Should we control vocabulary? <ul><li>John N. Mitchell </li></ul><ul><li>NELINET Annual Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Worce...
Definition <ul><li>Selected words or terms that are “approved” or “authorized” for usage within a list </li></ul><ul><li>U...
Examples of controlled vocabularies <ul><li>Subject heading schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Subject headings </li></ul><ul><li>T...
History of controlled vocabularies <ul><li>Reflected arrangement of manual card catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Subject heading...
Alternatives <ul><li>Natural language </li></ul><ul><li>Free text language </li></ul>
Advantages <ul><li>Ease of searching </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency of searching </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity </li></ul><ul...
Disadvantages <ul><li>Restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Effort in maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer retrieved results </li>...
Controlled vocabularies <ul><li>User warrant </li></ul><ul><li>Literary warrant </li></ul><ul><li>Structural warrant </li>...
Summary <ul><li>Do controlled vocabularies provide better access? </li></ul><ul><li>Are results retrieved through a contro...
Future <ul><li>Continued use of pre-coordinated  LCSH  strings recommended by the Library of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Wo...
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Should we control vocabulary?

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Should we control vocabulary?

  1. 1. Should we control vocabulary? <ul><li>John N. Mitchell </li></ul><ul><li>NELINET Annual Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Worcester, Massachusetts </li></ul><ul><li>November 16, 2007 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>Selected words or terms that are “approved” or “authorized” for usage within a list </li></ul><ul><li>Used to reflect subject content </li></ul><ul><li>Applied in a variety of controlled vocabularies </li></ul>
  3. 3. Examples of controlled vocabularies <ul><li>Subject heading schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Subject headings </li></ul><ul><li>Thesauri </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomies (hierarchical sets/subsets) </li></ul><ul><li>Folksonomies </li></ul>
  4. 4. History of controlled vocabularies <ul><li>Reflected arrangement of manual card catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Subject heading lists vs. thesauri </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical / Syndetic structure </li></ul>
  5. 5. Alternatives <ul><li>Natural language </li></ul><ul><li>Free text language </li></ul>
  6. 6. Advantages <ul><li>Ease of searching </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency of searching </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity </li></ul><ul><li>Uniqueness </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction of ambiguity </li></ul>
  7. 7. Disadvantages <ul><li>Restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Effort in maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer retrieved results </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Obsolescence </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistencies </li></ul>
  8. 8. Controlled vocabularies <ul><li>User warrant </li></ul><ul><li>Literary warrant </li></ul><ul><li>Structural warrant </li></ul>
  9. 9. Summary <ul><li>Do controlled vocabularies provide better access? </li></ul><ul><li>Are results retrieved through a controlled vocabulary satisfying users? </li></ul><ul><li>Does a vocabulary dictate collection development policy? </li></ul><ul><li>Which controlled vocabulary should be used? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Future <ul><li>Continued use of pre-coordinated LCSH strings recommended by the Library of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control – final report: November 2007 </li></ul>

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