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The Significance of Vocabulary. Michael Buckland. School of Information Management and Systems University of California, Berkeley. The Significance of Vocabulary. An economic claim: Vocabulary problems reduce the benefits and return on investment in information services.

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the significance of vocabulary
The Significance of Vocabulary

Michael Buckland

School of Information Management and Systems

University of California, Berkeley

the significance of vocabulary2
The Significance of Vocabulary
  • An economic claim: Vocabulary problems reduce the benefits and return on investment in information services.
  • Vocabulary is used for indexicality, therefore issues of identity are central to LIS.
  • Vocabulary is central to digital libraries.
  • Vocabulary central to explaining the history of conceptions of LIS!
a correctly formed library of congress subject heading but who would think of such search terms
A correctly formed Library of Congress Subject heading, but who would think of such search terms?

God --- Knowableness --- History of doctrines ---

Early church, ca. 30-600 --- Congresses.

economic rationale
Economic Rationale:
  • Massive investment in repositories
  • Large investment in categorization schemes: classifications, thesauri, concept codes, headings, …
  • Categorization schemes usually specialized and stylized
  • Increasingly unfamiliar to searchers, hence ineffective, inefficient use
remedy
Remedy

Support for searching unfamiliar metadata vocabularies: Interface to translate searcher’s vocabulary into system’s vocabulary.

examples
Examples

Automobile import, export data (Census Bureau)

Automobiles?

No data.

Cars?

“Railway or tramway stock”

(Passenger motor vehicles, spark ignition engine.)

automobiles also know as
“Automobiles”, also know as . . .

in Library of Congress Classification

TL 205

in U.S. Patent Classification

180/280

in Standard Industrial Classification

3711

example coastal pollution
Example: Coastal pollution

F SU COASTAL POLLUTION 0

F TW COASTAL POLLUTION

SUMMARIZE SUBJECTS

MeSH

Seawater

Water pollution

Bacteria

Water microbiology

Air pollution

Environmental monitoring

Bathing beaches

LCSH

Marine pollution

Coastal zone management

Water --- Pollution

Petroleum industry and trade

Beach erosion

Coasts

Barrier islands

international harmonized commodity classification system computer
International Harmonized Commodity Classification System: “Computer”
  • HS 84: “Nuclear reactors, boilers, machines and mechanical appliances”
  • HS 8471: “Automatic data processing machines and units thereof, magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data”
  • HS 847120: “Digital auto data proc mach contng in the same housing a CPU and input & output device”
inspec thesaurus subdomain based indexes
INSPEC Thesaurus subdomain-based indexes:
  • “Water” subdomain: Fission reactor safety; Fission reactor fuel; Polymers; Organic insulating materials; Water supply; Cable insulation; Insulation testing; and Insulating oils.
  • “Biology” subdomain: Water; Biomechanics; Physiological models; Neurophysiology; Cellular effects of radiation.
  • “Information Studies” subdomain: Agriculture; Natural resources; Forecasting theory; Operations research; Erosion.
example vietnam war
Example: Vietnam War.

U.C. MELVYL Online Catalog

FIND XSU VIETNAM WAR

Search Results: 0 records

FIND XSU VIETNAMESE CONFLICT

Search Results: 4,190 records

dictionaries don t always help
Dictionaries don’t always help

Emanuel Goldberg: Aerial photography using a “Drachen”

Actual meaning: Aerodynamic tethered balloon.

Standard contemporary English was: Aerostat.

German: Drachen (= Kite in dictionary)

entry vocabulary search interfaces
“Entry vocabulary” search interfaces:
  • Software and algorithms map natural language vocabulary to specialized metadata terms.
  • Allows users to enter ordinary language queries while taking advantage of existing subject headings, categorization
  • Uses co-occurrence statistics to link users’ ordinary language terms to system vocabularies
  • Statistical association between lexical items in titles and abstracts and the system’s metadata vocabulary
  • Suggests most likely system vocabulary
thesaurus navigation
Thesaurus navigation
  • Facilitates browsing where structure is present: Broader, narrower, related terms
  • Guides searcher to other parts of the structure

Retrieval set analysis

  • Navigation within micro-domain
slide15

Web access: WWW forms-based application supported by PerlSupports searches on remote repositoriesFour subdomain dictionaries in three databases--- BIOSIS (Biological abstracts): subdomain “water”--- INSPEC: subdomains: “information science”, “water” --- U.S. Patent Office classification

statement of work
Statement of work:
  • Varied prototype Entry Vocabulary Modules.
  • Unintrusive development of EVMs by agents
  • Sensitivity to subdomains.
  • Natural language processing to augment statistical term frequency.
  • Recommendations for metadata “codebooks” for numeric databases.
  • www.sims.berkeley.edu/metadata/