SJSU Information School Lends Expertise to Silicon Valley Startup on Innovative Taxonomy Project


The School of Library and Information Science at San José State University (SJSU) is partnering with RedLink, a Silicon Valley startup, to develop a new taxonomy for academic publishers.   

Under the guidance of Dr. Virginia Tucker, a faculty member at the SJSU information school, a team will create a hierarchical taxonomy of academic disciplines. The new classification system will be incorporated into the RedLink project that provides business intelligence to the academic publishing industry.

Recognizing the need for expertise in taxonomy, RedLink contacted the SJSU information school about the possibility of a partnership. “San José State University has one of the most prestigious library and information science programs, and we wanted the best experts in the field,” said Deepika Bajaj, VP of publisher relations at RedLink. “We wanted to partner with a credible academic institution that also understands the rapid pace of innovation in Silicon Valley. I believe such a partnership between academia and entrepreneurs sets the foundation of innovation. Ultimately, the vision is to create value in the academic publishing ecosystem to compete in these changing times.”

Two graduate students from the SJSU information school, Ellie Fullman and Vaughn Egge, began working as taxonomy analysts for RedLink in April, applying their knowledge and skills learned in the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. Both researchers have a considerable background in taxonomy, gaining expertise in information organization through their coursework, including an MLIS elective on vocabulary design.

According to Tucker, who serves as team lead and consultant, the partnership is a great opportunity for the graduate students to gain real-world experience. “Working for a Silicon Valley startup is fantastic professional experience. And they get to put their MLIS skills to work in creating a taxonomy that will contribute to how academic publishers do business.”

The task of constructing taxonomy is to provide a consistent framework for analysis of academic journals as they exist today, with an eye to the future. However, no taxonomy, no matter how well thought out, should ever be considered final. As subject areas evolve, either in depth or in breadth, the taxonomic work must keep pace.

To begin with, both teams are committed to constructing a hierarchical classification system for academic disciplines that will evolve into RedLink Taxonomy, which will be used by academic publishers using RedLink services.

About RedLink

RedLink’s main goal is to provide business intelligence to academic publishers. It provides a simple, intuitive and user friendly interface to visualize data in a way that enables marketing and sales people to stay on top of their customers’ needs, proactively deal with risks, easily spot opportunities, and grow their business. RedLink is designed to build efficiency and customer satisfaction into the sales cycle with a few clicks, and its technology is easily adapted to any hosting platform. It is constantly evolving to deliver flexibility to publishers to do what is best for their customers and content. For more information about RedLink, please visit: