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Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale

Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale Purpose – The purpose of this article is to examine interindexer consistency on a larger scale than other studies have done to determine if group consensus is reached by larger numbers of indexers and what, if any, relationships emerge between assigned terms. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 64 MLIS students were recruited to assign up to five terms to a document. The authors applied basic data modeling and the exploratory statistical techniques of multi‐dimensional scaling (MDS) and hierarchical cluster analysis to determine whether relationships exist in indexing consistency and the coocurrence of assigned terms. Findings – Consistency in the assignment of indexing terms to a document follows an inverse shape, although it is not strictly power law‐based unlike many other social phenomena. The exploratory techniques revealed that groups of terms clustered together. The resulting term cooccurrence relationships were largely syntagmatic. Research limitations/implications – The results are based on the indexing of one article by non‐expert indexers and are, thus, not generalizable. Based on the study findings, along with the growing popularity of folksonomies and the apparent authority of communally developed information resources, communally developed indexes based on group consensus may have merit. Originality/value – Consistency in the assignment of indexing terms has been studied primarily on a small scale. Few studies have examined indexing on a larger scale with more than a handful of indexers. Recognition of the differences in indexing assignment has implications for the development of public information systems, especially those that do not use a controlled vocabulary and those tagged by end‐users. In such cases, multiple access points that accommodate the different ways that users interpret content are needed so that searchers may be guided to relevant content despite using different terminology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Syntagmatic relationships and indexing consistency on a larger scale

Journal of Documentation , Volume 64 (4): 14 – Jul 25, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/00220410810884093
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to examine interindexer consistency on a larger scale than other studies have done to determine if group consensus is reached by larger numbers of indexers and what, if any, relationships emerge between assigned terms. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 64 MLIS students were recruited to assign up to five terms to a document. The authors applied basic data modeling and the exploratory statistical techniques of multi‐dimensional scaling (MDS) and hierarchical cluster analysis to determine whether relationships exist in indexing consistency and the coocurrence of assigned terms. Findings – Consistency in the assignment of indexing terms to a document follows an inverse shape, although it is not strictly power law‐based unlike many other social phenomena. The exploratory techniques revealed that groups of terms clustered together. The resulting term cooccurrence relationships were largely syntagmatic. Research limitations/implications – The results are based on the indexing of one article by non‐expert indexers and are, thus, not generalizable. Based on the study findings, along with the growing popularity of folksonomies and the apparent authority of communally developed information resources, communally developed indexes based on group consensus may have merit. Originality/value – Consistency in the assignment of indexing terms has been studied primarily on a small scale. Few studies have examined indexing on a larger scale with more than a handful of indexers. Recognition of the differences in indexing assignment has implications for the development of public information systems, especially those that do not use a controlled vocabulary and those tagged by end‐users. In such cases, multiple access points that accommodate the different ways that users interpret content are needed so that searchers may be guided to relevant content despite using different terminology.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 25, 2008

Keywords: Indexing; Information retrieval; Classification schemes; Group behaviour

References