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The Accidental Taxonomist

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The Accidental Taxonomist is the most comprehensive guide available to the art and science of building information taxonomies. Heather Hedden one of today s leading writers, instructors, and consultants on indexing and taxonomy topics walks readers through the process, displaying her trademark ability to present highly technical information in straightforward, comprehensib ...more
Paperback, 442 pages
Published September 23rd 2010 by Information Today (first published May 3rd 2010)
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Darin Stewart
Nov 11, 2010 rated it liked it
The author quotes me several times and the book is deadly dull. There must be some way to reconcile those two facts while still preserving my own ego.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
It's hilarious to me that people are complaining about this book being boring. I'm sorry, but building a taxonomy is not a day at the beach! No offense to anyone who enjoys building a taxonomy, I have limited experience, which is why I wanted to read this book, but I wouldn't say it's a super fun activity. Anyway, I found this book to be extremely helpful. Particularly, Chapter 10. I didn't feel like the chapter about all the taxonomy building software available was such a good idea, since most ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly thorough, approachable, and valuable. Probably overkill for most folks who want to hit the ground running to create a taxonomy, but it provides a solid framework for understanding the problem spaces that come with the process.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For those of you complaining that this book is boring, I don't think a career in taxonomy is for you.

It's thorough, informative and structured well for beginners and more advanced taxonomers. This book didn't exist when I was a library student, but I wish it had - I think it should be essential reading for all information management students interested in structuring information.

After all, this is one of the areas in our field that is expanding, when many others are not.
Jim Reprogle
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Extremely dull book, but very informative. Use it for reference, not reading material.
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
A good book for learning about taxonomy. Good on the underpinnings, the process, how this taxonomist’s job works. Not so good on real world examples, though. This would have benefited from some case studies to help the reader see how the aspects of taxonomy creation and editing work. Because of this lack of examples, this felt a little unfriendly, like someone just reading the facts. Like the book was aimed at someone who has worked on a taxonomy project and wanted to know more about what they h ...more
Rex Libris
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title comes from the circumstances that most people who do taxonomy work had no intention of doing taxonomy work, it is just something that happened upon them. Part of that is the relative rarity of taxonomy work, and part of is just the newness of it.

Given the newness and lack of professional training, the author has attempted to codify what taxonomy work is. She discusses the development of taxonomies, the theory behind it, construction of taxonomies, and the tools for creating them.

Robert Bogue
There are dozens of things that I do each day that I didn’t set out to do. I do accounting and billing work without a desire or intent to do it. I do sales and marketing – and neither are at the top of my list of things to do. I accidentally picked these things up when I decided to be an entrepreneur and run my own company well over a decade ago. Working with taxonomies – and becoming a taxonomist – can happen by accident too. That’s why The Accidental Taxonomist is appropriate for someone looki ...more
Nov 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A decent into to the methods and tools of taxonomists, but very little about the actual work of term selection, editing, and use. So specific to a particular technical environment that some of the material is already out of date (2 1/2 years after publication), and much more will be soon. I read the Kindle version, which suffered from conversion problems with end-of-line hyphenation and some illegible illustrations.
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I bought this book for my daughter because she is an "accidental taxonomist" - she creates taxonomies to support information/content findability, although that is not her job title. I've read this book and intend to re-read it, as it is a very interesting field to consider.
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
As promised, this book contains lots of practical advice for people who find themselves working with taxonomies, either by design or by accident. I have flagged a number of pages that will be of continuing value to me, and this will definitely be on my bookshelf, if not my desk, at work.
Paul Evans
Dec 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Had to read for work. Concept is interesting, but the book itself is very dry. This is probably the Bible, though, for anyone who is a taxonomist, accidental or otherwise.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
A clear, concise guide to creating a taxonomy. If that's something you've found yourself roped into, this book is for you.
Mark Boszko
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Too much tools and process, not enough practical advice. To put it another way, too much how, and not enough why.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not for the general public but if you see yourself in a situation where you have to build a taxonomy this is the book you are gonna need.
Connie Crosby
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent look at taxonomy in great detail. Includes theory, practical tips, and discussion of career options. I found this very helpful in some of my recent projects.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clear, concise and well-written!
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