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Writers on library automation such as Borko and Lancaster foresee an end to human‐based indexing and classification. They anticipate a time when users will be able to direct their subject enquiries at machine‐held files of keywords extracted automatically from the ‘natural uncontrolled language of the document’. Borko considers that this will allow the user ‘to identify a few relevent items from among many thousands and display them on the video screen in seconds’. This paper reviews these claims, and then examines a genuine case where the computer followed the procedures proposed by these teachers. It also considers how a measure of vocabulary control, based on recommendations in some recent national and international standards, would have avoided the entirely irrelevant output produced by the machine.
Interest in the objective testing and evaluation of document searching systems and procedures has grown steadily during the past decade. The reason for such interest is…
Interest in the objective testing and evaluation of document searching systems and procedures has grown steadily during the past decade. The reason for such interest is perhaps obvious: a great deal of attention has been, and is being, given to the development of new methods, including mechanized methods, for storing and searching characterizations of scientific and technical documents. To determine the effectiveness and utility of these new methods, particularly in comparison with the more conventional methods still in use, we need objective means of assessing their performance. Although some progress has been made, much remains to be done on the development of evaluation methods and criteria, a high priority area of study in the view of many individuals and organizations.
In the January 1986 issue of Aslib Proceedings, an article by Derek Austin entitled ‘Vocabulary control and information technology’ appeared. In this article, Austin…
In the January 1986 issue of Aslib Proceedings, an article by Derek Austin entitled ‘Vocabulary control and information technology’ appeared. In this article, Austin quoted some of Harold Borko's writings, and while the quotes are accurate, Borko would like to provide some elaborations and explain his position in a little more detail.