Indexing language

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 Editor
Moreiro, José Antonio jamore@bib.uc3m.es
 Incorporated contributions
Jorge Morato
 Usage domain
Information management, documentation, Library and Information Science
 Type
concept
 French
Langages documentaires
 German Kontrolliertes Vokabular
 
[Understandable but with some grammatical missteps]

Indexing languages are a subset of natural languages. These languages,  used to describe documents, are part of  the information science techniques. The goal is to represent information in such a way as to improve the retrieval of relevant documents. 

There are several types of indexing languages. The oldest are library classifications and subject headings. In recent times, Information Technology  developments and changes in information needs have generated new indexing languages. 

Indexing languages are concerned with two factors:
  • Linguistic aspects
  • Functional considerations.

Types of Indexing languages

  • Free Language
  • Language codes: library classification schemes
  • Controlled vocabularies
    • Based on hierarchies: Taxonomies.
    • Based on hierarchies, associations and equivalent terms: Thesauri and subject headings.
    • Based on terminology ontologies in a specific context and with associations to current resources: Topic Maps.

The Thesaurus as a reference model

A Thesurus is a prototypical indexing language. A thesaurus is structured as a semantic network limited to a domain. This network is composed of nodes, and each node represents a concept. This is an agreed language, with shared definitions in the domain. It is controlled in the sense that only terms in the thesaurus can be used to describe a resource. This principle guarantees uniqueness in the concept-term relationship. As a tool to control terminology it has the following term types:
  • Descriptors (terms used to represent the concepts within the domain).
  • Non-descriptors (terms from the domain that have an equivalent in the list of descriptors. These terms are not used to represent document concepts, using the equivalent descriptor).
Descriptors are related by means of:
  • Hierarchical and associative relationships
  • Equivalence relationships relating Descriptors and Non-descriptors.
References
  • LANCASTER, F. W. (2003) El control del vocabulario en la recuperación de información. 2ª ed. Valencia: Universitat de Valencia.
  • MOREIRO GONZALEZ, J. A. (2004). El Contenido de los documentos textuales: su análisis y representación mediante el lenguaje naturalGijón: TREA
  • ROE, S.; THOMAS, A. (eds.). (2004) The thesaurus: review, renaissance and revision. New York: The Hawoeth Information Press.
  • SLYPE, G. Van (1991).- Los lenguajes de indización: concepción, construcción y utilización en los sistemas documentales. Madrid: Fundación Sánchez Ruipérez, 1991. 
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Incorporated entries
Jorge Morato (5/11/2009)
 
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