This is the 67th article in the Profiles in Knowledge series featuring thought leaders in knowledge management. Heather Hedden designs, creates, and edits taxonomies, thesauri, metadata, and ontologies for indexing and tagging content to support content retrieval, search, and findability. She trains others to create taxonomies and wrote the book The Accidental Taxonomist. I have met Helen at KMWorld.
Heather Hedden is an information management professional, with a specialization in taxonomies, ontologies, metadata, and indexing. She started her business Hedden Information Management in 2004 and has offered various services over the years: small website design and information architecture, back-of-the-book indexing, website A-Z index creation, web indexing training, taxonomy and controlled vocabulary design and creation, taxonomy evaluation and consulting, and taxonomy creation training. The focus of her business currently is taxonomy training.
Heather has alternated full-time independent consulting with employed experience and is currently employed as a Data & Knowledge Engineer with Semantic Web Company, providing taxonomy and ontology modeling services for the clients of PoolParty Semantic Suite software.
Other past employment includes:
- Senior Vocabulary Editor at Cengage Learning, developing discipline taxonomies and metadata for higher education educational products, and at Cengage’s Gale division, managing and updating the subject thesaurus and other controlled vocabularies for indexing content for library research databases.
- Senior Taxonomy Analyst at the consulting company Project Performance Corporation, providing custom taxonomy design and development services to clients in varied industries.
- Taxonomy Manager at First Wind Energy, creating taxonomies for document management and search in SharePoint.
- Information Taxonomist at the software developer Viziant Corporation, developing taxonomies integrated into a search tool.
Heather independently teaches an online course in taxonomy creation and previously taught it through the Continuing Education Program of Simmons University — School of Library and Information Science. She has given numerous conference workshops and presentations and published many articles on taxonomies, indexing, and other information management topics and has written two books: The Accidental Taxonomist, published by Information Today, Inc. in 2010 and the second edition in 2016, and Indexing Specialties: Web Sites, published jointly by the American Society for Indexing and Information Today, Inc. in 2007. Heather also has a background in writing and editing, including reference book essays, abstracts, technical documentation, and magazine and newspaper articles.
Heather is skilled at using taxonomy management software PoolParty, Synaptica, and Smartlogic Semaphore. She lives in Carlisle, Massachusetts.
- Princeton University, M.A., Near Eastern Studies, 1987–1990
- The American University in Cairo, Center for Arabic Study Abroad, 1988–1989
- Cornell University, B.A., Government (comparative politics and international relations), 1983–1987
- LinkedIn Articles
- Metadata and Taxonomies
- What to consider when you are licensing a Knowledge Organization System
Articles by Others
- Semantic Web Company Continues Global Expansion with New Presence in the U.S.
- Synaptica Insights
- Infonista: Career Profile
- Cornell University Russian Program
- Benefits of Taxonomies: For content, information, and knowledge management
- Taxonomies in Support of Search
- Tools for Taxonomies
- Knowledge Graph Conference, May 3–6, 2021 — Four days of virtual knowledge tech perspectives covering tools, techniques, case studies, and more from industry experts.
- ENDORSE Conference Workshop: Enriching Knowledge Organization Systems
- KMWorld Connect 2020 — Workshop 3 — Taxonomy 101 Excerpted slides on “Benefits of Taxonomies”
- Spring 2012 W1: Building Taxonomies for Search and Autocategorization
- Spring 2011 W4: Building Taxonomies for Search and Autocategorization
- 2010 D-3: Tools for Taxonomies — PDF
- 2008 A-2: Categorizations: A Case Study — Taxonomy-Powered Discovery: Who Says You Need an Expert?
- 2019 Managing Taxonomy Tagging — 1615_Hedden.pdf
- 2018 Taxonomy Workshop — 1015_Hedden.pdf
- 2017 Applications of Taxonomy Design Best Practices
- 2016 How Many Synonyms Should You Have? — 1320_Hedden.pdf
- 2015 Curious Lives of Full-Time Taxonomists
- 2014 MANAGING TERMINOLOGY — 1315_Hedden.pdf
- 2013 TAXONOMY EVALUATION AND TESTING — 1300_Hedden.ppt
- Taxonomy Fundamentals Workshop — 1015_Hlava.pptx
- Pecha Kucha: Taxonomies & Ontologies — 1515_Hedden.pdf
- 2011 Hierarchies & Polyhierarchies: Is More Better? — 1430_Hedden.pptx
- 2010 Pecha Kucha: Enterprise Search & Taxonomies — 3789_Hedden.pptx
- 2009 Merging or Integrating Multiple Taxonomies — 2835_Hedden.ppt
- 2008 Taxonomies for Human Versus Auto-Indexing — PDF
- 2007 Making Decisions in Creating Taxonomies — SlideShare
- W1: Taxonomy and metadata design — getting to grips with the basics
- A101: Managing taxonomies for success — Selecting software for taxonomy, thesaurus and ontology management
- B204: Taxonomy interoperability, linked data and VocBench — A brief introduction to knowledge graphs
- W1: Taxonomy Fundamentals
- A204: Taxonomy standards and architecture — A Brief Introduction to SKOS
- B201: State-of-the-art taxonomies for information retrieval — Taxonomies in Support of Search
- B103: Taxonomies and SharePoint
- W1: Taxonomy fundamentals (full day)
- A101: Doing taxonomy right: advice from two experts — A Tale of Two Worlds: Designing Controlled Vocabularies to Meet Specific Business Needs
- Workshop: Taxonomy Fundamentals
- A103: The nuts and bolts of taxonomies — Synonyms, Alternative Labels, and Non-preferred Terms