Goals: The credo of this working group is that: Scientists seeking data should be able to efficiently and reliably locate LTER datasets through searching or browsing. In 2011, the LTER Controlled Vocabulary Working Group made substantial progress towards this goal (report attached). That progress included creating a thesaurus of over 600 keywords (http://vocab.lternet.edu) and using that thesaurus to automatically enhance searches on the LTER Data Portal by automatically searching for synonyms and narrower terms. Data browsing was also enhanced by implementing a more complete browse interface. The group also produced a series of technical resources that can be used by LTER sites and researchers (http://im.lternet.edu/vocab_resources). The LTER Controlled Vocabulary was also fully integrated into EnvThes thesaurus being developed by the European ILTER. PASTA is also incorporating improved search technologies that rely on the thesaurus.
Despite these successes there remains additional work that needs to be done to maintain and further enhance the LTER Controlled Vocabulary so that LTER and other researchers searching for data will be able to locate them for use in synthesis projects.