Dissertation Information for Helen Mary Micco
- Helen Mary Micco
- Library and Information Science
- University of Pittsburgh (USA) (1980)
- Martha L. Manheimer
- Allen Kent
- Wendell Wray
- Patrick R. Penland
- Donald Shirey
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF THREE SUBJECT ACCESS SYSTEMS IN MEDICINE: LCSH, MESH, PRECIS
Abstract: This study examines the see also reference structures (syndetic structures) of three subject access systems in medicine PRECIS, MeSH, and LCSH. It explores differences and similarities in the syndetic structures in an effort to develop the best possible structure using features of all three systems. MeSH has a more clearly defined hierarchical structure with a numeric notation that makes possible the "explode" feature. Here, a search on a given term can be exploded to capture all narrower terms. LCSH is strong in providing series of related concepts assisting the reader in browsing widely. PRECIS makes possible the definition of multi-facetted or narrow complex subjects within a subject class, but it has a minimal network of see also references. Its thesaurus serves only to guide the reader to broader headings.
In this study, five broad subject areas in medicine were selected from a stratified random sample, and then plotted on subject area maps developed from recognized "classic" textbooks. The textbooks were used as a universal standard to determine what should or should not be considered as included in, or related to, a given field. Graphs were also developed to show the nature of the linkages provided in each of the three systems.
Three variables were evaluated: (1) subject area coverage: the total number of subject headings provided in a given subject area. This varied considerably in the three systems studied. (2) browseability: the number of narrower linked headings captured when the lead term was exploded. The ability to browse through the available subject headings is directly related to the number and types of references provided. (3) flexibility: the number of separate look-ups required to locate all narrower headings. This was determined by mapping all relevant subject headings and the linkages provided in each system. Separate unconnected clusters of headings appeared in all three systems, as did orphaned headings.
Maps were developed for the subject headings in each system. When compared against the maps developed from the textbook, gaps in coverage and inconsistencies in terminology control were also readily identified.
It is anticipated that the maps of terms developed in the manner described could easily be converted to computer displays that should do much to improve both precision and recall in bibliographic data bases.
MPACT Scores for Helen Mary Micco
A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:22:19
Advisors and Advisees Graph