A Digital Thesaurus of Ethnic Groups in the Mekong River Basin
2. Research Objectives
- Analysis, synthesis, and knowledge organization: These processes were performed by means of document analysis and knowledge organization as follows:
- Data resources for the analysis: The information related to the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin was compiled from various sources, namely: (1) the domestic and international databases of information resources, in which a lot of collections exist in the fields of humanities and socio-cultural aspects of the Mekong River Basin, thus the research emphasized the studies conducted in Thai and English; (2) the information corpus or international databases, in which cultural vocabularies have been collected: Yale University [https://hraf.yale.edu/ (accessed on: 14 July 2021)], The Getty Research Institute [https://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/ (accessed on: 16 April 2021)], and UNESCO [http://vocabularies.unesco.org/browser/thesaurus/en/ (accessed on: 2 February 2021)]; (3) the Internet information resources in the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin, including the database of the ethnic groups in Thailand, [https://www.sac.or.th/databases/ethnic-groups/ethnicGroups/ (accessed on: 11 March 2021)]; and (4) the classification of the ethnic groups in Thailand from the research work by Chaikhambung and Tuamsuk  as shown in Table 1.
- Compilation of data: The researcher stipulated the keywords for retrieval of information, which included; ethnic group, ethnicity, and the Mekong River Basin, and retrieved information from the different databases stated in 1.1. from the retrieval channel of each data source, which were the topics, keywords, subject headings, abstracts, or descriptions. The data was then downloaded and the documents were filed systematically on a cloud drive.
- Extraction and screening of data: The researcher extracted the keywords or vocabulary appearing in the collected data in the cloud drive by considering the vocabulary with specific meaning related to the ethnic groups. Next, the vocabulary was screened and selected by counting the frequency of the same word that appeared, removing repetitive words, synonyms, and ambiguous words, and obtained 4069 words related to the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin.
- Word classification: The researcher classified the vocabulary according to the fundamental criteria for categorization and justification for knowledge organization based on domain-specific criteria [36,37]; starting from high-frequency down to low-frequency words, placing words with the same meaning together, words with close meanings next to one another, separating words with different meanings, checking the correctness and avoiding ambiguity of meanings based on an online dictionary in English (WordWeb, https://www.wordwebonline.com/ (accessed on: 11 March 2021)), and finally recording the word groups that had been arranged using the TemaTres 3.1 Program . The outcome is the structure of vocabularies convenient for use and development of further thesauruses. The completed process provides arrangements of 12 vocabulary groups of the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin: language groups, social organization, costume, art works and entertainment, general name, demography and residential, history, customs and rituals, social dynamics, economic system, way of life, and religion and beliefs (Figure 1). In each group, there are subgroups of different levels on the same topic, or close topics, as the example in the language groups shown in Figure 2.
- Construction of the thesaurus: The approaches in thesaurus construction were investigated from many concepts [39,40,41,42] and the following steps were followed:
- The classified vocabularies were checked for correctness, relationships among the words in the same group, repetition, and the standard use of Thai and English words according to the accepted references, i.e., the terminology given by the Royal Institute (https://coined-word.orst.go.th/ (accessed on: 10 March 2021)), the Thesaurus of ERIC descriptors (https://eric.ed.gov/ (accessed on: 16 April 2021)), the UNESCO thesaurus (http://vocabularies.unesco.org/browser/thesaurus/en/ (accessed on: 2 February 2021)), and the Online Thai Subject Headings .
- The relationships of words in each group and between groups were prioritized according to the relationship structure of the thesaurus, which comprised broader term (BT), narrow term (NT), and related term (RT).
- All of the vocabularies were recorded according to the structure of the thesaurus stipulated in 2.2 using the TemaTres 3.1 Program (https://www.vocabularyserver.com/ (accessed on: 2 February 2021)) .
- Cross referencing was done, i.e., USE and UF (use for), to link the words with the same meaning or the words that can be used interchangeably. Scope notes were next added to the words having broader term to make the thesaurus complete.
- The thesaurus word list was verified and evaluated by specialists including two information scientists who have expertise in knowledge organization and thesaurus construction and three academics in anthropology and sociology who have expertise in the ethnic groups of the Mekong River Basin. The snowball technique was used in selecting the experts, beginning from the first and the second information science experts, followed by the third, fourth, and fifth ethnic group experts. The vocabularies were adjusted following the experts’ opinions and suggestions before arriving at the thesaurus structure for the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin.
