I was recently in a meeting where it was said that a lack of subject matter expertise is a disadvantage in taxonomy development. This is understandable; it makes sense to assume that the more domain expertise a taxonomist has, the better the final information product will be. However, my experience has shown that this is not always the case. So exactly how does the role of subject matter expert (SME) fit into taxonomy development?
The Other category: also known as General, Miscellaneous, My Stuff, or, too often, the shared drive.
The Other category is the junk drawer for all those taxonomy terms that just don’t seem to fit anywhere else. Reaching into it is taking a chance as you never know what you may find—the yo-yo you can’t seem to throw away, a pair of rusty scissors threatening to impale you when looking for loose change, batteries, baggy ties, the old cell phone with numbers in it of people you don’t even remember. When it’s time for cleaning up, you can either throw it all away or sort it out and put everything in a more appropriate place. Continue reading