A teacher librarian's learning journey

Keyword searching and school library catalogues/OPACs September 12, 2013

Filed under: ETL505 Bibliographic Standards in Education — Jennifer Baccon @ 12:54 pm
  • the dominant natural language approach employed in school library catalogues/OPACs
  • Boolean operators, search limiters and truncation boost search power
  • The developing sophistication of OPACs has made keyword searching a powerful tool for locating by subject
  • Can enable access not possible solely through a controlled vocabulary approach
  • Automatically identifies and limits the search to materials of the required age and in the required forma.
  • But much of irrelevance may be accessed too
  • Arriving at the correct format and currency of issue with the controlled language approach though relevant results likely
  • Provides access to the author’s terminology which may equal the searcher’s terminology
  • When a new term is used eg. title or the notes area of a catalogue record, that record is immediately retrievable by that term using a keyword search
  • Controlled vocabulary involves time and processes in keeping current
  • The amount of information on the item’s catalogue record which indicates the content of the item is central to the viability of keyword searching
  • SCIS is providing more information in the notes field, such as the addition of summaries or table of contents information, which will provide more extensive records supportive of natural language searching
  • Advanced searching was effective but I had to know already what I was aiming for re, resources

Activity: Comparing  controlled vocabulary and keyword searching eg. cattle

  • Limited ScOT entries (controlled vocab)
  • 61 typically 2 words Cattle ,,,
  • Basic keyword search 1500 results, although I could refine by publication date, place and type of resource if I knew what I was after
  • Can be quite off the mark when it is just a single word in the notes
  • Can pick up subject headings (if you needed them – you’ve found the resource) by examining bibliographic record of items
  • Keyword maybe when you knew quite specifically what you were after???
  • Browsing the bibliographical records however, helped to refine in then looking at the subject headings. Could have entered these in continuing the search
  • Controlled vocabulary helped actually to direct the thinking process of refining the search
  • SCoT entries one word and broad
  • Ferrets subject search 4 results and lots of specific resources but if I wanted just black-footed ferrets, the term was nowhere n the subjects but browsing bibliographical records suggested too Pets
  • Some 100 relevant resources keyword search Ferrets
  • Down to 4 including resources with just a chapter (although subject headings too would include such resources I thought but did not ) when I was very specific to black-footed ferrets which is a plus
  • Why do they separate scisshl and SCoT? The resources were almost identical for ferrets
  • Advanced key-word searching is what I am used to so most successful but I knew what I wanted
  • Information literacy subject search (controlled vocabulary) gave further subject headings that refined thinking about the search aim
  • Some 57 results
  • SCoT results were essentially the sum sum of more specific scisshl terms
  • Browsing bibliographies suggested further refinement of subject heading (a division added) which resulted in even more resources of relevance
  • Keyword search 1000 results! So  browsed bibliographic records of subject headings to find key words in refining thinking

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