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Im setting up a taxonomy in sharepoint and am after some advice. Ive come across the problem "Term can not be shared multiple times in the same term set" when trying to reuse a term from a global term set. My set up is as follows

Materials 
--- Concrete
--- Timber

Civils
-- Port Design
----- Concrete
-- Bridges
----- Concrete

I thought i could reuse the concrete term in both of the civils sub groups but i get the error stated above. How can i get round this? Any help is appreciated

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This is how it is supposed to be with managed metadata.

With managed metadata, you want to break up the terms, and then they can only occur (be reused) once.

Whenever you are faced with this problem, you should consider splitting the "materials" and "civils" in separate sets, so that you can tag your items with the combination of the two-

Contrast with a directory tree in a file system, where "terms" (folders, e.g. year, classes, materials or other metadata) can be identical and occur many times in the tree (like your example which would not only be possible, but also make sense in such an organisation). But with metadata this would not make sense to have identical terms places multiple places in a stricter hierarchy ("concrete" belongs to the group of "materials" only, it can not simultaneously belong in other groups in a taxonomic hierarchy)

One possible solution, but I do not think it is a good one in your case is to create non-identical terms for the same property, e.g.

Civils
-- Port Design
----- Concrete Port Design
-- Bridges
----- Concrete Bridges

but it would defeat the purpose of being able to filter out all items with the same material ("concrete")

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  • i 100% agree with what you are saying. Sadly this has come about due to my companies lack of effort / understanding when trying top create a taxonomy. They want to cut corners not matter what i have told them – Richard Banks Oct 15 '13 at 8:40
  • You can try to create multiple terms for "concrete X" as suggested, then, (later), you can add a separate column/set, - materials - where you consolidate every item with "concrete". That could serve as a demonstration of the concept/benefits of this kind of organisation – sptek Oct 15 '13 at 9:07
  • thanks for that. Do you know if you reuse a term in another term set, will the reused term point back to the original. – Richard Banks Oct 15 '13 at 10:35
  • Yes, for each term there will be a list of which sets it is used in. – sptek Oct 15 '13 at 12:39
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Putting together a taxonomy and managed data plumbing needs some planning & effort. There are a few very practical blog posts that can be helpful -

Wictor Wilen's Create SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata with Excel 2010

Fabian Williams' Understanding Managed Metadata in SharePoint 2010: its Impact on Taxonomy, Navigation and Search (2-part series)

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