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Citation:F. W. Lancaster, Calvin Elliker, and Tschera Harkness Connell, "Subject Analysis," Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) 24 (1989): 35-84.
This review updates the 1986 ARIST chapter on subject analysis by SCHWARTZ & EISENMANN. The aim is a global approach. Thus, efforts were made to locate and include studies beyond those performed or published in the United States. Although the items reviewed come mainly from the period 1986-1988, earlier works not covered by the previous ARIST chapter have occasionally been included. Some much earlier items are referred to when necessary for purposes of comparison or context. Subject analysis here means the presence, identification, and expression of subject matter in document texts, databases, controlled and natural languages, information requests, and search strategies. From the user's viewpoint, subject analysis is tightly bound to subject access. Therefore, the means by which information on a subject can be retrieved from various sources is also pertinent. The literature reviewed is grouped into six broad categories: 1) indexing theory and practice, 2) controlled vocabularies (including classification and subject headings), 3) search strategies and searching methods, 4) natural-language searching, 5) automatic indexing and related procedures, and 6) the use of citation relationships in information retrieval. Clearly these categories are not mutually exclusive, and some of the items reviewed could legitimately belong to more than one category.