Explorations in Indexing and Abstracting: Pointing, Virtue, and Power / Edition 1

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Indexing and abstracting often fail because too much emphasis is given to the mechanics of description and too little is given to what ought to be described. This text focuses on how people seek information. Drawing on a delightfully broad base of intellectual resources—from information theory and classic literature to Beethoven and MTV—the author considers the basic question of how we can index and abstract our information so that the user can actually find it. He also addresses the challenges and opportunities resulting from the information and technology explosion. O'Connor discusses the shortcomings of traditional indexing and abstracting systems and then presents essays, exercises, and case studies that foster consideration of the elements of a successful search in a variety of settings. Useful as a companion volume for reference, cataloging, and indexing and abstracting classes, this book is also of interest to professional librarians, information brokers, and online searchers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is thoughtfully written and quite well edited."


Journal of Academic Librarianship

"The book makes interesting and stimulating reading and is recommended for practicing indexers and abstractors as a means of removing their noses from the grindstone and lifting their heads for a few deep breaths of more rarified air."


The Indexer

"Would be useful in library science classes as well as for professional online searchers or brokers."


Public Library Quarterly

Draws on intellectual resources from information theory to MTV to discuss challenges to the indexing and abstracting field posed by the information and technology explosion, and presents alternatives for abstracting and indexing information so that users can actually find it. Looks at the shortcomings of traditional systems, and uses exercises and case studies to demonstrate the elements of a patron- specific system. For professionals and students in library science. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563081842
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/15/1996
  • Series: Library Science Text Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN C. O'CONNOR is Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas. He is also Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Information Science.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Background Concepts 1
Ch. 2 Considerations of Representation 19
Ch. 3 Representation and Utility 35
Ch. 4 Indeterminacy and Depth 47
Ch. 5 Representation and the Formal Bibliographic Apparatus 59
Ch. 6 Responses to Subject Indeterminacy 73
Ch. 7 Enabling User Participation in Representation 93
Ch. 8 Depth of Representation 107
Ch. 9 Aboutness and User-Generated Descriptors 145
Ch. 10 Creek Pebbles, Chaos, Vertov, and Dynagraphics 159
Appendix 167
Additional Readings 169
Index 173
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