- Development of a digital thesaurus platform for the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin: The platform was developed as a system for digital vocabulary management that allows semantic search and open access, which are useful in information usage and broad information exchange related to ethnic groups at the international level. The development of the digital thesaurus platform was conducted following the constructed architecture of the platform for the thesaurus (Figure 3) using the Tematres 3.1 Program that worked on a cloud service host.
- Evaluation of the digital thesaurus platform for the ethnic groups in the Mekong River Basin: Evaluation of the digital thesaurus for the ethnic groups completed the four objectives of thesaurus development, namely; translation, consistency, indication of relationship, and retrieval . The evaluation was performed following the steps below:
- Query selection of the term in order to show the system efficiency in terms of the stored corpuses was done by two experts in ethnic studies. In this research, 15 sets of vocabularies were sampled for retrieval from 160 corpuses as shown in Table 2 in order to find the “precision” and “recall” values in the next step.
4. Results of Research
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- Barth, F. Introduction: Ethnic groups and boundaries. In The Social Organization of Culture Difference; George Allen & Unwin: London, UK, 1969; pp. 9–38. [Google Scholar]
- Hale, H.E. Explaining ethnicity. Comp. Polit. Stud. 2004, 37, 458–485. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Seol, B.S. A critical review of approaches to ethnicity. Int. Area Rev. 2008, 11, 333–364. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ethnic Group. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2017. Available online: https://www.britannica.com/topic/ethnic-group (accessed on 6 June 2021).
- Bitzer, J.; Gören, E. Measuring Capital Services by Energy Use: An Empirical Comparative Study, Oldenburg Discussion Papers in Economics, No. V-351-13, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, Oldenburg. 2013. Available online: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/105039/1/V-351-13.pdf (accessed on 11 March 2021).
- Okpanocha, O.S.; Nwankwo, I.U. Ethnicity, ethnic identity and the crisis of national development in Nigeria. Int. J. Health Soc. Inq. 2019, 5, 61–81. [Google Scholar]
- Freeberg, A.L.; Stein, C.H. Felt obligation towards parents in Mexican-American and Anglo-American young adults. J. Soc. Pers. Relatsh. 1996, 13, 457–471. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rhee, E.; Uleman, J.S.; Lee, H.K. Variations in collectivism and individualism by ingroup and culture: Confirmatory factor analyses. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 1996, 71, 1037–1054. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Gaines, S.O., Jr.; Marelich, W.D.; Bledsoe, K.L.; Steers, W.N.; Henderson, M.C.; Granrose, C.S.; Barajas, L.; Hicks, D.; Lyde, M.; Takahashi, Y.; et al. Links between race/ethnicity and cultural values as mediated by racial/ethnic identity and moderated by gender. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 1997, 72, 1460–1476. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ting-Toomey, S.; Yee-Jung, K.K.; Shapiro, R.B.; Garcia, W.; Wright, T.J.; Oetzel, J.G. Ethnic/cultural identity salience and conflict styles in four US ethnic groups. Int. J. Intercult. Relat. 2000, 24, 47–81. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Coon, H.M.; Kemmelmeier, M. Cultural orientations in the United States: (re)examining differences among ethnic groups. J. Cross Cult. Psychol. 2001, 32, 348–364. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Hamer, K.; McFarland, S.; Czarnecka, B.; Golińska, A.; Cadena, L.M.; Łużniak-Piecha, M.; Jułkowski, T. What is an “ethnic group” in ordinary people’s eyes? different ways of understanding it among American, British, Mexican, and Polish respondents. Cross Cult. Res. 2020, 54, 28–72. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Randi, H. Archaeological classification and ethnic groups: A case study from Sudanese Nubia. Nor. Archaeol. Rev. 1997, 10, 1–17. [Google Scholar]
- Pablo, M.; Alex, S.; Paul, L. Uncertainty in the analysis of ethnicity classifications: Issues of extent and aggregation of ethnic groups. J. Ethn. Migr. Stud. 2009, 35, 1437–1460. [Google Scholar]
- Gilbert, P.A.; Khokhar, S. Changing dietary habits of ethnic groups in Europe and implications for health. Nutr. Rev. 2008, 66, 203–215. [Google Scholar] [PubMed]
- Platt, L.; Warwick, R. At Greater Risk: Why COVID-19 Is Disproportionately Impacting Britain’s Ethnic Minorities. 2020. Available online: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/104918/1/politicsandpolicy_covid19_ethnic_minorities.pdf (accessed on 2 June 2021).
