|Q. What is the IPSV?|
The Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary (IPSV) is a controlled vocabulary (sometimes called an encoding scheme) for use with subject metadata. The e-Government Metadata Standard
(e-GMS) version 3.1 mandates the use of at least one IPSV term for all UK public sector information resources that are to be shared with citizens, businesses or other public sector bodies. IPSV is fully compliant with ISO 2788 and BS 8723, the international and British standards for monolingual thesauri.
|Q. What is IPSV for?|
The aim of using the IPSV is to make it easier for people to find what they want on networks and systems such as the Internet or internal document management systems. It can also be used as a tool for helping systems to share data i.e. interoperate. IPSV gives you terms to use when tagging an electronic resource, to describe what it is about.
|Q. Is IPSV for websites?|
Yes, websites should have IPSV terms in their subject metadata. But whether to use IPSV terms for the site navigation structure is optional. IPSV terms can also be used to tag different types of digital resources.
|Q. How many terms does IPSV contain?|
16 top level terms; 3,080 preferred terms; 4,843 non-preferred terms.
|Q. When was IPSV launched?|
Version 1, which contained 16 top level terms, 2,732 preferred terms and 4,230 non-preferred terms, was launched in April 2005. Version 2 was launched in April 2006.
|Q. Is it still ok to use the GCL and LGCL?|
The GCL (Government Category List) and LGCL (Local Government Category List) are no longer actively maintained. They have both been phased out as IPSV has taken over. You should move to IPSV as soon as possible for existing systems and for all new systems.
|Q. Do I need to use IPSV?|
Yes, if you are in the public sector, with responsibility for managing electronic resources, then IPSV is for you.
All public sector resources published on external networks or entered into internal systems for sharing with other organisations must carry metadata complying with the e-Government Metadata Standard
(e-GMS). As part of that, every item must have Subject metadata with at least one valid preferred term from IPSV. The term(s) selected should describe the main subject of the item in question.
|Q. Where can I get hold of IPSV?|
The official home of IPSV is in the public access area of the esd-toolkit
website. There you can search it online via an interactive viewer at http://www.esd.org.uk/standards/ipsv/2.00/viewer
, or you can download it in several different formats – XML, HTML, Word, PDF, plain text, comma-delimited or spreadsheet style.
While you are there, it is a good idea to try the discussion forum
. If you don’t already have a password, it is easy to register
|Q. What is the abridged version?|
Less than one-fifth of the size of the full IPSV, the abridged version is easier to manage but is not suitable for local authorities or providers of community information. It comprises 549 preferred terms and the corresponding non-preferred terms, at the higher levels of the IPSV, laid out in the same structure. If your organisation has its own specialised vocabulary, you can use this together with the abridged IPSV.
|Q. What are the internal terms?|
The internal subset of IPSV covers only the ‘internal-facing’ topics e.g. budget or fire safety inspections. The subset contains 756 preferred terms and 1,333 non-preferred terms. These terms are all included in the full version of IPSV.
|Q. How do we switch from GCL to IPSV?|
The first step is to apply IPSV in all the places where you previously had the GCL. Most GCL categories are included in IPSV, usually as preferred terms, and so are unlikely to cause problems.
A few GCL categories have been split in IPSV, e.g. "Types of school and choosing a school" has been split into two separate terms, "Types of school" and "Choosing a school". For these it may be difficult to retrieve items tagged with GCL categories.
For further advice on switching to IPSV, you may find it useful to join in the discussion topics relating to IPSV on the esd-toolkit site (http://www.esd.org.uk/forums/index.php
|Q. How do we switch from LGCL to IPSV?|
To ease migration, and to help meet the requirements of Local e-Government Priority Outcome R3, mappings are available from LGCL terms to the corresponding IPSV terms, in Word format
and in XML
and other formats. Mostly the mappings are one-to-one but in a few cases one LGCL term maps to more than one IPSV term. Where there is more than one, it is a good idea to choose carefully.
|Q. How do I add Subject metadata to my documents?|
You should not have to add metadata to routine items such as emails and the documents on your own hard drive. You need to add it only when the document is published on a network or entered into a shared system such as a records management system. Your system administrator ought to provide tools for adding the metadata, such as a convenient meta-tagging template. The template usually has a box for Subject tags, where you fill in the appropriate IPSV term(s). If your system is more sophisticated than this, your administrator should tell you what to do. A guidance note with more advice on meta-tagging with IPSV is available from http://www.esd.org.uk/documents/IPSVHowtometatag.pdf
|Q. How many IPSV terms should go in my metadata?|
One is enough, for a simple item. Two may be needed if the subject of the item is split between more than one main topic. Three or more may occasionally be needed, especially if the item is a complex resource such as a portal with wide coverage.
|Q. Should I use single terms or whole hierarchies?|
It is not a good idea to include in your metadata the whole hierarchical route that leads down to your chosen heading. For example, it is better to enter just Cancer rather than Health, well-being and care\Health\Illnesses\Cancer.
|Q. Can I use my own keywords?|
You’ll have to follow any corporate guidelines you’ve been given. But apart from those, there is no problem adding more relevant terms to the subject metadata. If they come from another controlled vocabulary, the terms should be tagged to identify the source vocabulary.
|Q. Will IPSV be updated?|
Since version 2 was released in 2006, dates have not yet been fixed for future updates but please post any suggestions for updates on the discussion forum
. If you don’t already have a password, it is easy to register
|Q. Who owns IPSV and how is it managed?|
IPSV is protected by Crown copyright. You may use it and copy it free of charge, but if you pass it to anyone else you must prominently acknowledge the source and you must not change it or present it in any way that detracts from the integrity of the Vocabulary.
The IPSV Governing Board has members representing the Department for Communities and Local Government, Cabinet Office, Office of Public Sector Information, The National Archives, esd-toolkit, Essex County Council, Directgov, Welsh Assmebly, Scottish Exective, Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland and industry representation from Intellect.
Editorial policy is determined by an Editorial Panel made up of user representatives.
|Q. Which web pages need Subject metadata?|
Adding metadata to web pages helps your users to find information and content managers to maintain your website. All pages must be tagged with at least the metadata mandated in e-Government Metadata Standard version 3.1: e-GMS for Websites.
For navigation pages, such as a site map or A to Z of resources, a Subject value from the Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary that relates to the function of your organisation or website as a whole would be useful.
|Q. I'd like to add to IPSV. How do I get involved?|
Your first port of call should be the discussion forum
, where you can post your suggestions and see everyone else’s. If you don’t already have a password, it is easy to register
If you are really keen, please consider joining the Editorial Panel. Just mention your interest on the forum and the IPSV Editor will contact you.