Model of LIS Thesaurus Construction

Kristina Feldvari


Before thesaurus construction commence, some preliminary considerations concerning its purpose and scope must be made. The thesaurus compiler should have thorough knowledge of the information environment and the discourses and languages in play. Next to the characteristics of the information environment, thesaurus should also reflect the mental models and search behavior of the individuals acting in the “discourse community”. Likewise, it is important for thesaurus compiler to examine indexing policy and practice. The analysis of the existing subject indexing practice and policy will be explored by measuring inter – indexer consistency in subject library catalogues and by qualitative comparison of indexing practice with IFLA Principles Underlying Subject Heading Languages (1999). Thesaurus users or “discourse community” examined in this dissertation are indexers in Croatian libraries, and the example of subject field is LIS. This means that there is one central “discourse” that we will examine and that is “indexing discourse”. When analyzing different discourses it is essential to be aware of the specific contexts and institutions in which the discourses take place. Therefore, the emphasis is put on institutional differences (different subdiscourses). The “indexing discourse” will be explored by interviewing indexers from five libraries in Croatia, by comparison of existing internal thesauri and by conducting a simulated indexing task. Mental models of indexers will be explored by word association method. Results of the analysis of present situation of subject indexing in Croatia and “domain analysis” should provide the knowledge needed for defining implications for future indexer thesauri construction and design.

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