Re: indexing

Subject: Re: indexing
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1996 08:50:00 EST

At 02:33 AM 9/29/96 +1100, you wrote:
>I've been to the Australian Indexers webpage and have a few ideas of my
>own.
>But does anyone have any comments on why someone would use a subject
>index on a cd-rom rather than use a general search?
>It seems obvious to me that a subject index has many advantages but what
> do you think?

This is a controversy that's only going to get worse over time, what with
Web sites and CD-ROMs.

I think it's fairly well established that each approach has its place. The
major advantage to a subject index is that the user can see both subjects
and conceptual structure in one glance. For new users, especially, it's
often important to supply the structure because a list of words doesn't help
them much.

On the other hand, I suppose that a CD of chemical terms wouldn't need much
of an index if it was going to graduate students in chemistry. The user
level is high enough that there's little need for subject-structure.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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