Re: Interoperability - subject classification/terminology

From: Chris Korycinski <ck30_at_ST-ANDREWS.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 09:32:17 -0000

On 18 Nov 2003 at 17:48, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Nov 2003, Franklin, Rosemary (franklra) wrote:
.... How do you search nuances?
> I don't know of any evidence that inverted full-text boolean search is
> any less effective in one field than another. (Does anyone have any
> such evidence?)

I don't know about hard evidence, but my wife works as a professional
indexer in the humanities (all the top scholars ask for her ! She isn't
ever short of work) and indexing this style of book makes a joke out of
keyword searching or any form of inverted file. It is concepts, not words
people want. The same concept is often expressed in different words,
or, to take another example:
"Major announced in Westminster that Maastricht was totally

Is this about Westminster? Majors? The Netherlands?
Try "British foreign policy" or something similar (depending on the
thrust of the book.

Belive me, this is a simple example compared to many sociological or
philosophical texts and any inverted-file style of 'indexing' would
produce complete rubbish.


Chris Korycinski

St Andrews eprints administrator, Main Library
phone: external 01334 462302 : internal x 2302
office hours: 9-5 Tue & Wed. 9-12 Th.
Received on Wed Nov 19 2003 - 09:32:17 GMT

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