Should we control vocabulary?
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Should we control vocabulary?

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Should we control vocabulary? Should we control vocabulary? Presentation Transcript

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