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CODE4LIB  April 2016

CODE4LIB April 2016

Subject:

Re: LCSH, Bisac, facets, hierarchy?

From:

Stephen Hearn <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:04:42 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (264 lines)

Try searching "power" in Wikipedia.  The result is a list of Wikipedia
articles, but the semantic categories built into Wikipedia are used to
organize the results, and the article titles in some cases are functioning
as controlled terms, specifying what kind of power is being referenced.
Within the categoryies some topics are subordinated under other topics.
Click on "Power (social and political)" and you see that article, but you
also see the Sociology template which places the topic in a larger
articulated topical context.

Wikipedia is not a library catalog, but by the same token, library catalogs
are not the open web.  Catalog records do have access conventions which are
part of larger semantic structures and which are applied within given
domains with a fair amount of discipline.  Wikipedia is not the model to
follow, but it's evidence that more can be done to provide searchers with
context and guidance via controlled vocabularies than we typically find in
Google.

Stephen

On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 9:45 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Absolutely, and what I said somewhere above in this thread:
>
> "Note that Google does not give users an answer to this question because
> there is no larger context, no inherent organization. Google does not do
> knowledge organization. Libraries "do" it, but our user interfaces ignore
> it (honestly, does anyone NOT think that the whole BT/NT relationship in
> LCSH is completely wasted in today's systems?). "
>
> That we do not make use of these relationships means that 1) a whole lot
> of vocabulary development time is utterly wasted and 2) users are not
> getting the full benefit of the relationships that have already been
> established. Yes, LCSH is less than perfect, but it is even more "less than
> perfect" when we ignore what knowledge organization that it does provide.
>
> kc
>
>
> On 4/14/16 7:29 AM, Stephen Hearn wrote:
>
>> One factor that current search systems tend to overlook is that LCSH, all
>> of it, is intended intended to be a first class search target.  The LCSH
>> headings that get into bib records are only the tip of the iceberg.  The
>> LCSH authority for "Cuba--History--Invasion, 1961" includes a 450 "see
>> from" reference for "Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuba, 1961." Real use of LCSH
>> would search the reference vocabulary as well as the preferred term
>> headings which get into bib records.  Working with LCSH bib headings alone
>> misses the point of a sophisticated controlled vocabulary, where much of
>> the terminological and semantic richness for searching is contained in
>> "see" and "see also" references, complex references and scope and other
>> kinds of notes.  The controlled vocabulary itself needs to be integrated
>> into search results so that searches call up not only bib records with a
>> matching heading but vocabulary records which can expand the user's search
>> vocabulary and point to related controlled terms outside those generated
>> by
>> the retrieved bib records' themselves. LCSH's weakness is that it is
>> designed for left-anchored browse searching, which has fallen out of
>> favor;
>> but the idea that the full semantic structure of a controlled vocabulary
>> needs to be foregrounded in search results is still valid.
>>
>> Stephen
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 9:32 PM, Kent Fitch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Yes, it's exploring what advantage there may be of using overlapping
>>> search
>>> terms to help bridge the differences between LCSH and "common usage", or
>>> "what the searcher is thinking of" that motivated this subject display.
>>>
>>> For example, the person-in-the-street would reasonably think that when
>>> searching a library catalogue where people have gone to the bother of
>>> subject-classifying, then the results on searching "bay of pigs" would
>>> return everything relevant, even if that string didn't appear in the
>>> title,
>>> even if the full text wasn't being searched.
>>>
>>> *http://ll01.nla.gov.au/search.jsp?searchTerm=bay+of+pigs
>>> <http://ll01.nla.gov.au/search.jsp?searchTerm=bay+of+pigs>*
>>>
>>> But LCSH organises that content under "Cuba -- History -- Invasion,
>>> 1961".
>>> There's a high correlation/overlap between "bay of pigs" results and this
>>> subject, which is why this subject string is highlighted in the prototype
>>> results.  But a search on that subject, removing "bay of pigs" as a
>>> search
>>> term, returns, for example, from 1962 "The Cuban Invasion : the chronicle
>>> of a disaster / by Karl E. Meyer and Tad Szulc ".
>>>
>>> http://ll01.nla.gov.au/show.jsp?rid=000000643156
>>>
>>>   This isn't returned on a search for "bay of pigs" (on the prototype,
>>> or on
>>> Trove). Maybe "bay of pigs" wasn't even "a thing" when this book was
>>> catalogued, or, if it was, it was thought to be an ephemeral description.
>>>
>>> On Trove (and I guess most library catalogues), by paying carefully
>>> attention and tallying the subjects assigned to a "bay of pigs" results,
>>> you may eventually realise a good search may be:
>>>
>>>   "Cuba Invasion 1961" OR "bay of pigs"
>>>
>>> because there are LOTS of resources I'd want to know about if I were
>>> searching for "bay of pigs" that don't have an assigned subject string
>>> "Cuba -- History -- Invasion, 1961" for various reasons, such as a
>>> tendency
