A teacher librarian's learning journey

Controlled vocabularies August 31, 2013

Filed under: ETL505 Bibliographic Standards in Education — Jennifer Baccon @ 11:44 am
  • Standardised vocabularies –  language used to describe particular elements

Subject access

  • Over half OPAC queries are subject ones
  • Subject access tools based on different vocabularies (indexing languages) – from uncontrolled (derived indexing) to controlled (contrived indexing)
  • Subject access often derived from more than one method
  • SCIS Subject Headings ‘scisshl’ (SCIS Subject Headings List)
  •  Schools Online Thesaurus ‘scot’

Controlled vocabularies

  • Standardising (controlling) the indexing language counters differing titling for the same conceptts or “things”
  • Expensive to apply.maintain in the changing environments of both language and resources but counter underutilised resources
  • 3 types: subject headings lists;
  • subject thesauri; subject classification schemes
  • Classification schemes use notation and are to do with arranging rather than indexing
  • Other 2 mainly verbal and for indexing

Notes from Hider…

  • Prescribed sets of values = vocabularies
  • Many vocabularies designed for a particular knowledge domain to describe subject = knowledge organisation systems

Controlled subject vocabularies

  • Each concept to be represented by one term and each term, one concept
  • Coverage an issue – summary level indexing – main topics described as part of the topic as a whole
  • Specificity an issue – can get overly specific
  • Depth can refer to lervel of specificity and degree of exhaustivity in analysis
  • Some specific concepts require multiple terms
  • Can be combined in subject heading or stand alone to be combined at indexing and searching stages
  • Indexer would enter both subject headings as would the searcher (post co-ordination)
  • Post-coordination richer and easier but pre can be more precise
  • Users informational needs of most import in interpreting
  • Controlled vocab. may reduce no. of solutions but does not eliminate alternatives

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