Dear Editor ‘Searching for the future’ (Aslib Proceedings, 42 (5) May 1990) is always an uncertain exercise, which makes it even more important to be clear about the present. I don't know whether the author or the reporter was responsible for the following statements, but they deserve a passing comment. The first reads ‘The use of alternative terms so that “hits” are made on concepts rather than bald terms alone will take this matter far further than the thesaurus approach does now’. Surely, it is free text searching which chases ‘bald terms’; while the thesaurus approach, as detailed in ISO 2788, advocates attempting to work at the conceptual level and to provide a lattice of related concepts to aid the search process.
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