POPLINE Thesaurus: Its Role in Knowledge Management
In its nearly forty-year evolution, the POPLINE Thesaurus has gradually become a knowledge map to the broad area of population and reproductive health and related fields.
Medical vocabulary from the National Library of Medicine, contraceptive technology concepts, family planning/maternal-child health program topics, demographic subjects, legal and policy topics, and strategic communication concepts have been integrated into a comprehensive taxonomy of the population / reproductive health field. The relevance of this knowledge map transcends its usefulness as a searching tool.
For many years, POPLINE users have adapted the thesaurus to their own knowledge management needs. The Carolina Population Center and IntraHealth International use POPLINE keywords to index their own library collections. The International Center for Research on Women used the POPLINE thesaurus as a taxonomy development tool for their document management system.
In other regions, the Centro Centroamericano de Población, Universidad de Costa Rica, and the Population Studies Library, University of Western Ontario, used the thesaurus for cataloging their collections.
In today’s fluid information technology/knowledge management environment, the opportunities for POPLINE users to repurpose our thesaurus are almost limitless. Taxonomic structure now provides the foundation for many IT/KM innovations beyond traditional library and database applications.
Innovative POPLINE users are urged to take advantage of this emerging opportunity, following the example of Open Society Institute’s adaptation of POPLINE’s keywords to provide searching capability for the comprehensive resource, What Works for Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Interventions and its website.
Please keep us updated on your creative adaptations!