Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Faceted Application of Subject Terminology

The paper, FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology): A Simplified LCSH-based Vocabulary presented at the World Library and Information Congress, is available, in PDF, from the IFLA Web site. Originally written in English, it is also available in French, German, and Russian versions.
Recent trends, driven to a large extent by the rapid growth of the Web, are forcing changes in bibliographic control systems to make them easier to use, understand, and apply, and subject headings are no exception. The purpose of adapting the LCSH in a faceted schema with a simplified syntax is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making it easier to understand, control, apply, and use. The FAST schema maintains upward compatibility with LCSH, and any valid set of LC subject headings can be converted to FAST headings.

FAST consists of eight distinct facets. Authority records have been created for all established headings except for the chronological facet. The initial version of the FAST authority file will contain approximately two million authority records.

A very readable and complete introduction to FAST.

Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC Research points those interested in further info, to the FAST project site.

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