We are pleased to include both the recent and the upcoming versions of the ASIST Thesaurus. This revision is in progress, not yet a finished product and we welcome members' comments. We would also remind you that the ASIST thesaurus is available for use in the classroom, as is the Data Harmony software we use to maintain it. The thesaurus is in current use to index the content for the ASIST Bulletin, ASIST Journal, and the ASIST Proceedings. It has also been used to index the Annual review of Information Science and Technology. Please contact us with comments, suggestions and requests for use.

As in any thesaurus this document reflects the continuing changes in terminology for the Information Industry. The standards for thesaurus creation and maintenance are also undergoing revision so the document needs to be updated to the expected changes while holding true to to the already indexed corpus. For 2016 the broad changes we've embarked on are as follows:

- moving terms and overall reconfiguring many branches according to more conceptual relationships
Some broad terms (particularly those named "...attributes," "...aspects," and "...processes/activities," but others as well) are so inclusive that they contain NTs that are conceptually very disparate among each other. For example, "information content" contained, among others, "criteria," "news," "topics," and "browser cookies." Those belong to very different subject domains, which is our more usual basis for BT/NT relationships, so these terms were moved to BTs: "Decision making," "Mass media," "Semiotics," and "Web browsers" respectively.

Note:such terms may be deleted, but they can be retained if they are useful as tags; in that case, any NTs they keep should be more carefully conceptually exclusive.

- removing other terms that seem to exist primarily for hierarchical categorization
Terms starting with "General..." had their NTs sorted elsewhere and were deleted. The "Documents by..." categories were also combined into one "Documents" branch, where they should be categorized more conceptually.

- consolidating concepts that seem to belong together but were scattered throughout the thesaurus
Those terms that seem like NTs of the same conceptual area are being moved together (retaining former BTs if both are appropriate)

- changing/deleting ambiguous terms
In the interest of having terms clearly express a discrete, useful concept, ideally without depending on scope notes, we want to get away from ambiguous or overly broadly inclusive concepts in favor of more specific phrasings; hence "growth" should be deleted and replaced with specifics like "economic growth," "readership growth" etc; "change" should be deleted in favor of terms like "social change," "technological advancement," etc.

- as always, updating terms
keeping an eye out for concepts that may have fallen out of use (e.g. "frames" related to web design) or that have been/are in the process of being supplanted by emerging terms.

- applying sentence case to all PTs and NPTs
Capitalizing the first letter of a term is the style we've followed for virtually all our other projects for quite some time.

Thank you for your attention and use!

Alice Redmond Neal
Gabriel Carr
Marjorie M.K. Hlava

To see the most current ASIS&T thesaurus in hierarchy view (version 4), click Version 4.
To see the next version (still in revision) click Version 5

Click on the plus sign to the left of a term to open the branch it heads. Click on any term in the hierarchy to show the details of its term record in the right browser pane.

Please contact Access Innovations at and follow their taxonomy blog.