Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Word of the Week: Controlled Vocabulary

Controlled vocabulary is the words and phrases used by a subject specialist when creating subject headings for an article, document, or book for a specific index or catalog. For example, the books in Oberlin's library collection are assigned subject headings from the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Articles listed in Music Index, JSTOR and other are given subject headings by subject specialists, or indexers. These subject headings are then listed in a thesaurus designed for that database. This is meant to provide consistency and order in the chosen words and phrases. If you don't know what the proper subject heading is, try a WORD search in OBIS, select a promising bibliographic record, and then click on the subject to find other like items. VoilĂ !!