German subject headings authority file (Schlagwortnormdatei – SWD)

The German subject headings authority file (SWD) consists of a terminologically controlled and structured vocabulary that is widely used in German-speaking countries for subject indexing in all fields of knowledge. It is developed and administrated by the German National Library (DNB) in cooperation with the German Library networks, the Austrian Library Network, the Swiss National Library and the Art Libraries Network Florence-Munich-Rome.

A new subject heading is integrated into the SWD on the basis of literary warrant in correspondence to the guidelines in the German "Rules for Subject Cataloging" (RSWK) and the "Rules for Application of the RSWK and SWD". The subject headings are distinguished according to their type and classified by SWD subject goups, ISO-country code and ISO language code.

The subject headings are partly subject-specific and contextual, partly general and interdisciplinary. The scope of connotation of a subject heading is primarily specified by the main heading, the work of reference according to which it is attached, and the indicated semantic relations (synonyms, broader, narrower and associative terms). The work of reference is displayed in the subject heading entry in the form of a standardized abbreviation.

Within CrissCross German subject headings are mapped to notations of the Dewey Decimal Classification (called DDC numbers). As the appropriate DDC numbers are directly integrated into the SWD data records, the SWD gains an additional structural element that can be manifoldly used in retrieval scenarios.

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