Taxonomies - number of sub levels

Could you advise if sub-level taxonomies can be used and comply with the data standard in order that users can further break down the results search. For example, Things to Do >Clubs and Groups > Baby and Toddler groups.

Thanks in advanec.

Thanks for joining and inquiring, Liz!

Open Referral’s protocols are taxonomy agnostic. The specifications provide guidance for including a taxonomy with any given dataset, but do not try to prescribe a specific taxonomy.

We made this decision because categorization is subjective and context-dependent (which is to say, different people in different contexts might have different, valid, and conflicting ways to describe the same services). If, in your context, there is an established taxonomy, you can include it in data that you publish in the format. Or, if not, you can develop your own.

By default, we do point to the Open Eligibility taxonomy. And in the long run, I think it could evolve to support many different use cases and contexts. It does have multiple levels. But we don’t assume it should work for everyone.

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Hello Liz and welcome to the forum.

Yes, hierarchical taxonomies work so long as a term is fully explained without reference to its parent term in the hierarchy, as is the case in your example.

Some standards refer to parent terms as “broader” and child terms as “narrower”. The general rule is to be as specific as possible.

Of course, if you’re intending to share your data feed with others, your taxonomy needs to be published and ideally used by others.

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Hi Liz. This is a topic that is close to my heart as I have the same challenge. I’d be happy to have a video call with you to discuss further if that’s of interest?

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Thanks Kevin, happy to have a chat about this.

Hi Liz

Please email me your availability for a video call to