- Poulsen, M.F.; Johnston, R.J.; Forrest, J. Is Sydney a divided city ethnically? Aust. Geogr. Stud. 2004, 42, 356–377. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Aud, S. Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups; National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences: Washington, DC, USA, 2010.
- Huang, T.; Shu, Y.; Cai, Y.D. Genetic differences among ethnic groups. BMC Genom. 2015, 16, 1093. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Ratanakul, S.; Premsrirat, S.; Dawratanahong, L.; Wannadee, W. Research Report on Comprehensive Knowledge of the Ethnic Minorities in Thailand; Institute of Language and Cultural Research for Rural Development, Mahidol University: Bangkok, Thailand, 2000. [Google Scholar]
- LeBar, F.M.; Hickey, G.C.; Musgrave, J.K. Ethnic Groups of Mainland Southeast. Asia; Human Relations Area Files Press: New Haven, CT, USA, 1964. [Google Scholar]
- Chaikhambung, J.; Tuamsuk, K. Development of semantic ontology of the knowledge on ethnic groups in Thailand. TLA Res. J. 2017, 10, 1–15. [Google Scholar]
- Chaikhambung, J.; Tuamsuk, K. Knowledge classification on ethnic groups in Thailand. Cat. Classif. Q. 2017, 55, 89–104. [Google Scholar]
- Chansanam, W.; Tuamsuk, K.; Chaikhambung, J. Linked open data framework for ethnic groups in Thailand learning. Int. J. Emerg. Technol. Learn. 2020, 15, 140–156. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Pholsena, V. Nation/representation: Ethnic classification and mapping nationhood in contemporary Laos. Asian Ethn. 2002, 3, 175–197. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Mackerras, C. What is China? Who is Chinese? Han-minority relations, legitimacy, and the state. In State and Society in 21st-Century China: Crisis, Contention, and Legitimation; Gries, P.H., Rosen, S., Eds.; Routledge Curzon: New York, NY, USA, 2004; pp. 216–234. [Google Scholar]
- Schütze, H.; Pedersen, J.O. A cooccurrence-based thesaurus and two applications to information retrieval. Inf. Process. Manag. 1997, 33, 307–318. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sokal, R.R.; Sneath, P.H.A. Principles of Numerical Taxonomy; W.H. Freeman & Co.: New York, NY, USA, 1963. [Google Scholar]
- Sowa, J.F. Knowledge Representation: Logical, Philosophical, and Computational Foundations; Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.: Pacific Grove, CA, USA, 2000. [Google Scholar]
- Bates, M.J. After the Dot-Bomb: Getting Web Information Retrieval Right this Time. First Monday. 2002. Available online: https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/971/892 (accessed on 10 February 2021).
- Redmond-Neal, A.; Hlava, M.M.K. (Eds.) ASIST Thesaurus of Information Science, Technology, and Librarianship, 3rd ed.; Information Today: New Jersy, NJ, USA, 2005. [Google Scholar]
- Prajayayothin, N. Thesaurus in Information Storage and Retrieval Context; Apichart Printing: Maha Sarakham, Thailand, 2013. [Google Scholar]
- Nakayama, K.; Hara, T.; Nishio, S. A thesaurus construction method from large scale web dictionaries. In Proceedings of the 21st IEEE International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, 21–23 May 2007; pp. 932–939. [Google Scholar]
- Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Operations Center. People and Cultures. 2012. Available online: http://www.gms-eoc.org/uploads/resources/149/attachment/3.Peoples-of-the-Greater-Mekong-Subregion.pdf (accessed on 16 April 2021).
- Pegasys Consulting. Mekong River in the Economy; WWF Greater Mekong Programme: Hochiminh City, Vietnam, 2016. [Google Scholar]
- Moine, M.P.; Valcke, S.; Lawrence, B.N.; Pascoe, C.; Ford, R.W.; Alias, A.; Balaji, V.; Bentley, P.; Devine, G.; Callaghan, S.A.; et al. Development and exploitation of a controlled vocabulary in support of climate modelling. Geosci. Model. Dev. 2014, 7, 479–493. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Tuamsuk, K.; Chansanam, W.; Chaikhambung, J.; Kaewboonma, N. Digital Humanities Research; Klangnanawittaya Printing: Khon Kaen, Thailand, 2018. [Google Scholar]
- Gonzales-Aguilar, A.; Ramírez-Posada, M.; Ferreyra, D. TemaTres: Software para gestionar tesauros. Prof. De La Inf. 2012, 21, 319–325. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- American National Standard Institute. Guidelines for Thesaurus Structure, Construction and Use; ANSI: New York, NY, USA, 1974. [Google Scholar]
- Aitchison, J.; Gilchrist, A.; Bawden, D. Thesaurus Construction and Use: A Practical Manual, 4th ed.; Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers: Chicago, IL, USA, 2000. [Google Scholar]
- Broughton, V. Essential Thesaurus Construction; Facet Publishing: London, UK, 2006. [Google Scholar]
- Prajayayothin, N. Vocabulary control. In Information Organization and Retrieval; Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University Press: Nonthaburi, Thailand, 2017; pp. 41–57. [Google Scholar]
- Online Thai Subject Heading; Task force for Information Resources Organization, Thai Academic Libraries Consortium, 2020. Available online: https://webhost2.car.chula.ac.th/thaiccweb/main.php (accessed on 2 June 2021).
