What are structured vocabularies?
Structured vocabularies are collections of terms, organized according to a methodology in which it is possible to specify the relation between concepts with the purpose of facilitating the access to information. The vocabularies are used as a kind of filter between the language used by the author and the terminology of the area and may also be considered as research assistants by helping the user to refine, expand or enrich his searches providing him with more objective results.
Why should we use them?
Structured vocabularies are necessary for describing, organizing and providing access to information. The use of a structured vocabulary allows the researcher to retrieve the information with the exact term used to describe the content of that scientific document. The structured vocabularies function also as maps that guide users towards the information. With the expansion of Internet, and the number of potential points of access to information growing exponentially, the vocabularies can be useful in providing consistent terms that will allows the user to select the information he needs from an enormous quantity of data.
Who uses them?
Structured vocabularies may be used by a varied range of users such as professionals, including medical doctors, researchers, students, besides professional librarians who use them in the processes of indexing and retrieval of information.
How are they used?
Structured vocabularies are used for indexing documents, creating data bases, creating subject indexes, creating knowledge bases for artificial intelligence interfaces, as well as helping tools for the retrieval of information, etc.