Posting to Autocat
On 11/4/2013 6:03 PM, Anderson, William wrote:
Sill a bit confused. Is it something like:
“FAST is a controlled vocabulary system where each subject term is assigned its own authority heading. This eliminates complex rules for the combination of terms in subject strings. Such a vocabulary system is referred to as enumerative.”
I don’t know too much about FAST beyond that it is a loose faceted system (Topic, Place, Person, Time Period, etc.) so the above could be entirely wrong.
In essence, FAST are assigned like descriptors in a thesaurus. Most descriptors do not have subdivisions but there are some subdivisions in FAST that have already been combined for you, e.g. “Chess–Tournaments” and not “Chess tournaments”. The function is the same as a single descriptor however. The person who assigns the headings does not make up his or her own subdivisions such as a cataloger does with LCSH, with standard, chronological, geographic, and form subdivisions.
To see how descriptors work we can compare LCSH, you can look at AGROVOC, the agricultural thesaurus at FAO, and FAST. For instance, for the economics of farming in China, you use:
In LCSH: “Farms–Economic aspects–China”
while in AGROVOC (http://www4.fao.org/faobib/kwocinana.html) you would use
in FAST (http://fast.oclc.org/searchfast/), you would use:
“Farms–Economic aspects” (because there is an authority record for that combination. If that combination did not exist, you could not create it on your own. There are no free-floaters, etc.)