PathFinder: HeinOnline’s Multi-Level Discipline Taxonomy

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  4. PathFinder: HeinOnline’s Multi-Level Discipline Taxonomy

PathFinder: HeinOnline’s Multi-Level Discipline Taxonomy


Initially started as a small collection of law reviews, the Law Journal Library has grown over the past 20 years into a extensive scholarly journal database. The multidisciplinary content this database now contains has become not just applicable but essential to a variety of different academic and applied fields.

Using a combination of human curation along with natural language processing and machine learning, we’ve extracted thousands of research concepts from each article in the Law Journal Library database. The wide-ranging concepts cover a multitude of disciplines, illustrating the incredible scope of this journal library and leading us to organize them into a multi-level taxonomy that we call PathFinder.

PathFinder consists of Categories, Subjects, and Topics.

Categories are the most broad. These overarching disciplines include Subjects and Topics within them. There are currently 5 broad Categories:

  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Natural and Formal Sciences
  • Applied Sciences
  • Other Industries

Subjects are more refined areas of study that fall within a particular Category and include relevant Topics within them. There are currently 38 identified Subjects, including Biology, Criminal Justice, Education, Finance, Gender and Sexuality, and more. This list will continue to grow as we continually add content to the Law Journal Library and refine our machine learning.

Topics are narrow research concepts that fall within larger Subjects and even larger Categories. Each of our more than 1,500 Topics targets a very specific research idea, ranging from “Victims’ Rights” and “Crime Prevention” (within the Subject of “Criminal Justice”) to “Feminism” and “Gender Identity” (within the Subject of “Gender and Sexuality”).

Guides for Using PathFinder:

  1. Using PathFinder to Search
  2. Using PathFinder to Browse

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