DEVELOPING A DRAFT IL
THESAURUS
Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival   August 2009
Outline
   Introduction
   IL thesaurus development
     Selection of terms
     Testing of terms

   Thesaurus const...
Introduction to the project
   Develop a draft Information Literacy Thesaurus
     Using the literature and the IL weblo...
IL Thesaurus development
Term Selection
   Initial questions
     How  many terms?
     How long to spend on selection?...
Term selection...
   How many terms & how long to spend?
     Limited     by 3 month timescale:
       Approx 1 month o...
Term selection....
   Relevance of the term?
     How   to decide whether a term should be included
       Popularityin...
IL Thesaurus development
Term Testing
   Initial questions
     How many terms should be tested?
     How do we test th...
Term testing
   How long, how many and what to use?
       Limited by timescale so chosen by:
         Possible ambigui...
Term testing
   How useful are the terms?
     Early stages of development initial terms tested by
      colleagues of a...
Thesaurus construction
   Initial questions
     How   do you construct a thesaurus?
       Having    never done one be...
Thesaurus construction...

   Construction, theory & structure choice
     Gilchristet al (2000) Thesaurus Construction ...
Thesaurus construction...
   Linking terms together
     Top   terms followed by:
       Broader
       Narrow
      ...
Possible uses
   Indexing tool for journals, databases & blogs
     Standardises   terminology
   Search term generator...
Future developments
   Delphi Study
     Informed decisions by IL protagonists & experts
     Ongoing process – needs t...
Questions?
   Any other uses?
   Timescale for development?
   Term selection process?
   Who should be involved?
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Developing a draft Information Literacy thesaurus

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Presentation given at a Centre for Information Literacy Reserach seminar by Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival on 6th August 2009

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Developing a draft Information Literacy thesaurus

  1. 1. DEVELOPING A DRAFT IL THESAURUS Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival August 2009
  2. 2. Outline  Introduction  IL thesaurus development  Selection of terms  Testing of terms  Thesaurus construction  Decisions involved  Possible uses  Future developments
  3. 3. Introduction to the project  Develop a draft Information Literacy Thesaurus  Using the literature and the IL weblog  Gathering views from potential users  Potential applications of thesaurus
  4. 4. IL Thesaurus development Term Selection  Initial questions  How many terms?  How long to spend on selection?  Where to look?  What words to use when searching?  Relevance of term?  How deep to go?
  5. 5. Term selection...  How many terms & how long to spend?  Limited by 3 month timescale:  Approx 1 month on selecting terms  Approx 200 terms  8 top terms  Where to look & what search terms to use?  IL Journals and books plus the IL Weblog  Easier than first thought, but the harder part was yet to come
  6. 6. Term selection....  Relevance of the term?  How to decide whether a term should be included  Popularityin literature  Relevance to other terms  How deep to go?  How many definitions or variations of a term  Partly decided by timescale  Partly decided by perceived usefulness
  7. 7. IL Thesaurus development Term Testing  Initial questions  How many terms should be tested?  How do we test them?  What do we use to test them?  Databases, journals, thesauri?  How long to spend testing?  How useful are they?  Key IL figures to approach?  Constrained by timescale
  8. 8. Term testing  How long, how many and what to use?  Limited by timescale so chosen by:  Possible ambiguities/ more than one definition  Rarity of term – would it generate enough results  Gut feeling! (educated guess)  Preferred tools of developers  LISA  Produced very good list of results for many terms tested  JIL and American JIL  Not easy to search which resulted in disappointing results  IL Weblog  Key area for IL so used to judge term relevance
  9. 9. Term testing  How useful are the terms?  Early stages of development initial terms tested by colleagues of another project  Proved many of the terms were useful and helped in identifying more  Key IL figures to approach  Limited by timescale and contacts  Early stages of development – initial thoughts wanted for future development ideas
  10. 10. Thesaurus construction  Initial questions  How do you construct a thesaurus?  Having never done one before  What theories should be followed?  More theories than envisaged  What structure should we use?  Not over complicated  How to link terms together?  Easily readable and useable
  11. 11. Thesaurus construction...  Construction, theory & structure choice  Gilchristet al (2000) Thesaurus Construction and Use: A Practical Manual  Inductive construction:  Descriptors  Non-descriptors  Use of Top Terms to provide overall construction to group together words and phrases under which more broader terms could be linked
  12. 12. Thesaurus construction...  Linking terms together  Top terms followed by:  Broader  Narrow  Use/Use For (UF)  Related
  13. 13. Possible uses  Indexing tool for journals, databases & blogs  Standardises terminology  Search term generator  Using the same words as the indexers  Generate a more definitive definition  Create visibility & publicity for the discipline
  14. 14. Future developments  Delphi Study  Informed decisions by IL protagonists & experts  Ongoing process – needs to be managed  Constant modification to keep up with IL  TT of Information Literacy  Debate on what terms it should contain:  Simplistic ‘IL’ terms narrower than IL?  Or terms that form part of the Thesaurus but not the concept?
  15. 15. Questions?  Any other uses?  Timescale for development?  Term selection process?  Who should be involved?

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