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Dissertation Information for Michele Hudon

- Michele Hudon

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Toronto (Canada) (1998)

- Nancy J. Williamson

- Ethel Auster
- Clare Beghtol

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: An assessment of the usefulness of standardized definitions in a thesaurus through interindexer terminological consistency measurements

Abstract: An important function of the thesaurus of descriptors in its use as indexing aid is to clarify meaning, thus increasing the possibility that indexers win consistently select the same term to express the same indexable concept. Given the low levels of consistency observed among indexers working with a thesaurus, it is suggested that meaning may not be specified clearly enough in this tool.

The purpose of this project was to look at the effect on interindexer terminological consistency of providing clear and prescriptive information on the meaning of each descriptor in a thesaurus, in the form of a standardized terminological definition.

A small prototype thesaurus describing the field of adult literacy was developed. Definitions were written for each descriptor with the help of a defining model and in accordance with defining rules borrowed from the field of Terminology. Three test versions of the thesaurus were created. The standard version did not contain definitions; the augmented version provided a definition for each descriptor in addition to the display of semantic relationships traditionally found in thesauri; the stripped version provided definitions, but did not display hierarchical and associative relationships among terms. The test versions were used in a controlled experiment by novice non specialist indexers to describe a set of twelve informative abstracts. Three sets of data were used in the analysis: average number of descriptors used, group consistency in assignment of all descriptors, and group consistency in main descriptor selection.

The analysis revealed that: (1) indexers who had worked with the augmented thesaurus were not more consistent than indexers who had worked with the standard thesaurus; (2) the use of the stripped thesaurus led to a significant decrease in overall consistency among indexers; (3) there was a tendency among indexers working with the augmented thesaurus to be more consistent in main descriptor selection than all other indexers; (4) the indexers working with the stripped thesaurus were as consistent in main descriptor selection as indexers working with the standard thesaurus.

MPACT Scores for Michele Hudon

A = 1
C = 2
A+C = 3
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2010-09-26 13:43:44

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Students under Michele Hudon

- Diane Mercier - Université de Montréal (2007)

- Sabine Mas - Université de Montréal (2007)
- Elaine Menard - Université de Montréal (2008)