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Interoperable subject retrieval in a distributed multi-scheme environment: new developments in the HILT project

Nicholson, D. and McCulloch, E. (2005) Interoperable subject retrieval in a distributed multi-scheme environment: new developments in the HILT project. In: IBERSID 2005, 2005-11-02 - 2005-11-04.

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The HILT (HIgh-Level Thesaurus) project (http://hilt.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/), based primarily at the Centre for Digital Library Research (CDLR) (http://cdlr.strath.ac.uk/) at Strathclyde University in Glasgow is entering its fourth stage following the completion of Phases I (http://hilt.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/index1.html) and II (http://hilt.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/index2.html) and the Machine to Machine (M2M) Feasibility Study (http://hilt.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/hiltm2mfs/). HILT is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom (UK) to examine an issue of global significance - facilitating interoperability of subject descriptions in a distributed, cross-service retrieval environment where different services use different subject and classification schemes to describe content, making cross-searching by subject difficult. HILT Phase I determined that there was a community consensus in the UK in favour of using inter-scheme mapping to achieve interoperability between services using different schemes, an approach followed by several recent projects (Heery et al, 2001; Koch et al, 2001; MACS, 2005; Saeed and Chaudhury 2002). HILT Phase II chose a spine-based approach to mapping and chose the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) as the central scheme to which all other schemes would be mapped. It also built an illustrative pilot mapping service, based on an adaptation of the Wordmap (http://www.wordmap.com/) terminology-handling software and made a range of recommendations on issues requiring further research and ongoing development requirements.