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NCJ Number: 51059 Find in a Library
Title: KWIC AND COORDINATE INDEXING IN RELATION TO THE SPECIAL LIBRARY (FROM SEMINAR FOR LIBRARIANS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 1978 - SEE NCJ-51053)
Author(s): K PROSSER
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: TWO ALTERNATIVES TO TRADITIONAL INDEXING TECHNIQUES ARE DESCRIBED, WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR APPLICATIONS IN IMPROVING THE INFORMATION RETRIEVAL CAPABILITIES OF SPECIAL-PURPOSE LIBRARIES.
Abstract: INFORMATION RETRIEVAL INVOLVES LOCATING A DOCUMENT RELEVANT TO A CONCEPT. BECAUSE CONCEPTS CAN BE REFERRED TO ONLY BY USING APPROPRIATE TERMS, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CONCEPTS AND TERMS IS IMPORTANT. IN FACT, ANY INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEM HAS TWO BASIC REQUIREMENTS: A CONCEPTUAL STRUCTURE AND TERMINOLOGICAL CONTROL. INADEQUACIES IN EITHER AREA WILL RESULT IN UNDER-RETRIEVAL OR OVER-RETRIEVAL. THE INDEX IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST INFORMATION RETRIEVAL TOOLS. HOWEVER, TRADITIONAL (PRECOORDINATED) INDEXING TECHNIQUES DO NOT LEND THEMSELVES TO AUTOMATION. COORDINATE INDEXING WAS DEVELOPED AS A RESPONSE TO THIS SHORTCOMING AND TO OTHER PROBLEMS WITH PRECOORDINATED INDEXING. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO APPROACHES LIES IN THE POINT AT WHICH CONCEPTUAL COORDINATION TAKES PLACE. FOR EXAMPLE, A PRECOORDINATED ENTRY FOR A DOCUMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES IN PENAL INSTITUTIONS WOULD BE 'ABORIGINES, AUSTRALIAN: RACE RELATIONS: PRISON INSTITUTIONS.' IN COORDINATE INDEXING, THREE SEPARATE ENTRIES--'ABORIGINES,AUSTRALIAN,' 'RACE RELATIONS,' AND 'PRISON INSTITUTIONS'--WOULD BE MADE, AND THE SEARCHER (RATHER THAN THE INDEXER) WOULD DO THE CONCEPTUAL COORDINATION. ANOTHER INDEXING TECHNIQUE AMENABLE TO AUTOMATION IS THE KWIC (KEY WORD IN CONTEXT) LIST. BASICALLY, THE KWIC TECHNIQUE INVOLVES LISTING DOCUMENT TITLES ALPHABETICALLY BY SIGNIFICANT WORDS. THE RESULTING LIST GROUPS TOGETHER ALL TITLES CONTAINING A GIVEN SIGNIFICANT WORD. THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF THE KWIC APPROACH IS THAT IT REDUCES THE INTELLECTUAL EFFORT REQUIRED TO COMPILE INDEXES AND PERMITS LARGE NUMBERS OF DOCUMENTS TO BE INDEXED QUICKLY. THE POTENTIAL OF THE KWIC AND COORDINATE INDEXING APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING INFORMATION RETRIEVAL IN SMALL LIBRARIES (E.G., LIBRARIES WITH HOLDINGS IN CRIMINOLOGY) IS POINTED OUT, AS IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTROL AND CROSS-REFERENCING, SUCH AS THAT PROVIDED BY A THESAURUS, WHENEVER AUTOMATED INDEXING TECHNIQUES ARE INTRODUCED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Australia; Information processing; Libraries; Techniques
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