New thesaurus for astronomers

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) and IOP Publishing (IOP) have jointly announced the gift of a new astronomy thesaurus called the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT) to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that will help improve future information discovery for researchers.

The AAS will make the UAT freely available for development and use within the astronomy community, while ensuring the thesaurus remains relevant and useful.  Further development of the UAT will be undertaken by the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in collaboration with the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) to enhance and extend the thesaurus to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the astronomy community.

Adoption of the thesaurus within the ADS will result in better linking with the majority of astronomy research journal articles through a common vocabulary, thereby greatly improving the accuracy of information discovery.

The creation of the UAT is a result of the combination of two separate initiatives to develop thesauri as part of semantic enrichment projects by AIP and IOP.  The donation of this useful tool to the AAS will help expose relationships within content across multiple publishers and service providers for the benefit of the community as a whole.

The thesaurus will be used in semantic technologies to enable researchers to execute faster, more accurate information searches and ultimately improve the discoverability of research. With many thousands of resources being published each year in the field of astronomy, these kinds of tools are vital to ensure that researchers continue to be able to find relevant information quickly and ultimately improve the discoverability of research. This applies as much to data, web services and other resources, as it does to the bibliographic resources to which thesauri have traditionally been applied.

The work to combine the thesauri has been carried out by Access Innovations Inc, a privately held company that specializes in information management and database creation products and services.   Founded in 1978, the privately held Access Innovations, Inc. offers an extensive line of information management and database creation products and services. The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The membership (~7,000) also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant. The ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 9.7 million records: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and arXiv e-prints. See .

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is an organization of 10 physical science societies, representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators. Visit here
IOP Publishing (IOP) provides publications through which leading-edge scientific research is distributed worldwide.  More here: