Knowledge Representation and Subject Access in Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Analysis of Creators’ and Users’ Assumptions and Expectations

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This paper analyzes the relationship between subject terms -- both authorized terms from controlled vocabularies and free-text keywords -- used to succinctly describe the content of the electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) and the search terms entered by users to discover and access the ETDs. Identification of search terms and comparison of search results with subject terms used in describing ETDs provides a basis for assessing the relative usefulness of controlled-vocabulary subject terms supplied by professional indexers and free-text keywords supplied by authors of ETDs in facilitating access to ETDs. Arguably, there has been a shift in the way users … continued below

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10 p.

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Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw; Zavalina, Oksana; Tarver, Hannah; Zavalin, Vyacheslav; Phillips, Mark Edward & Kizhakkethil, Priya 2015-11-04/2015-11-06.

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  • Main Title: Knowledge Representation and Subject Access in Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Analysis of Creators’ and Users’ Assumptions and Expectations
  • Alternate Title: Knowledge Representation and Subject Access in ETDs: Analysis of Creators’ and Users’ Assumptions and Expectations

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Description

This paper analyzes the relationship between subject terms -- both authorized terms from controlled vocabularies and free-text keywords -- used to succinctly describe the content of the electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) and the search terms entered by users to discover and access the ETDs. Identification of search terms and comparison of search results with subject terms used in describing ETDs provides a basis for assessing the relative usefulness of controlled-vocabulary subject terms supplied by professional indexers and free-text keywords supplied by authors of ETDs in facilitating access to ETDs. Arguably, there has been a shift in the way users search, access, and use information resources.

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10 p.

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Abstract: Successful retrieval of materials that are useful to a user relies on the quality of the information representation. This study analyzes the relationship between subject terms -- both authorized terms from controlled vocabularies and free-text keywords -- used to succinctly describe the content of the electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) and the search terms entered by users to discover and access the ETDs. Identification of search terms and comparison of search results with subject terms used in describing ETDs provides a basis for assessing the relative usefulness of controlled-vocabulary subject terms supplied by professional indexers and free-text keywords supplied by authors of ETDs in facilitating access to ETDs. Arguably, there has been a shift in the way users search, access, and use information resources. The findings of this study will help to revisit the two traditional approaches that demonstrate the process of representation: the document-oriented approach, which claims that indexing summarizes or represents the content of a document, and the user-oriented approach, which requires that indexing reflect the requests for which a document might be relevant. The authors also discuss the subjectivity and objectivity of the process and the need to distinguish functional representation from mere descriptions of a topic. After all, aboutness is often in the eye of the beholder. Considering the diverse global ETDs users’ communities and the possible risk of false assumptions, the authors further argue that effective retrieval depends not only on the subject terms assigned to describe an item, but on the search query terms entered by users as well.

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  • 11th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM 2015), November 4-6, 2015. Osaka, Japan

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UNT Scholarly Works

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  • 2015-11-04/2015-11-06

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  • May 20, 2021, 9:01 a.m.

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  • Nov. 13, 2023, 10:28 a.m.

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Alemneh, Daniel Gelaw; Zavalina, Oksana; Tarver, Hannah; Zavalin, Vyacheslav; Phillips, Mark Edward & Kizhakkethil, Priya. Knowledge Representation and Subject Access in Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Analysis of Creators’ and Users’ Assumptions and Expectations, article, 2015-11-04/2015-11-06; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1803089/: accessed May 24, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .

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