Document (#13094)

Author
Bertrand, A.
Cellier, J.-M.
Title
Psychological approach to indexing : effects of the operator's expertise upon indexing behaviour
Source
Journal of information science. 21(1995) no.6, S.459-472
Year
1995
Abstract
Reports results of a study to investigate the reasons for the significant variation in the indexing terms chosen by several indexers to represent the same document. Tests the hypothesis that this variability depends on various indexing strategies used by the indexers with different expertise. 4 groups of indexers took part in the study: 5 professional indexers used to working in the field of economics with the Rameau indexing language; 5 professional indexers used to working in the field of psychology with the Rameau indexing language; 5 professional indexers used to working in the field of psychology with a documentary language; and novice indexers who had never indexed in any particular subject field. Each group was asked to index 8 university level books from 1 of the 2 subject fields: economics and psychology; choosing the indexing terms from an indexing language. The criteria were: number of indexing terms chosen; rate of intra indexer consistency; types of transformation made on the concepts; indexing procedures and objectives pursued during the task. Results identified 3 indexing strategies which depend on indexers' expertise: the search for for indexing terms from the document analysis stage; identification of the generic terms in the document that allow indexers to access the indexing language quickly; precise analysis of the subject. Raises questions about the compatibility between knowledge representation produced by the text in order to specify assistance to indexing work

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