Document (#413)

Author
Cooper, W.S.
Title
Indexing documents by Gedanken experimentation
Source
Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 29(1978), S.107-119
Year
1978
Abstract
Although it is widely accepted that indexing and cataloging are central to the document and reference retrieval process, there is as yet little unamity on the issue of how these operations ought to be carried out. Since indexing is a decision-making process, decision theory and utility theory have been proposed as a possible theoretical framework within which to formulate decision rules for indexing. These decision rules may be interpreted operationally as guides to th thought processes appropriate to the making of sound indexing decisions. Ond such thought process involves "gedanken experimentation", in which the indexer is led to an indexing decision by performing suitable thought experiments. This approach to indexing, in addition to providing a theoretical basis for what the indexer does, lends itself to various training schemes for the education of indexers, to the provision of graphic aids to indexing, and to the evaluation of indexing performance. There are also ramifications for automatic indexing.

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