by Broughton, Vanda
Many information professionals working in small units today fail to find the published tools for subject-based organization that are appropriate to their local needs, whether they are archivists, special librarians, information officers, or knowledge or content managers. Large established standards for document description and organization are too unwieldy, unnecessarily detailed, or too expensive to install and maintain. In other cases the available systems are insufficient for a specialist environment, or don't bring things together in a helpful way. A purpose built, in-house system would seem to be the answer, but too often the skills necessary to create one are lacking. This practical text examines the criteria relevant to the selection of a subject-management system, describes the characteristics of some common types of subject tool, and takes the novice step by step through the process of creating a system for a specialist environment. The methodology employed is a standard technique for the building of a thesaurus that incidentally creates a compatible classification or taxonomy, both of which may be used in a variety of ways for document or information management. Key areas covered are: What is a thesaurus? Tools for subject access and retrieval; what a thesaurus is used for? Why use a thesaurus? Examples of thesauri; the structure of a thesaurus; thesaural relationships; practical thesaurus construction; the vocabulary of the thesaurus; building the systematic structure; conversion to alphabetic format; forms of entry in the thesaurus; maintaining the thesaurus; thesaurus software; and; the wider environment. Essential for the practising information professional, this guide is also valuable for students of library and information science.