Authors: Thomas Baker / Osma Suominen (Sungkyunkwan University, Korea / National Library of Finland, Finland)
AGROVOC Concept Scheme, CAB Thesaurus (CABT), and NAL Thesaurus (NALT) largely overlap in scope (agriculture and agricultural research). This duplication is both inefficient for their maintainers and constitutes a barrier to searching across databases indexed with their terms. Common representation in SKOS makes mapping easier, but it would in principle be more efficient to merge the thesauri into one shared concept scheme to be jointly maintained by the three organizations. A feasibility study has defined a semi-automatic method for mapping among the three thesauri. Confirmed mappings will be used to coin new concepts, with new URIs, for a shared Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS). One key challenge will be to balance the inclusion of diverse concept hierarchies from the source thesauri against a desire to converge on common semantics through editorial intervention. Partners who currently use their thesauri to automatically generate derivative products will need to balance the efficiencies of sharing a concept scheme with the control required for local production processes. GACS will be natively represented as SKOS XL, edited using VocBench software and published using the Skosmos platform (both open source software) under a Creative Commons license. The GACS project aspires to constitute a consortium open to other thesaurus maintainers. The first version of GACS will be available online in time for a presentation of lessons learned at SWIB 2014.