Terminology management encompasses keywording, the use of authority controls and the elaboration and deployment of thesauri and ontologies. It often requires a knowledge of well-established professional procedures and usages or of legal matters, such as issues in the management of Intellectual Property Rights. On other occasions, especially when new technologies are opening up new areas, good practice is still emerging. In these circumstances, experience counts for a lot, which is why System Simulation has been able to offer advice and consultancy on terminology systems.
System Simulation's experience in the elaboration of terminology systems goes back a long way. Our involvement in the cultural sector means that we have been working for many years with professionals who are very careful about correct attributions and consistency in descriptions. Similarly our work with major on-line image libraries has been with people whose commercial success very much depends on effective searching. We are therefore very familiar with a broad range of issues in terminology management and have incorporated many of the lessons we have learned into our terminology systems and tools.
There are, however, occasions when it is necessary to go beyond established practice or to apply this practice in new areas. Also there is often a need to enhance existing systems, to create greater coherence and consistency and improve the accuracy of searching over complex data sets.
This is where System Simulation can use its terminology experience to provide tailored advice and consultancy to great effect. Sometimes this might be a matter of analysing data structure or search behaviour, in order to suggest improvements in cataloguing, the introduction of control features or the deployment of thesauri to extend the scope of searches by bringing into play alternative or related terms. In this way searching facilities can be dramatically improved. On other occasions, it could be dealing with the special issues that arise with images and audio material. Or it could be assisting the construction of an information architecture or the development of the corresponding ontologies. Finally, System Simulation's experience with multi-lingual thesauri means that the company is in an excellent position to advise on opening up databases and web systems to world languages and international exploitation.
Behind this advice there is a systematic approach, built on a respect for professional practice, a consistent application of the relevant standards, such as ISO 2788 for thesauri, and an awareness of the scope for innovation.
Terminology systems, for instance, can be used imaginatively to show relationships within data and to provide access to it in stimulating and innovative ways. System Simulation has experimented with Visualisation techniques that present these relationships in graphic form and is interested in exploring the possibilities further with specific data sets.
Similarly, the application of Web 2.0 technologies is providing the possibility of folksonomies and related forms of social interpretation that are capable of generating rich metadata and terminology in ways that the company is keen to explore further.
Fees for these services are negotiated on a project by project basis.