This article reviews the state of the art in automatic indexing, that is, automatic techniques for analysing and characterising documents, for manipulating their descriptions in searching, and for generating the index language used for these purposes. It concentrates on the literature from 1968 to 1973. Section I defines the topic and its context. Sections II and III consider work in syntax and semantics respectively in detail. Section IV comments on ‘indirect’ indexing. Section V briefly surveys operating mechanized systems. In Section VI major experiments in automatic indexing are reviewed, and Section VII attempts an overall conclusion on the current state of automatic indexing techniques.
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