Imagine the challenge of indexing interdisciplinary research data on the internet, perhaps research pertaining to endangered Chilean flamencos as relating to the salt flats of Bolivia and the impact of environmental factors resulting from nearby uranium mines on the migration of the species.
Not only is that a lot of information, but to successfully index this material for optimal retrieval, a metadata specialist might have to explore a number of specialized vocabularies to select the correct terms. These challenges are being addressed via the Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering (HIVE) project, led by a research team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Metadata Research Center (MRC), in collaboration with the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham, N.C.
Essentially, one can search multiple specialized vocabularies simultaneously to choose the best term. In much the same way that PACASEARCH aggregates image search results from multiple stock photo sites, the HIVE project will enable mega search of multiple vocabularies and ultimately supports automatic metadata generation.
Try the HIVE demo here. There are only a few vocabularies in there so far, but it is impressive nonetheless!