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Module 5.3: SCIS subject headings.

Posted by arlekeno on August 23, 2012

The subject analysis process
This section has been adapted from the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry. The subject indexing process involves the following:
Scanning the resource to determine the subject content. In some cases this will involve viewing videos or websites.
Assessing the predominant theme(s) of the resource. The catalogue user’s perspective is considered as well.
Translating the theme(s) into allowed subject headings from the list.
Entering the subject heading(s) in the bibliographic record using the appropriate fields as established by the library system.

I have done all of these within my own library, and apparently we only need to do 2and 3 in the next task.. YAY!

It is traditional and sound practice to assign subject headings, which match as closely as possible the subject content of the resource. In other words subject headings are assigned to the level of the subject(s) covered in the resource.

When assigning subject headings it is important to ensure that no major theme of the resource being catalogued is overlooked. The set of headings selected needs to be co-extensive with all the major themes contained within that resource.

Again, this is just common sense (and the source of many debates between my office ladies and I).

4.1.1 Generalities versus specificity
The principle is to prefer several specific subject headings rather than a general, broader subject heading. (Then a how bunch of rules about precedence)

NOW this one is interesting. as they would not use the SH MATHS. Apparently the catalog will “Guide” people there.

4.5 Resources on a broad subject with multiple related subjects
For resources dealing with several subjects that are all related as more specific headings within a broader subject, but are treated separately within the resource, assign a subject heading for each specific subject.
Title: Algebra, geometry, trigonometry [videorecording]
Subject: Algebra
In the example above, the heading Mathematics would not be assigned as the reference structure within the catalogue will guide users from the broader term to more specific headings.

5.1 Fiction as a standard subdivision

A bunch of rules of what you can do for fiction, e.g. subheading, place, awards etc.

Looking at teh study task..

It makes pretty good sense if you have  kids who have learnt how to do more than one search and think in terms of synonyms.

Devising additional headings

Headings that may be devised by the cataloguer consist of:
1. proper names, for example names of individuals, peoples, places, organisations and projects

common names belonging to well-known categories including sport, food, animals, chemicals, plants and vehicles.

6.3 Devising adjectival headings

Such an example is the instruction given under the heading for Art:
SEN The adjectival form for a national* or ethnic* group/style may be added as needed, e.g. Art, European.

6.4 Devising phrase headings

SEN For subjects in art use phrase headings in the form [Subject] in art, e.g. Animals in art.

Honestly, I think I will just re-read the whole thing when it is time for the assessment task. I am amazed how well set out it is really.

6.5 Using the subdivisions
Words or phrases added to headings in the list after the long dash ( – ) are referred to as subdivisions (e.g. Literatures – Collections). These subdivisions are additional concepts which make headings more specific.

Honestly, there are just so many and too many to summarize. I will just read the whole thing properly for the Assess task 2.

I will really need to explore EVERY possible angle when I do the task 2. Some of the exercises e.g. 20, about grasslands v Grassland ecology are beating me.

CROSS REFERENCES (from pg 26 of 37 of Mod 5).

My catalogue has no cross references.. oh the shame 😥

If we fail to provide cross references we are:

  • undermining the effort that has been put into assigning subject headings;
  • reducing the effectiveness of the catalogue as a retrieval tool; and
  • creating frustrations for our users who will be less inclined to use the catalogue.

For example, a catalogue may have records of works under the subject heading ‘Magnetism’. Users who search under this term will find the works, but unless cross references have been provided to guide users from rejected headings such as ‘Magnets’,

e.g. Magnets
see Magnetism,

or from broader subject headings such as ‘Physics’,

e.g. Physics
see also Magnetism.

Hang on, I just did a search in SENTRAL, and only MAGNETISM showed up, did it in OASIS, MAGNETS did too!.

BUT! How do I cross-reference in my system?

HIDER CHAP 5: Authority Controls.

Authority Control has 3 aspects – Uniqueness – Standardisation – linkages- (pg 85) with the process having 3 steps.

  1. Distinguishing names and titles: forms of names created and processed uniformly.
  2. Showing relationships: Linking different version s of the same body to each other, e.g. Twain, M. Twain, Mark, Samuel Clement.
  3. Documenting Decisions: Record how you chose a heading, so later people can be consistent ( hence Ass.Task.2)

Would make life easier, but is expensive.

Honestly, looking at the SCIS authority files, I have no idea what I am doing, ior if I can use it even if I can afford it?





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