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Controlled Vocabularies in the Digital Age: Are They Still Relevant?

Description: Keyword searching and controlled vocabularies such as Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) proved to work well together in automated technologies and the two systems have been considered complimentary. When the Internet burst onto the information landscape, users embraced the simplicity of keyword searching of this resource while researchers and scholars seemed unable to agree on how best to make use of controlled vocabularies in this huge database. This research looked at a controlled vocabulary, LCSH, in the context of keyword searching of a full text database. The Internet and probably its most used search engine, Google, seemed to have set a standard that users have embraced: a keyword-searchable single search box on an uncluttered web page. Libraries have even introduced federated single search boxes to their web pages, another testimony to the influence of Google. UNT's Thesis and Dissertation digital database was used to compile quantitative data with the results input into an EXCEL spreadsheet. Both Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) and author-assigned keywords were analyzed within selected dissertations and both systems were compared. When the LCSH terms from the dissertations were quantified, the results showed that from a total of 788 words contained in the 207 LCSH terms assigned to 70 dissertations, 246 of 31% did not appear in the title or abstract while only 8, or about 1% from the total of 788, did not appear in the full text. When the author-assigned keywords were quantified, the results showed that from a total of 552 words from304 author-assigned keywords in 86 dissertations, 50 or 9% did not appear in the title or abstract while only one word from the total of 552 or .18% did not appear in the full text. Qualitatively, the LCSH terms showed a hierarchical construction that was clearly designed for a print ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Baker, William
Partner: UNT Libraries

Capital Ships, Commerce, and Coalition: British Strategy in the Mediterranean Theater, 1793

Description: In 1793, Great Britain embarked on a war against Revolutionary France to reestablish a balance of power in Europe. Traditional assessments among historians consider British war planning at the ministerial level during the First Coalition to be incompetent and haphazard. This work reassesses decision making of the leading strategists in the British Cabinet in the development of a theater in the Mediterranean by examining political, diplomatic, and military influences. William Pitt the Younger and his controlling ministers pursued a conservative strategy in the Mediterranean, reliant on Allies in the region to contain French armies and ideas inside the Alps and the Pyrenees. Dependent on British naval power, the Cabinet sought to weaken the French war effort by targeting trade in the region. Throughout the first half of 1793, the British government remained fixed on this conservative, traditional approach to France. However, with the fall of Toulon in August of 1793, decisions made by Admiral Samuel Hood in command of forces in the Mediterranean radicalized British policy towards the Revolution while undermining the construct of the Coalition. The inconsistencies in strategic thought political decisions created stagnation, wasting the opportunities gained by the Counter-revolutionary movements in southern France. As a result, reinvigorated French forces defeated Allied forces in detail in the fall of 1793.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Baker, William C.
Partner: UNT Libraries