Terminology Services


Controlled vocabularies, such as thesauri and subject heading systems, provide representations of people, places, events, and concepts. Any subject of speech, writing, or visual depiction, may be represented in a controlled vocabulary and used to describe and access resources such as books, photographs, and web sites.

You are encouraged to experiment with the vocabularies and services provided by this project. The services may be used in a variety of ways. Some examples are:

  • as a source of terms for social tagging
  • for query refinement in search applications
  • to provide context for a search term
  • to validate names and subjects in metadata


  • Terminology Services Overview (handout) (.pdf 523 MB/1 pp.)
  • Terminology Services update (.ppt: 1 MB/23 slides) New Dimensions in Knowledge Organization Systems: A workshop sponsored by CENDI and the Networked Knowledge Organization Systems Working Group, hosted by the World Bank, 11 September 2008, Washington, DC
  • Terminology Services Technical Overview (presentation) (.pdf 203kb/11 pp.)
  • Summary Report: Terminologies Services Meeting, September 12th 2007, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • Terminologies Services Straw man (.pdf 41kb/5 pp.)
  • Vizine-Goetz, Diane, Andrew Houghton, and Eric Childress. 2006. "Web Services for Controlled Vocabularies." Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 35 no. 5 (June/July). Available online at: http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Jun-06/vizine-goetz_houghton_childress.html [This article describes previous work which provided controlled vocabularies through the Microsoft Office (MS) Research task pane.]
  • Vizine-Goetz, Diane, Carol Hickey, Andrew Houghton, and Roger Thompson. 2004. "Vocabulary Mapping for Terminology Services." Journal of Digital Information, 4,4 (March), article no. 272, 2004-03-11. Available online at: http://journals.tdl.org/jodi/article/view/114
  • More Information

    Link to Terminology Services Handout View the Terminology
    Services Overview


    • Controlled Vocabulary Metadata (meta)
    • Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (fast)
    • Form and Genre Terms for Fiction and Drama (gsafd)
    • Library of Congress Annotated Card Program Subject Headings (lcshac)
    • Library of Congress Subject Headings (lcsh)
    • Medical Subject Headings (mesh)
    • Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: TGM I, Subject Terms (lctgm)
    • Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: TGM II, Genre and Physical characteristic Terms (gmgpc)

    Go To Terminology Services NowGo to Terminology Services Now


    • JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)
    • Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS)
    • MARC
    • Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU)
    • Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)
    • Zthes

    Go To Terminology Services Standards Page NowGo to Terminology Services Standards Page Now



    Most recent updates: Page content: 2009-08-11 Prototype: 2012-11


    This activity is part of ResearchWorks. Use of our prototypes is subject to OCLC's terms and conditions. By continuing past this point, you agree to abide by these terms.

    Try the online demo

    Visit the prototype to start building your own applications using Terminology Services. You can use the services to:

    • Search descriptions of controlled vocabularies
    • Search for terms/headings in a controlled vocabulary
    • Retrieve a single term/heading by its identifier
    • View relationships for a term/heading including equivalence, hierarchical, and associative
    • Retrieve terms/headings in multiple representations, such as HTML, MADS, MARC XML, SKOS, and Zthes.



    Diane Vizine-Goetz

    Team Members

    Carol Hickey

    Andrew Houghton

    Roger Thompson

    JD Shipengrover

    This activity is a part of the Metadata Management theme.

    We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.