Subject Headings

Librarianship Studies & Information Technology

SUBJECT HEADINGS

This page highlights information and articles published in the Librarianship Studies & Information Technology blog under the Category/Label SUBJECT HEADINGS

SCOPE: About subject headings. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), MESH, Sears List of Subject Headings, Subject Indexing, Vocabulary Control--Thesaurus, List of Subject Headings, Etc.


Contents

  • Summary of Important Articles
  • List of All Articles
  • List of Quizzes


SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT ARTICLES
  • Subject Heading - Subject Heading is defined as the most specific word or group of words that captures the essence of the subject or one of the subjects of a book or other library material (e.g. serial, sound recording, moving image, cartographic material, manuscript, computer file, e-resource etc.) which is selected from a subject heading list containing the preferred subject access terms (controlled vocabulary) and assigned as an added entry in the bibliographic record which works as an access point and enables the work to be searched and retrieved by subject from the library catalog database. Subject headings are also used in a bibliography and index.
  • Subject Approach to Information in Libraries - Most of the users approach information sources not with names, who might have been responsible for their creation, but with a question that requires an answer, or a topic for study. Users seek documents or information on a particular subject. In order to make provision for this common approach, it is necessary to arrange documents on the shelf and entries in catalogs in such a way that items on a specific subject can be retrieved. In other words, it may be said that subject approach is very important in the access to and exploitation of documents in a library. Before we actually discuss the methods developed by librarians and information workers to meet this requirement, let us consider the question "What is a subject?" while talking about a subject we normally refer to a given area of knowledge, or the contents of a document of a given scope. 
  • Subject Heading List - Subject Heading List is the printed or published list of subject headings which may be produced from the subject authority file maintained by an organization or individual. Subject heading list contain the preferred subject access terms (controlled vocabulary) that are assigned as an added entry in the bibliographic record which works as an access point and enables the work to be searched and retrieved by subject from the library catalog database. The controlled vocabulary identifies synonyms terms and selects one preferred term among them to be used as subject heading. For homonyms, it explicitly identifies the multiple concepts expressed by that word or phrase. In short, vocabulary control helps in overcoming problems that occur due to natural language of the document’s subject. Hence, if vocabulary control is not exercised different indexers or the same indexer might use different terms for the same concept on different occasions for indexing the documents dealing with the same subject and also use a different set of terms for representing the same subject at the time of searching. This, in turn, would result in ‘mis-match’ and thus affect information retrieval. Cross references are used with headings to direct the user from terms not used as headings to the term that is used, and from broader and related topics to the one chosen to represent a given subject.
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings - Library of Congress Subject Headings is the list of headings produced from the subject authority file maintained by the United States Library of Congress for use in bibliographic records, and published annually. It is popularly known by its abbreviation as LCSH and is sometimes used interchangeably with the phrase subject authority file. LCSH is a multidisciplinary vocabulary that includes headings in all subjects, from science to religion, to history, social science, education, literature, and philosophy. It also includes headings for geographic features, ethnic groups, historical events, building names, etc. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is the most widely used subject vocabulary in the world. It is the model for many other vocabularies in English and other languages, and has been translated into numerous languages. The strongest aspect of LCSH is that it represents subject headings of the Library of Congress, the national library of United States, one of the richest of national libraries of the world. The administrative and managerial machinery of LC, has made it possible for LCSH to stand out as an undisputed leader. LCSH is also used as indexing vocabulary in a number of published bibliographies.
  • Subject Headings Manual - Subject Headings Manual (SHM) provides guidelines to use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). The manual was originally conceived as an in-house procedure manual to aid subject catalogers at the Library of Congress in constructing and assigning Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in an accurate and consistent manner. SHM includes explanations of subject cataloging policy, procedures, and practices for the catalogers at Library of Congress in providing LCSH subject headings to bibliographic records and constructing new headings to be included in LCSH. Other libraries who wish to catalog in the same manner as the Library of Congress as well as faculty at schools of library and information science who wish to teach Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to their students should follow the guidelines of the Subject Headings Manual (SHM).

LIST OF ALL ARTICLES

LIST OF QUIZZES