Document (#21214)

Author
Ballard, T.
Title
Keyword / subject : finding the middle path
Source
Information today. 15(1998) no.6, S.58
Year
1998
Abstract
Offers a third alternative to the debate over subject vs. keyword searching in libraries. Provides a background of this facts underlying the debate, including the high failure rates among patron subject searches, driven by the public's overall failure to adequately learn proper controlled vocabulary syntax, and the high percentage of erroneous matches generated by keyword searches, driven by the fact that book titles may have nothing to do with the contents. Describes a hybrid approach that uses a keyword index of the subject field, and that reduces failure rates by 75% among one library's patrons. Reports that, in spite of a few remaining imperfections, this system seems to represent 'the ideal marriage of keyword and formal subject heading searching' for library patrons. Lists the Web site location of the catalogue on which the new system was developed

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