This introductory Guide explains what vocabularies are and how they are useful for supporting research. A brief discussion of vocabulary services is included. It covers:
- What is a vocabulary?
- How do vocabularies support research?
- Data specification and description
- Vocabulary services
- A vocabulary sets out the common language a discipline has agreed to use to refer to concepts of interest in that discipline.
- Researchers planning observation or surveys need to define their data items clearly.
- An agreed vocabulary (a standard) makes a good starting point for translating concepts into other vocabularies so that collaboration can occur.
- Indexing vocabularies are used to tag items in library catalogues and search portals and to provide keywords for academic journal articles.
- A vocabulary service is a machine-to-machine service that can support activities such as creating, managing and querying vocabularies.