Method While keeping in mind Mai’s method for determining subjects, I read the article “Care, Concern, and Communication” by Susan Pickford. I chose Mai’s conception because Wilson leaves out one major method of indexing that could be named user-oriented method (Mai, 2000). The basic idea of user-oriented method is that the indexer needs to have the user’s information needs and terminology in mind when determining the subject matter of the document as well as when selecting index terms for the document.
It suggests that the indexer should have knowledge about the user’s needs to determine the subject matter. Mai argues 5 methods in indexing. First one is a simplistic conception similar to Wilson’s (1968) constantly referred to method. This method determines the subject by counting frequencies of occurrences of words in the document so it could be the most objective method. The problem is that there is not necessarily any correlation between occurrences of words in a document and its content.
Second method is a document-oriented conception.
The basic idea is that the indexer should establish the subject matter solely based on an analysis of the document itself; the goal is to represent the document as truthfully as possible and ensure the subject representation is valid for a long time. Third method is a content-oriented conception attempts to describe the content of the document as fully as possible. This conception shows historical and cultural circumstances that determine the subject matter of the documents. Fourth one is a user-oriented conception mentioned in above paragraph. Last one is a requirement-oriented conception.
In this method, the indexers have knowledge about the users’ individual information needs and work tasks. It is only useful in smaller organizations and indexing done by this method, like a user-oriented conception, changes over time. Subject Description The article is about Jane Roland Martin’s argument for the SchoolHome, an idea of making the school home away from home. In this system, school children would be taught the three C’s: care, concern and communication and thus their education would be inclusive, merging intellectual with the heart.
The result: the epidemic of violence would be reduced and the domestic vacuum in children’s lives filled for good. Derived Indexing Children of the ‘90s are a content-oriented concept that describes historical and cultural context in which the document is produced. Without using Children of the ‘90s in the subjects of the document one would lose context for the article, so it is important to include the article for understanding. It is possible to find documents like children’ education influenced by social conditions or changes of ‘90s.
Domestic Vacuum in Children’s Lives is a user-oriented concept that is the foundation of the article and would be accessible from this common phrase or variations thereof (e. g. , “domestic vacuum”, “live* vacuum”, and “child* live*” using wildcards for the greatest number of matches for the concept). Schoolhome is essentially a simplistic and document-oriented concept that serves an identifier for the article in the most general way while it does not describe the content of the article. This term would be especially useful in finding such things as case studies or curriculum examples for Schoolhome.
Rethinking Schools for Changing Families is an excellent term that touches slightly on all of Mai’s conceptions. While it is the book title of Jane Ronald Martin, in its various wildcard combinations is a simple general term, reflects the article’s content, and speaks to the more specialized non-expert and expert subject areas that are brought up with School, Changing, and Families. Transforming American Education is a document-oriented term that helps to focus the search to the overarching concepts that are touched on in Children of the ‘90s, Domestic Vacuum in Children’ Lives, Schoolhome, and Rethinking Schools for Changing Families.
The document types that American Education points to vary from the basic to the expert, making it a very good lynch pin-term. Free Indexing Although the derived terms above do a good job in reflecting the ideas in the article, some additional terms may include: Social Context for Children Education, which brings in Education and children, but Social Context is a broader, less expert phrase than containing ‘90s and domestic vacuum terms. Philosophy of Children Education, which gives as sense of the article, but the word Philosophy may not be an obvious children education search term.
School and Home in United States, which is akin to schoolhome. Schoolhome would also be a good derived term, but this is slightly more nominative than descriptive. Moreover, using United States as an example gives geographical criteria to indexing term. Family School Relationship expands on Children Education with relationship between Family and School. It also broadens the scope by detailing what the school reform would be about. School Reform is a good term that points the search in the direction of planning and results for Transforming American Education.
These 5 free- indexed terms would all be in Mai’s user and requirement areas, since some of the terms might be meaningful to those experts enough to think of using jargon as search terms. Assigned Indexing (ERIC) Educational Change: I found that “education” was a better term over “school” for “reform”, but feel that my subject terms School Reform and Rethinking Schools for Changing Families are still appropriate in that they speak to individual schools (as in a study), although in the grand schema of the database it does not help to split hairs.
In ERIC, education reform was educational change (as of 1996, although “reform” is still commonly used in society) and the contents regarded modification of things such as curriculum and teaching methods, which matches the article. Educational Philosophy: It is a good match, in that reflects the article’s context and themes. Social Environment: It means “social factors or conditions that influence individuals or groups”. It is a broader phrase than Social Context for Children Education. Family School Relationship: It has a placeholder for it but no information (i. e. , no related terms, but I take it to be a viable indexing entry).
It is also used for school home relationship. School Community Relationship: It means “formal or informal interactions between an educational institution and the surrounding community”, which matches the article. I believe “brand names” like Domestic Vacuum in Children’s Live, Children of the ‘90s, Schoolhome, and Rethinking Schools for Changing Families do not have much use in the thesaurus, but the variations of Social Environment, Educational Philosophy, Family School Relationship, and School Community do an excellent job in representing the subject, derived and free terms above.
Although I see where my subject analysis was too narrow in some places I am leaving the term “as-is” (except for “education reform” for “school reform”, which is not much of a trade seeing how it is actually “change”) to show the evolution of the indexing process in the assignment and in my mind. To revise my analysis would be like looking in the back of the textbook to do my homework. 6. 7. Compare, Contrast and Justification When I compared the derived and free indexing terms I selected with the descriptors in the ERIC thesaurus I was surprised by the number of them that were not in the ERIC thesaurus.
In a few cases there was a close term, but for most there was nothing. This furthered my understanding of not only how challenging it is to select subjects for indexing, but how much harder it would be when faced with a controlled vocabulary. For the most part only the very narrow ‘generic’ subjects were listed in the thesaurus, the more descriptive terms were not. In two cases terms I selected actually has a better term in the thesaurus, such as my choice of School Reform compared to the ERIC thesaurus descriptor Educational Change.
The thesaurus does a service to the search process by training the indexer to be as strategic as possible in boiling down the essential terms or concepts of an article. My derived and free terms were no less accurate than the assigned terms, because author Susan B. Pickford was writing with an audience in mind and used the “brand names” to illustrate her article. ERIC is invaluable in not only framing the terminology commonly used for subjects, but also gives the searcher context, such as what the current term used to be, along with a date of the change.
This makes research interesting as an historical concept, and seeing how improvements have been made over the years, it helps to sharpen the indexer’s ear for the best possible match (e. g. , “education” in lieu of “school,” “change” instead of “reform”). As author Stephen Nachmanovich wrote, “Creativity exists more in the searching than in the finding. ” However, in being creative as an indexer, you help the searcher in finding things where he wouldn’t normally have considered looking.