Re: Interoperability - subject classification/terminology

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 09:59:05 +0000

On Thu, 20 Nov 2003, Barry Mahon wrote:

> 19/11/2003 19:29:32, Stevan Harnad <> wrote:
> >
> >But please don't forget that journals never had (and never needed) subject
> >indices, the way books do
> What about abstracting and indexing services??

(1) The discussion was about whether there is any need for
a human-generated subject index when a full-text inverted index is
available for boolean search. With abstract/indexing services only
article titles and abstracts are available for searching, not article
full-texts. (Open access to the 2,500,000 annual articles in the 24,000
peer-reviewed journals means open access to the full text.)

(2) Even with abstract/indexing services it would be interesting to
find out which users and how many do and do not use the subject index,
and why and why not (and how long the subject index will continue to
be a human-generated one -- if it still is at all -- in the era of
automatic tools such as latent semantic indexing and the other new
similarity and classification metrics).

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Nov 20 2003 - 09:59:05 GMT

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