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FAST : can it lighten the load, and what is the impact / Jenny Wright (BDS).

CILIP MDG
CILIP MDG

This Lightning Talk will present the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, giving an overview of the scheme, its advantages and potential issues, and its practical implementation. It will demonstrate that FAST is an important development for those interested in Linked Data, and the ways in which it is a useful tool for discovery in any system. Lightning Talk presented at the CILIP Metadata and Discovery Group (MDG) Conference & UKCoR RDA Day (6th - 8th Sept 2023 at IET Austin Court, Birmingham).

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A lightning talk on FAST
Can it lighten the load, and what is the impact?
A presentation by Jenny Wright
Chief Metadata Officer
BDS
CILIP Metadata & Discovery Group Conference 2023
#CILIPMDG2023
Faceted Application of Subject Technology
FAST
Think of the game “Guess Who?”
FICTION
JUVENILE
LONDON
DISCOVERY
PLACE AS SUBJECT
FORM
FORM
FAST
What benefits does it bring?
• simpler to apply
• familiar terms
• most terms have identifiers
• global editing
• linked data
FAST
What impacts does it have?
• simpler to apply
• familiar terms
• most terms have identifiers
• how do I deal with those that don’t
• can my LMS take advantage of these?
FAST

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FAST : can it lighten the load, and what is the impact / Jenny Wright (BDS).

Editor's Notes

  1. In this brief presentation on what FAST is I will address how it can benefit the library catalogue and what impacts it might have. I’ll give links to further information and of course I welcome any queries. In addition, there’s a poster on display which I invite you to view.
  2. FAST is an acronym for Faceted Application of Subject Terminology. It was originally developed by OCLC as a happy medium between totally-uncontrolled keywords at one end of the spectrum and difficult-to-learn and -apply pre-coordinated subject strings at the other end. It has now moved beyond being a project and is a fully supported service. Being faceted is about being able to use multiple filters to specify different aspects and qualities of the type of thing being searched for.
  3. Think of the game “guess who” where we home in on the mystery person by selecting on categories such as eye colour, hair colour, presence of specs, facial hair etc.
  4. Using faceted searching filters search results to find the categories you’re interested in
  5. cataloguers tend to think we’re dumbing down if something is simpler, and the familiar terms include problematic ones lets looks a little bit more closely
  6. 650
  7. 651
  8. 648
  9. 647
  10. 600, 610,630
  11. 655
  12. Here are examples of each field.
  13. Note the period with no identifier; the different approach to Works as subjects (the title is primary, not the author), and the order of presentation of placenames. The latter will collocate better in a browse index I imagine, but the Works as subjects won’t….however, not many discovery layers offer browse indexes I believe, so that may be a moot point.
  14. The missing field is 655, and I’ve kept it back because I want to provide a lot more examples – I think this facet has a lot to offer when it comes to discovery, because of the ways in which it will enable the cataloguer to assign a category of resource. We’re used to thinking of genres with respect to fiction, and that will still be required. The headings might be slightly different, but it’s the same idea. FAST also gives us form headings to apply to non-fiction. There are forms which broadly equate to the LCSH $v form subdivision. If you would, in LCSH, have added a “Biography”, “Congresses”, “Pictorial works” or “Juvenile literature” to your headings, then in FAST would assign the form heading. But there are additional forms such as Travel writing and Cookbooks which could add useful categories to your catalogue.
  15. The missing field is 655, and I’ve kept it back because I want to provide a lot more examples – I think this facet has a lot to offer when it comes to discovery, because of the ways in which it will enable the cataloguer to assign a category of resource. We’re used to thinking of genres with respect to fiction, and that will still be required. The headings might be slightly different, but it’s the same idea. FAST also gives us form headings to apply to non-fiction. There are forms which broadly equate to the LCSH $v form subdivision. If you would, in LCSH, have added a “Biography”, “Congresses”, “Pictorial works” or “Juvenile literature” to your headings, then in FAST would assign the form heading. But there are additional forms such as Travel writing and Cookbooks which could add useful categories to your catalogue.
  16. FAST can lighten the load, and bring some benefits to your metadata. Subject indexing to support discovery is dependent on the subject analysis of the cataloguer, the schema used does not change that. FAST can help us to focus on supporting discovery rather than getting tangled up in the correct precoordination of a string of headings, and is well suited to modern systems and methods of searching
  17. FAST has some useful resources online, and the FAST Policy and Outreach Committee will be seeking new members in January 2024 with nominations to be in by November this year.