Treat headings as concepts, not strings

  1. Treating the authorized form of a heading as just one kind of label for a concept allows for the use of other kinds of labels without requiring any changes to bibliographic records.
  2. Translations of the headings into foreign languages allows non-native English speakers to browse more easily.
  3. Bermanization of the headings into regular English allows native speakers to do likewise.

Improve the syndetic structure of the headings

  1. Assign broader terms to all non top-level terms.
  2. Convert BT references that do not correspond to genuine broader terms to plain RT. Where such a change would leave a term orphaned, add a broader reference to a true parent.
  3. Support more types of semantic relationships between terms.

Establish name-like headings using name-like procedures

  1. It is far more expensive to establish entries as Subjects than it is to add entries that are Names.
  2. Names can be established without direct LC intervention, whereas subjects require much more centralizedevaluation.
  3. Examples of name-like headings include(a) Fictitious characters.(b) Famous animals.(c) Models of calculators.

Establish patterns, rather than instances of patterns

  1. Creating explicit patterns in a machine processable form can greatly reduce the number of headings that need to be separately established.
  2. Common relationships implied by patterns can be automatically inferred, rather than having to be explicitly enumerated in each case- thus avoiding many inconsistencies in the current headings.
  3. As the syndetic structure of the headings is repaired, constraints upon the types of concepts to which patterns can be applied can automatically be enforced, and implicit patterns embedded in currently established headings detected.

Separate out domain specific vocabularies

  1. If domain specific vocabularies are separated from the general headings, their administration can be distributed to other committees or bodies.
  2. By delegating these vocabularies to domain experts, the headings can be made more specific and better adapted to the needs of communities of practice.
  3. As the syndetic structure is repaired, delegated vocabularies can be anchored to specified broader terms within the general headings, allowing systems that only wish to deal with such general headings to collapse the delegated subtrees to the anchoring term.

Create a wiki-like system for heading maintenance

  1. A social approach to heading maintenance enables a distributed approach to building relationships between terms.
  2. By simplifying the creation of new headings, such a system can encourage the use of specific, narrow headings.
  3. As long as these proposed headings are linked to established broader terms, they can be treated by systems only wishing to deal with established terms as if they were the broader terms.
  4. If subject headings are stored as links, rather than strings, rejected headings can be converted to those which achieve currency.
  5. Any social system for headings must track the provenance of proposed headings, and clearly distinguish between established and non-established terms.

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