>>> not to assign more subjects that you want cards in the catalogue!  (eg
>>> http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/13249747 )
>>>
>>> I guess a better approach is to do this automatically for the searcher:
>>> to
>>> note "bay of pigs" results have a high but not total correlation with
>>> results assigned LCSH's "Cuba -- History -- Invasion, 1961", and I guess
>>> that's one of the attractions of searching on Google: that we take this
>>> type of "magic" for granted.
>>>
>>> Kent Fitch
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 11:19 AM, Harper, Cynthia <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>  From a librarian’s perspective, we know searching is messy – a
>>>> researcher
>>>> can’t hope to find the perfect subject heading that will reveal all
>>>> their
>>>> related content in one term.  Searching is exploring through overlapping
>>>> terms, and compiling a bibliography from the pearls found in the
>>>> process.
>>>> This interface makes clearer what the related terms may be, given a
>>>> borad
>>>> term like practical theology.  And it’s so nice that it combines the
>>>> classification structure with the subject headings.
>>>>
>>>> Cindy Harper
>>>> @vts.edu<http://vts.edu>
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:
>>>> [log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Kent Fitch
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 8:17 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LCSH, Bisac, facets, hierarchy?
>>>> About ten years ago, I was wondering how to make the structure in LCSH,
>>>>
>>> or
>>>
>>>> at least how it was encoded in MARC subject tags more useful, so when
>>>> implementing a prototype for a new library catalogue at the National
>>>> Library of Australia, I tried using the subject tag contents to
>>>>
>>> represent a
>>>
>>>> hierarchy, then counted the number of hits against parts of that
>>>>
>>> hierarchy
>>>
>>>> for a given search and then represented the subject tags in a hierarchy
>>>> with hit counts.   One of the motivations was to help expose to the
>>>> searcher how works relevant to their search may have been
>>>> LCSH-subject-catalogued.
>>>>
>>>> I'm a programmer, not a UI person, so the formatting of theresults were
>>>> fairly primitive, but that prototype from ten years ago ("Library Labs")
>>>>
>>> is
>>>
>>>> still running.
>>>>
>>>> For example, search results for /ancient egypt/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> http://ll01.nla.gov.au/search.jsp?searchTerm=ancient+egypt&keywords=0.5&keywordWildcard=0.05&titlePhrase=12.0&authorPhrase=9.0&subjectPhrase=9.0&genrePhrase=9.0&titleWords=4.0&authorWords=3.0&subjectWords=3.0&genreWords=3.0&titleExact=18.0&authorExact=15.0
>>>
>>>> /computer art/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> http://ll01.nla.gov.au/search.jsp?searchTerm=computer+art&keywords=0.5&keywordWildcard=0.05&titlePhrase=12.0&authorPhrase=9.0&subjectPhrase=9.0&genrePhrase=9.0&titleWords=4.0&authorWords=3.0&subjectWords=3.0&genreWords=3.0&titleExact=18.0&authorExact=15.0
>>>
>>>> /history of utah/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> http://ll01.nla.gov.au/search.jsp?searchTerm=history+of+utah&keywords=0.5&keywordWildcard=0.05&titlePhrase=12.0&authorPhrase=9.0&subjectPhrase=9.0&genrePhrase=9.0&titleWords=4.0&authorWords=3.0&subjectWords=3.0&genreWords=3.0&titleExact=18.0&authorExact=15.0
>>>
>>>> This prototype also explored a subject hierarchy which had been of
>>>> interest to the NLA's Assistant Director-General, Dr Warwick Cathro,
>>>> over
>>>> many years, the RLG "Conspectus" hierarchy, which I guess was not unlike
>>>> BISAC in its aims.  It is shown further down the right-hand column.
>>>>
>>>> Both the subject hierarchy and Conspectus were interesting, but neither
>>>> made it into the eventual production search system, Trove, implemented
>>>> at
>>>> the NLA, in which subject faceting or hierarchy is absent from results
>>>> display:
>>>>
>>>> http://trove.nla.gov.au/book/result?q=ancient+egypt
>>>> http://trove.nla.gov.au/book/result?q=computer+art
>>>> http://trove.nla.gov.au/book/result?q=history+of+utah
>>>>
>>>> The "Library Labs" prototype is running on a small VM, so searching may
>>>>
>>> be
>>>
>>>> slow, and it hasnt been updated with any content since 2006..  But maybe
>>>> the way it attempted to provide subject grouping and encourage narrowing
>>>>
>>> of
>>>
>>>> search by LCSH or exploring using LCSH rather than the provided search
>>>> terms may trigger some more experiments.
>>>>
>>>> Kent Fitch
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 3:11 AM, Mark Watkins <
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> <head starting to swim> :)
>>>>>
>>>>> sounds like there is a lot of useful metadata but somewhat scattered
>>>>> amongst various fields, depending on when the item was cataloged or
>>>>>
>>>> tagged.
>>>>
>>>>> Which seems to correspond to anecdotal surfing of the Harvard data.
>>>>>
>>>>> I guess my new task is to build something that aggregates and
>>>>> reconciles portions of LCSH, LCFGT, and GSAFD :).
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks for the additional perspective!
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>
>>
> --
> Karen Coyle
> [log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
> m: +1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet/+1-510-984-3600
>



-- 
Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
Data Management & Access, University Libraries
University of Minnesota
160 Wilson Library
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Ph: 612-625-2328
Fx: 612-625-3428
ORCID:  0000-0002-3590-1242

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