A Text Mining Approach to Uncover the Structure of Subject Metadata in the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology(2023)

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ABSTRACT We propose a bottom‐up, data‐driven pipeline to uncover the structure of biodiversity subject metadata using a combination of text mining approaches. In this study, we analyze 721,035 subject terms in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). We utilize named entity recognition and word‐embedding methods to systematically label and group terms based on their vector‐space distances. The results show that the subject terms from BHL are clustered into several prominent themes relating to environmental regulations, geographic locations, organisms, and subject access points. We hope that our approach can serve as a first step to group similar subject terms together in large‐scale, constant growing digital collections with aggregated metadata from multiple sources. Ultimately, we hope the next phases of this project can become a basis for biodiversity digital libraries to standardize their vocabularies.
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Key words
biodiversity heritage library,subject metadata,text mining approach
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