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Library of Congress Subject Headings: Pre- vs. Post-Coordination and Related Issues By Library of Congress
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The Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access at the Library of Congress requested a review of the pros and cons of pre- versus post-coordination of Library of Congress Subject Headings... More > (LCSH). There have been several studies of the pros and cons over the years, most notably by Elaine Svenonius and more recently by Lois Mai Chan and Arlene Taylor/Daniel Joudrey – included as appendices to this report. Briefly stated, pre-coordinated strings provide context, which is needed for “disambiguation, suggestibility, and precision”1 and browsability. Pre-coordinated strings have a sophisticated syntax that can express concepts better than single words, yet also can be faceted by systems to group topics into categories for post-coordinated displays when desirable. Post-coordinated terms have serious limitations for recall, precision, understanding, and relevance ranking....< Less

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