In the subject access session of the SCIS consultation on 4 December 2012, Les Kneebone Project Manager of the Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) presented an exciting overview of recent developments in the ScOT thesaurus. Key features that position ScOT for the future include:
- its ongoing development with input from cataloguers, curriculum developers, subject matter experts and users
- its use to describe the machine-readable Australian Curriculum
- its linked data API facilitating automatic semantic relationships
- its translation into languages including Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Māori
- its use to describe a wide range of resources through the National Digital Learning Resource Network and SCIS
Discussion followed as to future directions for SCIS in the area of subject access.
The ScOT in SCIS project commenced in 2006 when the thinking was that keyword searching would become the pre-eminent means of resource retrieval. Since then SCIS has offered schools the option of downloading both SCIS Subject Headings and ScOT terms in their catalogue records. The challenge is how to manage and display both SCIS subject headings and ScOT terms in a meaningful way for users in order to exploit the inferred links between resources tagged with ScOT terms that match a curriculum tagged with ScOT terms.
Also discussed was an alternative scenario of transition from use of SCIS Subject Headings to ScOT terms and how schools would manage this process.