Indexing Online Information
Authors: Earle, Ralph; Berry, Robert; Nichols, Michelle Corbin
Source: Technical Communication, Volume 43, Number 2, May 1996 , pp. 146-156(11)
Publisher: Society for Technical Communication
Abstract:Online indexing has great potential as a tool for information retrieval, although current online indexes are not always well used. Research and experience indicate that online indexing can be most effective if it is approached as a combination of traditional indexing and using computer search capabilities. Typical search facilities have great power but tend to rely on complex algorithms or else retrieve more information than users can effectively sort through. Traditional indexing techniques serve as a filter for concepts to limit searches to information that users will actually find valuable.
To take full advantage of search facilities, online indexes can be designed with a flat (nonhierarchical) structure in which each index entry is clearly worded and makes use of keywords from the subject matter. Indexers can include additional keywords as synonyms that point to the relevant index entries. When indexers take advantage of these concepts and when index users clearly understand what to expect from online indexes, the the indexes become an extremely powerful retrieval medium.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1996
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