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An image is only as good as the keywords and metadata attached to it to ensure it can be easily retrieved. This is key to effective and efficient digital asset management – assets won’t be used and repurposed if they cannot be found.
The images or assets must be correctly keyworded and categorised to ensure they can be found by anyone searching – not just by the few people who know that certain terms will give particular results. It is important that the keywording process is as simple as possible; removing barriers when keywording will increase efficiency and throughput, resulting in a higher number of digital assets being made available more quickly.
What is a controlled vocabulary?
A controlled vocabulary offers a hierarchical structure for keywording which make it easier to enrich assets with metadata, as well as ensuring data and assets can be found. When many people are assigning keywords, inconsistencies can arise which leads to inaccurate search results.
There can be many ways to describe asset content – a controlled vocabulary groups terms together and ensures accurate terms are applied. If you are using a controlled vocabulary within a keywording program or tool such as Capture Keyworder, synonyms and related keywords can be automatically applied.
This reduces the possibility of human error – an incorrectly spelt keyword could mean an asset won’t be found – however, a term used from a controlled vocabulary means the asset is “grouped” with all other assets assigned that term.
Why is a controlled vocabulary important?
Using a controlled vocabulary means that when a user searches for a specific term, assets tagged with other closely related terms attached to that term will be found. Controlledvocabulary.com describe how a controlled vocabulary is useful; it can make a database easier to search, more efficient and precise, by grouping together the information you need when you use just one search term.
With natural language variations, the terms used may vary from user to user. For example, something as simple as searching for the word dogs instead of dog may yield a different set of results if a controlled vocabulary is not used to ensure consistency.
Where to start?
The most effective way to create a controlled vocabulary is to modify an existing one by enriching it with additional terms relevant to your database. A controlled vocabulary can be built up from scratch. However, starting from the beginning is a time-consuming process which could ultimately jeopardise the quality of the tree and therefore negate the original reason for implementing one.
If you’re not sure where to start, contact us. Capture license several controlled vocabularies built by keywording and metadata specialists. We can advise on the most relevant one for your needs. We also offer a specialist tool – Capture Keyworder – which allows you to quickly add many keywords to assets, increasing their findability and therefore their value.
Article written by Christina Berry
Capture Keyworder – http://www.capture.co.uk/products/capture-online/capture-keyworder/
What is a Controlled Vocabulary, and how is it useful? – http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/