Thoughts on Information Finding

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5 responses to “A Solution to Subject Access of the Library OPAC

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Solution to Subject Access of the Library OPAC « Thoughts on Technical Librarianship -- Topsy.com

  2. Jennifer Parsons April 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Susan, I liked this post very much.

    I haven’t yet King and Reinhold, but it sounds like what’s proposed is to add a layer between authority records and the “natural language” that translates the controlled vocabulary of subject headings to something that is semantically receptive?

    • susan April 29, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      There are two layers that I believe need to be added between the authority records and the patron’s natural language. One is to program a user interface to interpret the patron’s natural language. The other is an ontology.

      I hope you can obtain a copy of the book. What King and Reinhold propose is creating an ontology layer between the authority records and the user interface. An ontology defines classes, sets, attributes, and relations of the domain – in this case the LC Subject Headings. Also, it includes synonyms of the members of the domain. Given the size of the LC Subject Headings, this is certainly not a trivial project.

      The user interface would need to be programmed more intelligently in order to do more than perform the brute queries that are typical of an OPAC. There has been a lot of research on natural language processing in the computer science field using a number of programming languages.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Pingback: Findability and the Library OPAC « Thoughts on Technical Librarianship

  4. Pingback: Layers of the OPAC in a Nutshell « Thoughts on Technical Librarianship

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