Other Thesauri & Resources

The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus covers core concepts in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, heliophysics, and some ancillary fields. Controlled vocabularies like the UAT facilitate robust organization and discovery of information resources and ensure compliance with FAIR Data Principles, in particular principles A1.1 and I2. As a curated open-access database of standardized terms, the UAT is published in interoperable formats that enable easy integration with other vocabularies and uphold best practices for linked data.

While coverage of core astronomy subjects within the UAT is comprehensive, interdisciplinary areas are more limited in scope to avoid duplication with overlapping vocabularies. If terms needed to describe your research products and publications are not included within the UAT, they are potentially covered by subject classification schemas in other areas.

Extensive thesauri exist for other subject areas and may complement the UAT. Vocabularies that may be relevant to interdisciplinary resources are listed below. Contact us if you are aware of additional thesauri that should be listed on this page, or to discuss adding sets of terms to the UAT that are not sufficiently represented elsewhere.

List of related thesauri:


Physics Subject Heading (PhySH): Physics classification scheme developed by APS to organize journal, meeting, and other content by topic. While currently under development, the PhySH Thesaurus already provides an extensive vocabulary and covers topics in General Physics, Fluid Dynamics, Gravitational & Astrophysics, and Atomic, Molecular, & Optical terms.

Earth Sciences & Geophysics

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Thesaurus: Covers geophysical and many planetary terms. Concepts specific to the journals JGR: Planets, JGR: Space Physics, and JGR: Atmospheres, which are all AGU publications, are typically covered in this thesaurus.

EarthData Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Keywords: Hierarchical set of controlled Earth Science vocabularies that help ensure NASA Earth science data, services, and variables are described in a consistent and comprehensive manner.

GeoRef Thesaurus (American Geosciences Institute): Geosciences concepts organized hierarchically and alphabetically.

Space Research

NASA Thesaurus: authorized NASA subject terms used to index and retrieve materials in the STI Repository. Scope includes not only aerospace engineering, but supporting areas of engineering and physics, natural space sciences (astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary science), Earth sciences, and the biological sciences. Over 18,400 subject terms.

Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED): AHED is a long-term, open-access repository for astrobiology data. Hierarchical keywords enable browsing by topic.

Computation & Mathematics

Mathematics Subject Classification: Database of mathematics terms developed by the editors of Mathematical Reviews and zbMATH.

ACM Computing Classification System: Vocabulary of terms representing the computing field.


IEEE Thesaurus: About 10,900 terms covering engineering, technical and scientific terms relevant to IEEE publications and standards.


Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors: Over 10,000 terms to describe research and practice in education. Context – astronomy education.

Additional resources:

Vocabularies in the VO Version 2.0: Subject terms in VOResource are now taken from the UAT.