Retrospective Application of Subject Headings, Part 2-A Case Study at the Central Washington University Library

By CannCasciato, Daniel | Library Philosophy and Practice, Spring 2000 | Go to article overview

Retrospective Application of Subject Headings, Part 2-A Case Study at the Central Washington University Library


CannCasciato, Daniel, Library Philosophy and Practice


ABSTRACT

This article describes implementation of a methodology followed for the retrospective application of 474 subject headings to already existing bibliographic records. Findings and considerations for future application are discussed.

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this article is to describe the results and some of the ramifications of a project to apply subject terminology retrospectively. As outlined in part one of this article (1), a list of subject authority records (SARs) from 1995 in the Central Washington University Library were extracted and printed out. The headings and references were then searched in the online catalog, CATTRAX, and suitable records were updated with the terminology, subdivided as appropriate. The number of headings reviewed in this study was 474. No selection criteria were used to eliminate headings not likely to produce results.

The development of the procedure used was discussed in the first part of this article. The results to be discussed are from following that procedure as it is described here. The number of changes made to bibliographic records as a result of this process have been significant (greater than 1000). Local changes in subject authority records (SARs) have been noted as well, many of which will be submitted as proposals via the Subject Authorities Cataloging Project (SACO) through the Library of Congress.

Procedure:

Step 1. Searched each subject as a phrase in technical mode and then recorded the number of hits

Step 2. Searched each heading string as a word search (in general, omitting terms used in qualifiers)

Limited by title words of the subject string

Browsed for appropriate titles

Applied the new subject headings if appropriate

Step 3. Searched at each see from reference as a word search

Truncated plural forms to eliminate re-keying and to increase recall (or searched by plural and singular form when recall was too large). I limited results by words in title of the new heading or the reference

Browsed for appropriate titles

Applied the new subject headings if appropriate

Step 4. Searched each broader term from the SAR Limited results by words of the new heading in the title If the broader term were subdivided, searched it also in its un-subdivided form Searched ad-hoc broader terms, if they were used

Browsed for appropriate titles

Applied the new subject headings if appropriate

Step 5. If alternative terminology were appropriate, did a word search on that terminology

Limited results by words of the new heading in the title

Browsed for appropriate titles

Applied the new subject headings if appropriate

Step 6. Searched each heading again as a subject string

Recorded the number of hits, from which the original number of headings was deducted. The net results are recorded as the primary changes made to the bibliographic records.

Limiting by word in title was done only on the occasions when recall was too great to make browsing the file effective. In most cases, retrieving fewer than fifty or so records still allowed browsing, so limiting was not used.

During this process, I attempted to resolve appropriateness of the new heading for the work by searching other catalogs or having the item paged from the stacks, when either step was needed. This was rarely done.

Step 7. Additions of additional subject headings were tracked as secondary changes, e.g., corrected headings, additional headings for other related topics, etc. Stylistic changes or those unrelated to this specific process were not counted. For example, when examining the heading for the fictional place, Thalia, Tex., upgrades to other records for the works of fiction by Larry McMurtry were not counted in this study.

Step 8. Potential SACO applications were also identified.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Retrospective Application of Subject Headings, Part 2-A Case Study at the Central Washington University Library
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.