Indexing and Indexing Languages -Subject Headings Lists, Thesaurus

1) Define indexing. Enumerate its need.
Indexing is the process of representing the subject of the documents to facilitate access and retrieval later. Indexing is needed because:

  • Different authors in documents may express same concepts in different ways.
  • Users may be interested in these concepts. They need to be informed that there exist documents discussing these concepts.
  • Users might be interested to access documents on related concepts also, thus, related concepts need to be brought together depicting their relationships.

2) Distinguish between assigned and derived indexing.
Derived indexing refers to the method of indexing wherein only the terms used by the authors are used for indexing the documents. In assigned indexing, the terms used for indexing are based on the analysis of concepts behind the terms. The terms are analysed for relations existing between them.

3) Discuss the issues of vocabulary control
Vocabulary control addresse to the following issues:

  • Semantics related to the roots of words and their meanings. These occur as: Synonyms, homonyms, variant spellings, popular versus technical terminology, abbreviations, acroynyms, etc.
  • Syntax is related to representing ideas by joining concepts. These occur as phrases and compound terms. In vocabulary control the variations in representing the same ideas are controlled. The alternative options are connected by references.

4) Enumerate the structural differences between a Thesaurus and a List of Subject Headings.
The structural difference between a LSH and a thesaurus is that a LSH is in one part whereas a thesaurus may also exist in two parts viz., classified and alphabetical. In a thesaurus, uniworded terms are used as these are meant for post-coordinate indexing. Relationships in the terms are depicted
more exhaustively.

5) Assign subject headings to the following subjects using LCSH and SLSH
a) Cataloguing of manuscripts in art libraries
Cataloguing of manuscripts in art libraries - SLSH- Art Libraries; Cataloguing; Manuscripts

b) Homeopathic treatment of skin diseases
Homeopathic treatment of skin diseases-SLSH - Homeopathy; Skin-Diseases-Treatment
LCSH- Skin- Diseases - Homeopathic Treatment

c) Grammar of Sanskrit language
Grammar of Sanskrit language - SLSH and LCSH
Sanskrit language - Grammar

Assigned indexing : The system of indexing in which terms are assigned by the indexer on the basis of the conceptual relations existing between them.
Derived indexing : The system of indexing in which terms are derived from the terms used in the text.
Thesaurofacet : Thesaurus which has a classified and alphabetical part.
Indexing language : A language used to describe and search subjects in an index.
Vocabulary control : The technique of using controlled language to describe terms in an information storage and retrieval system.

Source: IGNOU Study Material