- Fayen, E.G. Guidelines for the construction, format, and management of monolingual controlled vocabularies: A revision of ANSI/NISO Z39.19 for the 21st century. Inf. Wiss. Und Prax. 2007, 58, 445. [Google Scholar]
- Singhal, A. Modern information retrieval: A brief overview. IEEE Data Eng. Bull. 2001, 24, 35–43. [Google Scholar]
- Saini, B.; Singh, V.; Kumar, S. Information retrieval models and searching methodologies: Survey. Inf. Retr. 2014, 1, 20. [Google Scholar]
- Kelbessa, I.W. The effects of having lists of synonyms on the performance of Afaan Oromo text retrieval system. arXiv 2021, arXiv:2103.02900. [Google Scholar]
|Domestic and International Databases||Information Corpus or International Databases||Internet Information Resources||Classification of the Ethnic Groups|
|Khon Kaen University Library||Yale University||Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (Public Organisation)||Knowledge Classification on Ethnic Groups in Thailand|
|Chiang Mai University Library||The Getty Research Institute|
|Mahasarakham University Library||UNESCO Thesaurus|
|Mahidol University Library|
|Naresuan University Library|
|No of Query||Queries||Search Results|
|1||Phlong Karen, Phlong, Phlong, Su, Karen||30||130|
|2||Khun, Tai Khun, Tai Khoen||8||152|
|4||Khamu, Kammu, Ta Moi||4||156|
|5||Tai, Kon Tai, Tai Long, Tai Luang, Tai Yai, Tai Luang||18||142|
|6||Nyahkur, Nyah Kur, Lawa, Chao Bon||6||154|
|7||Phu Tai, Phu Tai||9||151|
|8||Phu Yoi, Yoi, Tai Yoi, Yoi||8||152|
|9||Meo, Hmong, Miao||8||152|
|10||Nyo, Yor, Yo, Yo||3||157|
|11||Mon, Raman, Khanon, Mon people||8||152|
|12||Lue, Tai Lue, Tai, Thai Lue||11||149|
|13||Lua, Lavua, Lavua, Lawa, Htin, Mal, Plai||7||153|
|14||Lao Song, Phu Lao, Tai Dam, Tai Song Dam, Thai Song Dam||15||145|
|15||Viet, Yuan, Kaew||10||150|
|No of Query||Total Relevant in the collections||Total Retrieved||Relevant Retrieved||Precision (%)||Recall (%)|
|Convert to integer||0.8406||0.8312|
|Research Works||Scope||Resources||Study Approach|
|Chaikhambung & Tuamsuk (2017a, 2017b)||Ethnic groups in Thailand||Reference resources, books, universities, collections||Content analysis, classification, ontology development.|
|Chansanam et al. (2020)||Ethnic groups in Thailand||Database of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre||LOD|
|This research||Ethnic groups in the MRB||Chaikhambung & Tuamsuk (2017a, 2017b); Chansanam et al. (2020); and Databases of research resources in universities’ libraries.||KO, Digital thesaurus, LOD, Web service|
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Share and Cite
Chansanam, W.; Kwiecien, K.; Buranarach, M.; Tuamsuk, K. A Digital Thesaurus of Ethnic Groups in the Mekong River Basin. Informatics 2021, 8, 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8030050
Chansanam W, Kwiecien K, Buranarach M, Tuamsuk K. A Digital Thesaurus of Ethnic Groups in the Mekong River Basin. Informatics. 2021; 8(3):50. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8030050Chicago/Turabian Style
Chansanam, Wirapong, Kanyarat Kwiecien, Marut Buranarach, and Kulthida Tuamsuk. 2021. "A Digital Thesaurus of Ethnic Groups in the Mekong River Basin" Informatics 8, no. 3: 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics8030050