTS

  • Ed Vald, Metadata and Knowledge Manager, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK)

This entry described how a complex, broken taxonomy of 1500 terms was streamlined into a taxonomy of one hundred terms. The taxonomy was thoroughly documented with scope notes; search was improved through synonyms and configuration of Solr search; and governance and metadata auditing were implemented.

  • Edee Edwards, Ontology Architect, National Fire Protection Association (USA)

Edee Edwards was heavily involved in planning education sessions at the 2019 SLA Conference, organising and speaking at sessions. They also gave up their own time to help grow the taxonomy community.


Taxonomy Practitioner of the Year WINNER

Ed Vald,  Metadata and Knowledge Manager,
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK)


Taxonomy Success of the Year – FINALISTS

  • Berklee Music and Health Institute Research Collection Taxonomy

Taxonomist Heather Hedden built a high-profile taxonomy for music and health-related content, which had to combine the vocabulary of diverse audiences and disciplines, while dealing with system constraints that prevented the use of synonyms and facets.

  • Cancer Research UK reusable taxonomy in SharePoint

This project extended a taxonomy into SharePoint, from being in a silo of Drupal, and in so doing helped develop a Cancer Research UK common language for content for different audiences.

  • Demand Architecture from RS Components

A project which impressed the judges with the level of investment and ambition to compete. The project created a taxonomy which was focused on customer language (rather than supplier jargon), and delivered measurable changes to Google positioning for over 100 categories. The work will be the foundation for future initiatives.

  • Molecular Connections, High Precision Content Classification and Content Enrichment System for Physics, American Institute of Physics

Introduced a highly-tailored taxonomy and text analytics system for a research journal publisher.

  • Home and garden split taxonomy, Argos

An evidence-based revamp of taxonomy terms in the home and garden categories, which involved retagging and redirecting content. Changes were implemented with no interruption to live service for customers.

  • Netwrix Data Classification for Mott MacDonald

Netwrix successfully completed a data classification project for an engineering firm to improve findability.

  • Solutions-oriented Taxonomy Design at RGP

For Implementing a user-centred taxonomy across both internal and public-facing systems. The new governance meetings were so well-received that other areas of the business use them as a template for good meetings.


Taxonomy Success of the Year WINNER:

Demand Architecture from RS Components


Chairman of the judges and Boot Camp programme chair Helen Lippell commented,    “Taxonomies are proving to be indispensable business assets used in a vast range of applications supporting websites, intranets, search engines, start-ups, knowledge management, scientific research, digital publishing and much more. The calibre of entries was extremely high, making it hard to choose from a strong set of nominations in both categories but I am pleased that TBCL has recognised two such worthy winners”.