Ontō Project

The Ontō Project is a research collaborative that investigates the nature of indexing languages. We do this by collecting data on the structure, semantics, and use of different kinds of indexing languages (e.g., ontologies, subject headings lists, and thesauri). We examine the anatomy and the ontogeny of indexing languages.

Ontomon (ontology monster)

We examine the anatomy of indexing languages by looking at its structure. We can ask questions of how terms are structured in indexing languages.

What are the various species of indexing language? How diverse are they?

Ontogeny (development)

Subject Ontogeny

We can look at one subject as it changes over time. It can go through many transformations. It can even disappear and reappear. For example, eugenics as a topic disappeared from the DDC relative index in the 1960s, and reappeared.

Scheme Change

Indexing languages (aka schemes) change over time to accommodate the life of a subject (subject ontogeny above). This is just a different unit of analysis for studying change. We can look at how schemes rather than subjects change over the course of their development.

© 2012 Ontō Project, Information School, University of Washington