Friday, December 3, 2010

RE: 043 Usefulness--Why Delete? Seriously

Posting to Autocat

On Wed, 1 Dec 2010 09:47:42 -0500, Aaron Kuperman wrote:
>Is there any system that would allow one to search for a Broad term
>(e.g. Europe) and pick up items on specific places in Europe (e.g. Rome,
>Italy, Alps, Balkans, EU countries, Sicily)?
At FAO of the UN, the library catalog has the option for a "Group term" search. These are specially defined areas that group the hierarchically subordinate concepts and even Related terms into a single search. If you go to http://www4.fao.org/faobib/index.html and select "Advanced", you will see "Group terms". If you enter "Europe" you will be searching on everything with Europe and below: Spain, Sicily, etc. I would suggest that you click on "List" to get a list of all of these terms.

This has obvious advantages. For example, you can search for "Europe;Feed crops" as groups and not just as keyword descriptors, which does something quite different. For example, this search retrieves:

FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment mission to UN-administered Province of Kosovo. Special report, 14 August 2001 (English) FAO, Rome (Italy). Commodities and Trade Div.; World Food Programme, Rome (Italy) , 2001 , 14 p.
Accession No: 401433, Job No: Y1578
Descriptors: FOOD PRODUCTION; FOOD SUPPLY; CEREAL CROPS; FOOD AID; FORECASTING; PRODUCTION DATA
Geographic coverage: YUGOSLAVIA;
Full text: French English

Of course, Yugoslavia is subordinate to Europe and Cereal Crops is an RT from Feed Crops.

By the way, the search engine is Lucene based and normally very fast, but when you do a group search, it takes substantially longer. Once again, FAO records are based on AGRIS rules, not ISBD; those rules are quite different; they have their own thesaurus and forms of names.

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