Abstract and i ndexing


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Abstract and i ndexing

  1. 1. Mohit Kumar Senior Research Fellow Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute Pusa New Delhi
  2. 2.  Due to the increase in available literature, an average scholar is usually unable to keep himself up-to-date with or sometimes even keep track of documents or information in his Field. It is in this abstracting services can play a very important role in keeping him well informed. They help in bringing information to the notice who need it rather quickly, and are extremely useful tool.
  3. 3.    According to UNESCO “An abstract is a summary of an article accompanied by adequate bibliographical information to enable the article to be traced”. According to Allen Kent- “An abstract is a summary of a publication or an article accompanied by an adequate bibliographical description to enable the publication or article to be traced.” An abstract ,simply defines, is a condensation that presents succinctly, the objectives, scope and finding of document. This information usually conveyed together with an indexing system, which further helps to identify document content. An abstract is a rule, is aimed at a specific group of users who either may have easy access to the original document.
  4. 4. As a tool for researcher, or the scientist, or the technologist, the social scientist, the abstracting service has the fallowing uses to offer.  It alerts the users to newly published work scattered in many journals and other sources that he is likely to miss without help.  It helps in keeping up-to-date with new knowledge.  It helps the researcher to save his time by grasping at the steadily rising tide of the publications.  An informative abstract, sometimes can serve as a substitute to the original document.
  5. 5.  An abstracting services might be called as the encyclopedic function.  It aids in the writing of reviews.  It enables one to make a retrospective search for literature in a field.  It helps in improving indexing.
  6. 6. Technically, there are three types of abstracts as mentioned bellow:  i). indicative Abstract: “indicative abstract merely tell briefly what the document is about”.  It is a brief abstract or short or short summary written with the intention enabling the reader to decide whether he should refer to the original publishing or article. It indicates what it is about, which its title can seldom do adequately.  ii). Informative Abstract: “informative abstract are longer and present the essential data and conclusions so that the reader has no need to refer to the original documents”.  iii). Critical abstract: A critical abstract makes a value judgment or additional comment on the paper. 
  7. 7. Abstractive services are extension of indexes, as they perform the same function in locating and recording the contents of periodicals, books, and other documents. Abstracting services offer from indexes:  by definition , they include a summary a summary de of the material indexed.  abstracting services tend to t be limited to relatively narrow subject areas.  The arrangement of abstract rarely follow the single author, subject and sometimes title alphabetical arrangement of indexes.  abstract provides a clue to the relevance of the material and is valuable in determining the necessity of reading the original document. An index only gives a key to where the material is located .
  8. 8. Introduction:  Indexes are indispensible tools for providing easy and quick access to information contained in a document or a collection of documents.  The term „Index‟ has been derived from the Latin word „indicare‟ which means to „indicate‟ or „to point out‟. Index is therefore, basically concerned with indicating an object or idea to one who does not know where that object or idea to one who does not know where that object or idea is located.
  9. 9.    Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, defines an index as “an indicator, more often an alphabetic list that includes subjects and names of people and places that are considered to be a special significance in a graphic record”. The British Standard BS3700:1954 defines an index as “a systematic guide to the location of words, concepts or other items in books, periodicals, or other publications”. Chakrobartty and Chakrobarti define an index as, “a systemic guide to be the items of a collection or the concepts derived from it. It comprises entries arranged in a known or searchable order, with references to show where each items indexed is located”.
  10. 10.   A record specifying an existant along with its address is an “entry”. In the context of subject indexing, an entry always pertains to a source of information . Any set of methodically arranged entries is an “index”. The process of preparing an index is “ indexing” “It is a process of analyzing the information content of records of knowledge and expressing the informational content into a indexing language.”
  11. 11.    Basic purpose of indexing is to help maximum of recall or retrieval or relevant information with minimum of noise. In the absence of any need for recall there would be any need for indexing. Indexing thus serve as an operating tool. No store can be efficiently operated without an index of some kind or other. The indexing tool becomes necessary any store of information or document containing information is required to be organized for repetitive use by the user.
  12. 12. Book Indexes, 2. Indexes to collections, 3. Periodical indexes, and 4. Newspaper indexes. We are very well aware with the book index, so we describe mention remains. 2. Indexes to collections: these index collections of poems, fiction, plays, songs, essays, stories, biographies etc. 3. Periodical indexes: Broadly speaking, these are of three types, namely: 1.
  13. 13. 3.1 General Indexes: it consists; 3.11 Citation Indexes 3.12 Subject Indexes 3.13 Indexing to individual Periodicals 3.2 Subject Indexes, and 3.3 Indexes to single periodicals
  14. 14.         Indexes guides users to documents and other things; Author indexes guides user to names of people and lead searches to document related by subject because the author tends to specialize. Index provide guide to material that the user may wish to recall or that he may not know exists, that is, indexes are used for question of recall or discovery. Without indexes, the searcher would waste time by turning through documents page by page… indexes save the time and make practical searches that would otherwise be given up. indexes provide highly compact, useful information about a person or a field. The cross references in subject indexes guide uses to accepted facts of a field. Nomenclature, terminology and spellings are often helpfully provided by indexes and their introduction. The origination of a field of knowledge can be obtained through a classified index or from the cross-references in an alphabetic subject index.
  15. 15. The subject approach may be catered for by such indexes as subject indexes, keyword index or by a minute index for special approach. Document Index:  It is catered for by such index as Patent Index, Numerical Patent Index, Report Index, Conference index, Translation Index, Book Index, Bibliographic Index, etc. or by Contract Number Index, Accession Number Index, Registry Number Index. Bibliographic Index  An index to the literature on a particular subject, mostly consisting of micro-documents is called a subject index or bibliographic index. 
  16. 16.    It is difficult to know what new has been published even in a small area of specialization as literature is being published at a very fast alarming rate. These services have been found to be very helpful in deciding which articles is to access and used and which are not. Reference: Kumar (K). Reference Service. 4th Rev. ed. 1991